Special screening of THE MARCH, the essential film of the Civil Rights Movement and MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech; directed by Oregon’s first Oscar-nominated, Cannes Critics Prize winning filmmaker, JAMES BLUE
The Blue Family presents the screening of The March on Monday, January 19, 7 pm at the Waypost, 3120 N. Williams Avenue, followed by Q&A and local jazz band, Mohawk Avenue
WHAT: Screening of the celebrated documentary of The March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. presents his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, captured on film by award-winning Oregonian filmmaker JAMES BLUE
WHEN: Monday, January 19, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Waypost Coffee House & Tavern, 3120 N. Williams Avenue at N. Fargo, Portland
WHO: Introduced by James Blue’s nephew, Daniel Blue; followed by Q&A on the film
Who was James Blue? Revolutionary and award-winning filmmaker, rebel, and change agent for social justice James Blue died in 1980 at 49 leaving behind a remarkable legacy. The intensely ambitious filmmaker, who graduated from Jefferson High School and University of Oregon, turned his back on a Hollywood career to focus on democratizing media production.
Few people know that it was Blue who directed The March (1964), the essential film of the Civil Rights Movement featuring Martin Luther King’s celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. In 2008, “The March” was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry taking its place among the most important films ever made. Add to that, among some of Blue’s students while he was teaching at UCLA were rocker Jim Morrison (The Doors) and Francis Ford Coppola. You would think with such lofty credentials, James Blue would be a recognizable name in American film history, but as remarkable as his accomplishments are, his American obscurity is even more so.
So why do so few know about James Blue? Legally bound by one employer, the United States Information Agency (USIA) and the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act, which dictated that US propaganda films not be distributed in America, Blue’s films could not be shown in his home country. It didn’t help his notoriety in the U.S. that his early films were made in foreign languages and in foreign countries and not about subject matter germane to most Americans at the time. Blue’s work for the USIA included A Few Notes on Our Food Problem, which won an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
Thirty more years would pass before the name James Blue would attach itself to his international reputation of revolutionary filmmaker in America.
About the James and Richard Blue Foundation
The mission of the James and Richard Blue Foundation is to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of award-winning filmmaker James Blue (1930—1980) and to support film educators, filmmakers, researchers and students whose values and activities advance his vision of ‘participatory media.’ James Blue was an unconventional documentarian who used film to help marginalized communities tell their own stories while helping audiences better understand the complexities of the human condition. His life’s work had profound implications for social justice as he documented the hopes and dreams of people whose voices are rarely—if ever—heard by people in power. One of Blue’s most inspiring films, “The March” (1964), is considered the essential documentary of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr.’s celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. This year the foundation will bequeath the entire body of James Blue’s works and memoirs to the University of Oregon Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. The organization collaborates with the University of Oregon to preserve, conserve, restore and utilize the entire body of James Blue’s media legacy while supporting education in the art and craft of documentary filmmaking. The foundation aims to advance the core values of James Blue’s passion for using media to explore, connect and empower voiceless communities by awarding annual grants to students and emerging filmmakers who exemplify his artistry. For more on James Blue and his contributions to international film, visit www.jamesblue.org, http://jamesblue.uoregon.edu/, www.jamesbluetribute and facebook.com/JamesandRichardBlueFoundation.
CONTACT: Claudia Johnson, 503-799-2220, firstname.lastname@example.org