“There was in Jerome [Hill], at the beginning and continuously at the end, a firm connection between generosity and expansiveness . . .” —Mary Ann Caws, Jerome Hill: Living in the Arts
From November 16–19, the Walker Art Center presents
Jerome Hill Centennial: A Filmmaker and His Legacy
, a film series dedicated to the filmmaker, photographer, composer, and philanthropist on his 100th anniversary. Besides a screening of Hill’s own Film Portrait (Friday, November 18, 8 pm), the series also features four programs presenting works that received support from Hill’s namesake nonprofit organization, the Jerome Foundation (Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 pm; Thursday, November 17, 7:30 pm; and Saturday, November 19, 3 pm). On Saturday, November 19, at 7 pm, filmmaker Todd Haynes, who received support from the Jerome Foundation early in his career, will be on hand to discuss his development as an artist and filmmaker. The evening will include screenings of Haynes’ film Far from Heaven at 7 pm, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, and concludes with a screening of Poison at 10 pm.
St. Paul native Jerome Hill (1905–1972) had a profound influence on 20th-century avant-garde film and the artists associated with it, both as a filmmaker and a philanthropist. Known at first for his documentaries—Hill won an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1957 for Albert Schweitzer—he later became a significant member of a circle of experimental and avant-garde filmmakers in New York and Europe. Hill also generously supported other artists, including Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage, and Peter Kubelka, with financial contributions and by establishing such organizations as the Anthology Film Archives in New York in 1969. After Hill’s death, the Jerome Foundation in St. Paul was endowed to help emerging filmmakers in Minnesota and New York City. Recipients of this critical support during the early stages of their careers include such luminaries as Todd Haynes (Poison), Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It), and Mira Nair (So Far from India).
Except where noted, tickets are $8 ($6 Walker members) and screenings are held in the Cinema. Tickets are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
JEROME HILL CENTENNIAL: A FILMMAKER AND HIS LEGACY
Wednesday, November 16
Challenging Perceptions, 7:30 pm
Throughout its history, the Jerome Foundation has supported projects that have helped filmmakers create work that investigates identity and broadens perceptions of race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Ayoka Chenzira, Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People (1985, New York, color, 16mm, 10 minutes); Mira Nair, So Far From India (1982, New York, color, video, 49 minutes); Debra Solomon, Everybody’s Pregnant (1997, New York, color, 35mm, 7 minutes); Jocelyn Taylor, Bodily Functions (1995, New York, color, video, 14 minutes); Amy Ostergaard, White Wash (1998, Minnesota, color, 16mm, 10 minutes); Me-K Ahn, Undertow (1995, Minnesota, BW, video, 19 minutes); John Killacky, Stolen Shadows (1995, Minnesota, BW, video, 10 minutes).
Thursday, November 17
Crossing Genres, 7:30 pm FREE
The variety of projects supported by the Jerome Foundation has allowed both experimental and narrative filmmakers to create some of their most exciting and moving works.
Steven Matheson, Apple Grown in Wind Tunnel (2000, Minnesota, BW, video, 26 minutes); Paul Chan, Happiness (Finally After 35,000 Years) (2003, New York, color, video, 19 minutes); Abigail Child, Mercy (1986, New York, 16mm, 10 minutes); Jacqueline Goss, How to Fix the World (2004, New York, video, color, 28 minutes); Shawn McConnelog and Greg Cummins, Souvenir (1995, Minnesota, color, 35mm, 5 minutes); Eric Muller, This Car Up (2002, Minnesota, color, video, 15 minutes); Chris Larson, County Line (2003, Minnesota, color, video, 9 minutes); Suzan Pitt, Joy Street (1995, Minnesota, color, 35mm, 24 minutes).
Friday, November 18
Film Portrait, 8 pm
Directed by Jerome Hill
The life of Jerome Hill corresponded with the first seven decades of cinema and a greater part of the 20th century. Through fragments of Hill’s painted, surrealistic, and documentary films, this autobiographical work explores the years during which he was developing as a young man and an artist. Insights into his childhood in the St. Paul home of James J. Hill, his creative life in New York, and his guest-filled house in France shape a beautiful and aesthetically complete documentary of one man’s view of art in society, expressed through a very telling mix of emotional filters. As critic/filmmaker Jonas Mekas notes, “Since the period dealt with in this film coincides with the development of cinema as a young art, and the development of the avant-garde film as a form of cinema, Film Portrait becomes also a film about the art of cinema.” Newly restored print courtesy the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 1971, U.S, color, 16mm, 81 minutes.
Saturday, November 19
Picture Yourself: A Teen-curated Queer Film Showcase, 3 pm FREE
This program of short films supported by the Jerome Foundation explores personal identity. Selections were curated by a panel of Gay-Straight Alliance high school students. For more information, call 612.375.7628.
Teen Programs are made possible by generous support from the Surdna Foundation and Best Buy Children’s Foundation.
An Evening with Todd Haynes
Far From Heaven, 7 pm
$10 ($8 members)
Directed by Todd Haynes
In this homage to director Douglas Sirk’s melodramas, Far From Heaven tells the story of Cathy (Julianne Moore), a perfect 1950s housewife living the perfect life: healthy kids, successful husband, social prominence. After seeing her husband, Frank (Dennis Quaid), kissing another man, her tidy world starts spinning out of control. In her confusion, she finds consolation in the friendship of their African American gardener, Raymond (Dennis Haysbert). 2002, U.S, color, 35mm, 107 minutes. A conversation with director Todd Haynes and Walker Film/Video Curator Sheryl Mousley follows the screening.
Poison, 10 pm
Directed by Todd Haynes
Based on three disparate stories, each in its own style (from mockumentary to 1950s horror film to Jean Genet–inspired homoerotica), Poison focuses on characters who stand up against sexual oppression. This first feature by Haynes was supported by the Jerome Foundation, starting him on his way to becoming one of America’s truly original independent filmmakers. Poison won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. 1991, U.S, color/BW, 35mm, 85 minutes.
Also on View:
Screenings from the Collection
The Legacy of Jerome Hill
Lecture Room, through November 30
In this elegy for his close friend and patron Jerome Hill, Jonas Mekas edited footage of his time at Hill’s home in Cassis, France, from the mid-1960s and early ‘70s in Notes for Jerome (1978, U.S., color, 16mm transferred to DVD, 45 minutes). Jerome Foundation support helped Jem Cohen produce his breakthrough experimental video Lost Book Found, his musings on a notebook found while working as a street vendor (1996, U.S., BW, video, 35 minutes). This program runs continuously during gallery hours.
The California Trilogy: El Valley Centro
Directed by James Benning
Lecture Room, December 1–31
In the first of three films capturing the landscape of California, Minimalist filmmaker James Benning frames 35 carefully crafted shots, each lasting 2.5 minutes, that allow viewers to immerse themselves in this rural portrait. The other films in the trilogy, Los and Sogobi, will follow in January and February. 1999, U.S., color, 16mm transferred to DVD, 90 minutes. This film runs continuously during gallery hours.
Best Buy Film/Video Bay, through February 28, 2006
Three filmmakers draw inspiration from the light of new landscapes encountered on their travels: Mary Lucier pairs images of Claude Monet’s gardens in France with the bucolic countryside of her native Ohio; Kenneth Anger celebrates Rome’s Tivoli Gardens at night; and Jem Cohen watches the day unfold in Catania, Sicily, at the base of Mount Etna.