DER Documentary

Screening Room with Robert Fulton

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From the Screening Room series
by Robert Gardner
color, two DVDs, 83 min/72 min, 1973 & 1979/2005

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

Robert Fulton was an extraordinary non-fiction filmmaker and gifted aerial cinematographer who left a legacy of remarkable films shot all over the world. He was an exceptional pilot, a devout Buddhist and a brilliant independent thinker and talker. He taught for a time in Harvard's Visual and Environmental Studies Department and worked closely with Robert Gardner on large and small projects over several decades. He won many awards, including an Emmy for work in television.

Fulton died in a private airplane crash in 2002 whereupon Harvard Film Study Center established the Robert E. Fulton III Fund for new filmmakers in memorium.

Robert Fulton appeared on Screening Room in April 1973 to screen and discuss Machu Pichu and Reality's Invisible. Fulton returned in April 1979 and screened excerpts from the films Street Film, Path of Cessation and Chant.

"Robert Fulton is an artist of rare complexity and depth. One uses the term 'artist' for Fulton only for lack of a better word. Germans might call Fulton a LebenskYnstler, a "life artist," because his real art form is his own life not just his enigmatic, stubbornly mute photographs, his lyrical aerial cinematography, his labyrinthine films, his dense, defiantly poetic and resolutely metaphysical prose. Fulton is a juggler and a combiner, combining ideas and images that don't really belong together into new definitions of what may well belong together." — Lito Tejada-Flores, author

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
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
Richard P. Rogers
Jean Rouch
Michael Snow
John Whitney Sr.

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts