Richard P. Rogers
Richard P. Rogers combined the careers of filmmaker and academic. He made half a dozen films about writers and poets, including William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens for the PBS series Voices and Visions.
Experimentation was a hallmark of Rogers’ work. His 226-1690 uses recordings made on his telephone answering machine for its sound track and marries them to images shot from his apartment windows to create a powerful film that captures the richness of ordinary life. Elephants, “an experimental autobiographical film,” is an examination of class. In the feature-length film The Midwife’s Tale, Rogers combined fiction with documentary. Many of Rogers’ films were commissioned pieces. Trevi, a film about the eponymous fountain in Rome, and Siena, about the medieval Italian city, for example, were both commissioned by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Rogers was chairman of the film program at the State University of New York at Purchase, where he was Professor of Theatre Arts and Film. He was the Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University from 1992 until his death in 2001.