Film Series

July 02 - August 29, 2009
Richard Avedon: Notes on "Nothing Personal" Richard Avedon: Notes on

Phyllis Wattis Theater

In conjunction with Richard Avedon: Photographs 1946-2004, we take up the celebrated photographer's 1964 collaboration with writer (and high school classmate) James Baldwin, entitled Nothing Personal. Published a year after John F. Kennedy's assassination, the resulting book highlights the civil rights movement, protest politics of both the Left and the Right, and American identity in that era. Avedon juxtaposes an American Nazi Party salute with a naked Allen Ginsberg, placing between these poles figures such as segregationist George Wallace, scientist-turned-antinuclear-activist Linus Pauling, members of Daughters of the American Revolution, and William Cansby, a man born into slavery. This film series presents perspectives on these themes — circa 1964. (Many titles were suggested by Andy Ditzler's Civil Rights on Film series at Emory University, part of his ongoing Film Love series.)

$5 general; free for SFMOMA members or with museum admission (requires a free ticket, which can be picked up in the Haas Atrium). Double features: films offered on the same date are included in one ticket.

Past

Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 1
Buy tickets Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 1

Black Natchez
Edward Pincus, 1965, 61 min., video

The Children Were Watching
Robert Drew, 1961, 21 min., 16mm

With a cinema verité commitment to capturing the life of the moment, Black Natchez filmmaker Pincus and sound engineer David Neuman track the embattled African American…

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Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 2
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Behind Every Good Man
Nikolai Ursin, 1965, 8 min., 16mm

Portrait of Jason
Shirley Clarke, 1967, 100 min., 35mm

Behind Every Good Man — a short from Ursin, then a film student at the University of California, Los Angeles — documents a gay African American man and his meditations…

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Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 3
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Seven Songs for Malcolm X
John Akomfrah, 1993, 52 min., 16mm

The Intolerable Burden
Chea Prince, 2003, 56 min., video

Perfect Film
Ken Jacobs, 1986, 22 min., 16mm

In Seven Songs for Malcolm X, archival footage is combined with interviews and re-creations to evoke the impact of Malcolm X on American politics and culture. The film includes…

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Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 4
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Jingle Bells
D. A. Pennebaker, 1964, 16 min., video

Campaign Manager
Richard Leacock and Noel E. Parmentel Jr., 1964, 25 min., video

You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
D. A. Pennebaker, 1964, 12 min., video

Lambert and Co.
D. A. Pennebaker, 1964, 15 min., video

A Stravinsky Portrait
Richard Leacock and Rolf Lieberman, 1965, 58 min., video

This program explores a multifaceted slice of the America also captured in Avedon and Baldwin's Nothing Personal. Stars like Sammy Davis Jr. and high-wattage politicians like Robert…

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Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 5
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The Atomic Cafe
Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty, 1982, 86 min., video

The Family Fallout Shelter
Edward English, ca. 1960; 14 min., 16mm

After discovering a catalogue of U.S. government films in a San Francisco bookstore, director Pierce Rafferty worked with his co-directors Kevin Rafferty and Jayne Loader for more…

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Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 6
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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Stanley Kubrick, 1964, 93 min., 35mm

Released two months after John F. Kennedy's assassination, Kubrick's classic cold war satire paints the United States' political and military establishment as a chain of command…

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Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 7
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Bound by the Wind
David L. Brown, 1992, 88 min., video

Featuring celebrated scientist and Avedon subject Linus Pauling, a Nobel laureate for chemistry and recipient of the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize for his antinuclear activism, Bound by

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Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 8
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Take This Hammer
KQED, 1964, 45 min., video

Losing Just the Same
KQED, 1966, 58 min., video

A project of San Francisco State University, the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive collects moving images chronicling the social and cultural history of the region.…

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Image: Chea Prince, The Intolerable Burden (still), 2003; photo courtesy of Icarus Films

SFMOMA thanks Alex Cherian, San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive film archivist, for his assistance and support of this program.