James Blue, Oregon’s first Oscar-nominated filmmaker, posthumously joins award-winning filmmaker James Ivory, for the launch of the Mid Century Oregon Genius screening series at Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre on October 10 and 11, 2014. Ivory comes to Portland next week to celebrate his colleague James Blue.
Mid Century Oregon Genius celebrates the first generation of sound era independent filmmakers to come from Oregon. Presented by Oregon Movies, A to Z, and directed by Oregon writer and film curator/historian Anne Richardson, the event is supported by Kinsman Foundation, Miller Foundation, James and Richard Blue Foundation and the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission.
James Ivory and James Blue both grew up in Oregon. According to Richardson, “the two Oscar-nominees crossed paths as they were building sets for a student play at the University of Oregon. Blue graduated in 1953. He was Oscar nominated for his documentary, A Few Notes on Our Food Problem, in 1969. His death at age 49 in 1980 brought an abrupt end to a career which combined filmmaking, education and advocacy.” The James and Richard Blue Foundation will soon bequeath the entire James Blue Archive to the University of Oregon.
James Ivory will attend the event to introduce his film Maurice, the winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1987. The film screens on Friday, October 10 at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets. Ivory’s Autobiography of a Princess will be screened on Saturday, October 11, 11:30a. (NOTE: Media are welcome to attend the event but Ivory will not be granting interviews, the family of James Blue will be available for interviews.)
On Saturday, October 11, 1 p.m., James Blue’s brother, Richard Blue, will introduce The Olive Trees of Justice, which won the Critics Prize at Cannes in 1962. “The Olive Trees Of Justice, James Blue’s first narrative feature, was also his last. From this point on, all his work would be in documentary. Yet a theme he returned to throughout his career – that of working with a community to express itself on film – is in full display in this, his least characteristic work,” says Richardson. Click here for tickets and more information.
The Olive Trees of Justice will be followed by a panel discussion about the life and career of James Blue. Richard Blue, the brother of James Blue, will be joined by two long time friends and colleagues of James Blue: French Canadian filmmaker James Dormeyer and Portland-based American Film Institute (AFI) Master Teacher and screenwriter Gill Dennis.
James Blue was a revolutionary and award-winning filmmaker, rebel, educator and change agent for social justice. 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.
The second half of Mid Century Oregon Genius salutes Harry Smith and Homer Groening. It will take place at the Hollywood Theatre on Jan. 16 & 17, 2015.
More information about James Ivory is available here.
More information about James Blue is available here.
Publicity stills for all three films can be found here.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Anne Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Claudia Johnson, 503-799-2220 / email@example.com at The James and Richard Blue Foundation.
About the James and Richard Blue Foundation
Established in December 2013 with an initial grant from Richard Blue, 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. 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 foundation 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.