Saturday, June 20, 2015

Film on the 1913 Armory Show to Screen in Ludlow, Vermont

On Wednesday, July 15 at 7:00pm our film on the 1913 Armory Show will screen at the Mount Holly Town Library in Ludlow, Vermont.  Excerpts from the film can be viewed at this link.


WHAT:  Vermont premiere of 217 Films’ The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show” 

WHEN:  Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 7:30 PM
           
WHERE:  
Mount Holly Town Library
26 Maple Hill Rd.
Ludlow, Vermont

COST: Free and open to the public 

ABOUT THE FILM:
From February 17 until March 15, 1913, thousands of Americans pushed their way through the doors of the 69th Regiment Armory on the east side of New York City while a battle was waging “for or against” Modern Art for the first time.

What they saw would annoy and infuriate some...and captivate, delight, and inspire many.

What resulted from these four weeks of mass exposure to European artists such as Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, and the upstart Marcel Duchamp (with his “Nude Descending a Staircase”), as well as such Americans as Marsden Hartley, John Marin, and Charles Sheeler, changed how Americans came to understand their own times. By entering through the doors of an armory, they had entered through the doors of the Modern Era.  

“The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show” features more than 60 works by American and European painters and sculptors and probes deeply into the history of how the show was organized. It provides fascinating glimpses into the backstage efforts of the American artists Arthur B. Davies, Walter Pach, and Walt Kuhn as they worked tirelessly to bring a new art to a new American audience.

Produced by 217 Films.  Written, directed and narrated by Michael Maglaras.  Executive Producer Terri Templeton.  2013.  NR.  90 Minutes.  www.two17films.com

Thursday, June 18, 2015

TIME -- Harry Hopkins Starts Work (May 22, 1933)

Terri Templeton, Diana Hopkins Halsted
and Michael Maglaras
Last night, we screened our new film "Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to a thoughtful and enthusiastic audience.

We were honored to have Diana Hopkins Halsted and her family attend.  Diana is the daughter of Harry Hopkins, who our film is dedicated to.

Earlier this month, TIME featured Harry Hopkins' work on the New Deal as one of the 25 moments that changed America.  We could not agree more.

"People don't eat in the long run; they eat every day." 
~ Harry Hopkins

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New WPA Film Screens at the Smithsonian

Last week, filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films screened their new film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” to a standing room only crowd at the New Britain Museum American Art.     

On June 17, “Enough to Live On” will be shown again at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

This film celebrates the eightieth anniversary of the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Art Project and tells the story of how the New Deal used the arts to bring a message of hope and recovery to the American people (2015, 94 minutes).  Join a docent-led tour of the museum’s New Deal artworks before the screening. 

View clips from the film at this link. 

What:  Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” introduced by filmmaker Michael Maglaras.   A Q&A session will follow the screening.

When:  Wednesday, June 17
Gallery Talk – 5:30pm
Film Screening – 6:30pm

Where:  Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gallery Talk - Meet in F Street Lobby
Film Screening – McEvoy Auditorium

Tickets: Free


The full screening schedule for this film is at this link.  New screening dates are being added frequently so be sure to keep your eye on this page.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Orson Welles: A Tale of Two Macbeths

Orson Welles in 1937.
In 1937, Orson Welles recreated Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” as taking place not in Scotland...but in Haiti.

What became known as the “Voodoo Macbeth” ran in New York City for weeks and toured America for months.  

It is, and remains, an outstanding example of the innovative arts of the Works Progress Administration.

Martin Keady writes in “The Shakespeare Standard” about Orson Welles, the Bard and the part they played in WPA funded theatre.

Read his article at this link.

Join 217 Films at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on June 17 at 6:30pm to see remarkable scenes from Orson Welles’ WPA production of “Macbeth” in our new film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA.”

The actor Jack Carter as Macbeth.
The film celebrates the eightieth anniversary of the WPA and the Federal Art Project and tells the story of how the New Deal used the arts to bring a message of hope and recovery to the American people (2015, 94 minutes).



