For new readers: “The Flaherty is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the proposition that independent media can illuminate the human spirit. Its mission is to foster exploration, dialogue, and introspection about the art and craft of all forms of the moving image. It was established to present the annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, named after the maker of such seminal documentaries as Nanook of the North, Man of Aran, and Louisiana Story. The Seminar remains the central and defining activity of The Flaherty…”
But there are many other events going on around the year. I have to confess that my knowledge of The Flaherty was pretty limited until former colleague from EDN, Anita Reher, crossed the Atlantic and took over as Executive Director – and got me on the list for receiving the informative newsletter of the organisation.
Yes, 60 years, and the Ex. Director has asked for memories. In the February newsletter Dorothy O. Olson , who programmed the second seminar together with the widow of Robert, Frances, looks back. She remembers three films, that she writes passionately about: Satyajit Ray’s Pater Panchali, (photo) shown in 1961 in Puerto Rico on 35mm:
“Now try to imagine our improvised screening facilities: during daylight hours the dining room, with one long wall of glass, was darkened by black curtains that blocked light. These were removed at night so the windows could be opened.”
The two other films she brings up are Marcel Ophuls “The Sorrow and the Pity” (shown in 1971) and Jennifer Fox “Beirut: The Last Home Movie” (1988). But it is not only wonderful film history …
tonight The Flaherty has a surprise party in Boston, USA. Read about it:
“Experience what it means to sit in a theater without any preconceived notions of what you’re about to see and discover cinema as it’s meant to be seen. Join Flaherty Executive Director, Anita Reher along with Flaherty Board of Trustees members Elizabeth Delude-Dix, Lorna Lowe and former trustee John Gianvito for an evening of screening and discussion at The DocYard. In the spirit of the Flaherty tradition, the program of the evening will be not be revealed until it is projected on the screen. It’s an opportunity to participate in this unique experience that is the Flaherty, where you are urged to arrive with an open mind and without any preconceptions.
Join us for an evening of screening and discussion. Selections from past Robert Flaherty Film Seminars and Flaherty NYC Series will be screened followed by a conversation on non-fiction film. Explore the creative process of contemporary filmmakers and artists who are expanding the boundaries of documentary filmmaking. Their films will make you laugh, think, and cry.
As always, the conversation will continue over refreshments.”
No announcement of the film programme, what an interesting and courageous format, never met that in 40 years documentary screenings in Europe! Never dared to do the same!