Monday, June 23, 2014

Armory Show Film Summer and Fall Screening Dates

217 Films Announces Summer and Fall Screening Dates for “The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show”

217 Films has announced the summer and fall screening schedule for its new documentary on the 1913 Armory Show.  

The next screening of The Great Confusion:  The1913 Armory Show” will be held Wednesday, July 16 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.  A special tour and reception with the director will be held just prior to the screening.  More information can be found at:

Additional upcoming screenings include:

August 2, 2014
National Gallery of Art
Washington, D.C.

September 3, 2014
Naro Expanded Cinema
Norfolk, VA

October 26, 2014
Gari Melchers Home & Studio at Belmont
Falmouth, VA

The director will introduce each of these screenings and take questions following the film.

New dates are being added frequently and this film tour will continue through 2014.

217 Films' sixth film “Enough to Live On: The Art of the WPA” will be released in 2015 in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Federal Art Project under Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.  Read a recent article about this new film at this link.  

The Sacramento Bee called Michael Maglaras a filmmaker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” (National Gallery of Art) “alive and fresh” (Art New England) “elegiac and insightful” (Naples Daily News) and “unforgettable” (Journal of American History).  David Berona, author of “Wordless Books” has said of “O Brother Man” --“This film is stunning” and Judith Regan of Sirius XM called it “magnificent.” A recent review in The Dartmouth said of “The Great Confusion” that “Michael Maglaras...brought the drama of the original show back to life.” He has recently been featured in a full-length interview on “Conversations from Penn State” on Public Television.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shooting Begins for WPA Documentary

Read original story at this link.

Film makers visit to shoot documentary

PORTLAND — Bob Reynolds came north to tell a story Monday morning. Michael Maglaras came north to hear it.
Maglaras, co-owner of 217 Films, sat with Reynolds in the library on the third floor of the Masonic Temple at 415 Congress St.
"It happened in 1930 when my father came home and said he had lost his job," Reynolds began.
"What happened?" asked Maglaras, getting Reynolds to focus on specific memories of the Great Depression. Such memories are at the heart of 217's documentary film on the Works Progress Administration.
Maglaras and Reynolds are both from Connecticut, but for the sixth time, 217 was in Portland to shoot a movie.
"Its a great crew and a great place to film," Maglaras said. "We have people who can take over a funky space like this."
Planned for release in February 2015, "Enough to Live On: The Art of the WPA," will mark the 80th anniversary of the creation of the agency by President Franklin Roosevelt as part of his New Deal to fight the Depression's economic ravages.
Maglaras and co-owner Terri Templeton have made five movies about American art and artists in the early-20th century. But Maglaras said the WPA's employment of artists, musicians and writers to create public works drew special interest.
"What we've got is a spirit of 'can-do' and 'let's make it work,'" Maglaras said. "Artists are our fellow citizens and they deserve to be employed."
Maglaras's film, set in 1935, will look at how the WPA employed painters including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Marsden Hartley, as well as photographer Berenice Abbott.
Reynolds, 90, is the author of a memoir titled "What a Life! Footprints in the Sands of Time." But Monday's filming was his first. His memories and the comments of Erika Doss, a history professor at the University of Notre Dame, will provide context for "Enough to Live On."
“I haven't had this much fun since I got married," Reynolds said.
He recounted how his father, a World War I veteran, lost his job, upsetting a comfortable home life that included a nanny and a fashionable 1926 Dodge with leather seats.
Reynolds also remembered going to prep school with Hollywood legend Jack Lemmon, and appearing onstage in drag opposite Lemmon because the school did not admit girls.
Some of those recollections may not make the film's final cut, but Reynolds' ease in front of the camera impressed Maglaras.
"George Clooney, eat your heart out," he said with a laugh.
Maglaras worked through a demanding schedule with help from locals Tom Eichler on sound, production assistant Andrea Nilosek, set decorator Kent Lanigan, and grip Mike Panenka. The crew was hired by 217 production manager Ramsey Tripp, to the delight of Maglaras.
"You build a rapport with people, they can read my mind," Maglaras said.
Maglaras, an insurance consultant and a trained opera singer, has also appeared in his own films. He played Hartley in the first 217 production, "Cleophas and His Own: A North Atlantic Tragedy." The 2005 film is based on an unreleased manuscript, found after Hartley's death in 1943, detailing a family tragedy in Nova Scotia.
Maglaras said the beauty of the WPA was its inclusion. For example, despite the largely segregated era, Roosevelt banned racial discrimination in the WPA's hiring of artists and writers. Today, the visual results adorn walls in post offices and other public buildings throughout the country.
"You can walk up and down Congress Street and see art in windows, but this was about paying American painters, writers musicians to participate in our society," Maglaras said.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter:@DavidHarry8.