Filmmaker Michael Maglaras will introduce the film and a reception will follow.

Join a docent-led tour of the museum’s New Deal artworks before the screening.

The full details of this free screening at the Smithsonian are at this link.   

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Director's Statement - Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA

By Michael Maglaras

Eighty years ago in 1935, as we were in the middle of the Great American Depression, many people asked whether America’s best days were behind her.

From time to time, as I am stunned by what I see and read in today’s news, I ask that same question, as I am sure many of you do. It is not a rhetorical question. It is a question worth asking…are America’s best days behind her?

Franklin Roosevelt was convinced that the way to rebuild our confidence in ourselves was to return us to work. Labor. Toil. Effort. On May 6, 1935, FDR signed an executive order authorizing the creation of the Works Progress Administration…the WPA.

 It was an effort aimed at simply putting us all back to work. That effort included, by August 1935, artists, musicians, writers, actors, and others who could have been handed a pick or shovel, but instead were handed an opportunity, through their art, to help us understand what had happened to us in October 1929, what we were continuing to endure, and, through our engagement with the arts of the WPA, understand how we could dig ourselves out of the horrific mess we had so blithely gotten ourselves into.

FDR knew, somehow instinctively, that creative Americans could play a role in America’s rebirth. Sure, the creative endeavors sponsored by the federal government…the early work of the Public Works of Art Project, the later work of the Section under the Treasury Department, and culminating in the enormous efforts of the Federal Art Project, the Federal Music Project, the Federal Theater Project, and the Federal Writers Project…were all first and foremost work relief efforts. With equal certainty, however, I can state that this deep intervention by the federal government into the creative lives of Americans enriched our society, helped to rebuild it, and helped to sustain it through the dark days of breadlines, abject poverty, and profound despair.

In my film “Enough toLive On: The Arts of the WPA,” the story I wanted to tell is a story at multiple levels. It is the story of what happens when a government understands that a worker picking up an artist’s brush or sitting down at a piano is actually “working.” It is a story about perseverance: if the first idea doesn't work, try something else. It is equally a story about the enrichment of the human spirit through what we see on the walls of a public building or hear at a concert or watch as a play unfolds. In each case, and through each experience, we individually participate in the re-weaving of the fabric of our society. We began to see it in 1935. We continue to see it in 2015. Public support for the arts, your attendance at one of my films, your support of your local symphony orchestra or theater troupe or arts and crafts project is, each day of the week, the stuff of which the rebuilding of our society and the recreation of ourselves continues.

Are America’s best days behind her? The answer lies in the words of the 19th century English critic and painter John Ruskin, who wrote, “The history of a nation is written in three books: the book of its wars, the book of its deeds, and the book of its arts.”

~~~
Image credits:

1)  Detail: Life of Action, Carl W. Peters, 1937. Mural. Photography: Fotowerks/St. Clair Photo Imaging, Rochester, NY

2)  Detail: Life of Contemplation, Carl W. Peters, 1937. Mural. Photography: Fotowerks/St. Clair Photo Imaging, Rochester, NY

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Susan Dunne Goes Behind the Scenes of New Film on the Arts of the WPA




Susan Dunne of the Hartford Courant takes you behind the scenes of 217 Films' new documentary on the arts of the WPA.  Read her article at this link.

Don't miss the world premiere of "Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA" this Thursday, May 14th at the New Britain Museum of American Art.  More information at this link.  

View clips from the film at this link.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Connecticut Magazine Features 217 Films


The New Britain Museum of American Art brings you the film.  Kate Hartman at Connecticut Magazine brings you the story.  Read all about the May 14 world premiere of our new film "Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA" at this link.

WHAT:  World Premiere of 217 Films’ Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA”
A special red carpet event. 

WHEN:  Thursday, May 14 at 6:00 PM (5:30 PM reception) 
           
WHERE:  New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., New Britain, Connecticut

COST:  Tickets $20 Members | $25 Non-Members - Information at this link.

FMI:  Heather Whitehouse, TEL:  860-229-0257 Ext. 203, whitehouseh@nbmaa.org