Produced on the occasion of Robert Frank’s 2005 exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, this revelatory documentary is only now being released in the U.S. It presents a candid perspective on the legendary artist, who turns 95 this November. The filmmaker spent time with Frank in New York and Nova Scotia, asking him to reflect on his personal life and his career in photography and film. Extraordinary scenes with Frank’s second wife, artist June Leaf, reveal decades of creative exchange and support through the tragedies of Frank has experienced. Brimming with photographs and film excerpts, the documentary thoughtfully contrasts past and present, eliciting candid observations from its reluctant subject.
Shown Friday and Sunday with Energy and How to Get It (directed by Robert Frank, Rudy Wurlitzer, and Gary Hill, USA, 1981, 28 min.), a pseudo-documentary about real-life Nicolai Tesla admirer Robert Golka’s experiments with fusion. Featuring filmmaker Robert Downey, writer William S. Burroughs, and the late musician Dr. John. And Harry Smith at the Breslin Hotel (directed by Robert Frank, USA, 2017, 11 min.) about artist Harry Smith who, for eight years, occupied a tiny room in New York’s Breslin Hotel until it was sold, compelling him to pack up his extraordinary array of possessions.
On Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Anne Wilkes Tucker will present Fire in the East: A Portrait of Robert Frank (produced by Anne Wilkes Tucker, directed by Amy and Philip Brookman, USA, 1986, 28 min.), a documentary produced by the Museum and KUHT for the exhibition Robert Frank: New York to Nova Scotia. The film features memorable interviews with Frank and many of his contemporaries, including Emile de Antonio, Allen Ginsberg, Louis Faurer and Jonas Mekas. It will be followed at 8:00 p.m. by Leaving Home, Coming Home.
“An intimate but unauthorized portrait of a great American photographer and filmmaker. Takes the viewer deep inside [Gerald Fox’s] subject’s personal and creative life. Fascinating. Fox has managed to communicate something important about the real man behind the artist.” – Variety
“As filmic visits with cherished masters go, Fox's has been well worth the wait.” – Los Angeles Times
“If you've seen [Laura Israel’s] Don't Blink, you may ask whether you ‘need’ to see this. I'd say yes. ‘More light,’ as Goethe put it.” – New York Times
“The film captures Frank's artistry and also makes clear the pain of a life devoted to seeing clearly.” – Denerstein Unleashed
“Beautiful loneliness, as the film suggestively reveals, is a texture that Frank knows all too well.” – Slant
“The most enjoyable parts of this moving documentary show Frank with his second wife, the sculptor June Leaf - a wonderfully feisty woman who has sustained him throughout.” – The Arts Desk