DER Documentary

Screening Room with Richard P. Rogers

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From the Screening Room series
by Robert Gardner
color, 76 min, 1975/2005

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This DVD is also available as part of the Screening Room series Documentary Collection.

Richard P. Rogers (1944-2001) was a renowned producer and director of nonfiction films, and a gifted teacher and mentor who taught filmmaking and photography for many years at S.U.N.Y., Purchase, and at Harvard University, where he was director of the Film Study Center. His films range from political to experimental and self-reflective, and include the independent documentaries Living at Risk and Pictures from a Revolution, about Nicaragua; an award-winning portrait made for PBS of the poet William Carlos Williams; and a dramatic adaptation of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's book A Midwife's Tale.

In June 1975, Richard Rogers appeared on Screening Room to show and discuss National Anthem, Quarry, an excerpt from Moving Pictures: The Art of Jan Lenica and Elephants: Fragments in an Argument.

“In all of these works he brought the trained eye of a skilled still photographer, the curiosity of a probing investigator, and - most of all - the sensitivity of a filmmaker who used his medium less as a means of recording the events of the world than as a tool to make sense of them.” — Tom Gunning, University of Chicago

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About the Screening Room series
In the early 1970s a group of idealistic artists, lawyers, doctors and teachers saw an opportunity to change commercial television in Boston and the surrounding area. It would require years of litigation up to and including the Supreme Court, but the case was won and the Channel 5 license was given to WCVB-TV. Screening Room was one of several programs offered in an effort to provide alternative television viewing. The idea behind Screening Room was to give independent filmmakers an opportunity to discuss their work and show it to a large urban audience. Nearly 100 ninety-minute programs were produced and aired between 1973 and 1980.

Screening Room was developed and hosted by filmmaker Robert Gardner, who at the time, was Director of Harvard's Visual Arts Center and Chairman of its Visual and Environmental Studies Department. His own films include Dead Birds (1964), and Forest of Bliss (1986).

Other films from the Screening Room series
Bruce Baillie
Les Blank
Robert Breer
James Broughton
Emile de Antonio
Ed Emshwiller
Hollis Frampton
Robert Fulton
George Griffin
Hillary Harris
John & Faith Hubley
Peter Hutton
Derek Lamb
Standish Lawder & Stanley Cavell
Ricky Leacock
Caroline Leaf & Mary Beams
Jan Lenica
Alan Lomax
Jonas Mekas
Suzan Pitt
Yvonne Rainer
Jean Rouch
Michael Snow
John Whitney Sr.

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