Robert Frank Retrospective: Program 2

Related Exhibition Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans"

Saturday, May 9, 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 14, 7:00 p.m.

Phyllis Wattis Theater

Conversations in Vermont, Robert Frank's first overtly autobiographic film, is about his relationship with his children, Pablo and Andrea. Frank follows them to school (in Vermont) and interviews them about their feelings, their upbringing, and what it was like to grow up in a bohemian world with artists as parents

Whole Earth Catalog editor Stewart Brand and his friend Hugh Romney (Wavy Gravy) asked Robert Frank to document “The Hunger Show,” a weeklong fast staged by the Portola Institute in California. This was a  "happening" designed to make the problem of world hunger and malnutrition a personal matter for participants and observers. Life-Raft Earth records the event, which took place from October 11 to October 18, 1969, in a parking lot in Hayward, California.

Though Frank planned this film to be a cinematic study of indigenous American music, About Me: A Musical ended up becoming a film about the director himself. An actress (Lynn Reyner) plays the character of Frank, who examines his life symbolically, questioning the personal toll his work has taken and the value of his contribution as a photographer.

Additional Info

Conversations in Vermont, 1969, 26 min., 16mm
Life-Raft Earth, 1969, 37 min., 16mm
About Me: A Musical, 1971, 35 min., 16mm
Total running time: 98 min.

Image: Robert Frank, Conversations in Vermont (still), 1969; photo courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Robert Frank

SFMOMA would like to thank the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, home of the Robert Frank Film and Video Archive, for its support in providing prints and other assistance for this program.