Santa Fe Film Festival,
The Heretics This film by director Joan Braderman serves as a great refresher course about the feminist movement during the 1970s. In 1971, Braderman became part of a feminist art collective. Decades later, she revisited that experience by reconnecting with her activist sisters. At the core of the film is the story of how these women, who formed the Heresies Collective, came together to create an extremely influential magazine. In 27 issues produced from 1977 to 1992, Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics presented topics too charged for mainstream publications. “ Art in America, Artnews, and Artforum ... we were publishing stuff that they would not have touched, and that made [Heresies] so much sexier and fun,” writer and collective member Elizabeth Hess says in the film. Cover stories included “The Great Goddess,” “Art in Unestablished Channels,” and “Lesbian Art and Artists.”
Braderman, Hess, and a cast of 20 other founding members, including New Mexico artists Harmomy Hammond, May Stevens, Food Fight Chris Taylor’s 2008 documentary about the rapid rise of industrialized agriculture in the United States afterWorldWar II— and the long-lasting implications that rise has had on the processing, marketing, consumption, and farming of food— takes most of its thematic cues from the gospels of AliceWaters of Chez Panisse and The Edible Schoolyard fame and food activist Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.
Fun animation and well-paced interviews withWaters, Pollan, and others (including, rather curiously, celebrity Spago chef/food-empire iconWolfgang Puck) keep the tone light while still delivering strong messages about the blossoming local-food revolution rooted in ’70s-era California, grassroots activism, and organic farming. Food Fight isn’t groundbreaking, nor does it cover anything new for those who have their radar tuned to the sustainable-food movement. But Sonoma organic farmer Bob Cannard makes a good case for taking someone else to see this film— someone, perhaps, who describes himself as a “foodie” but has absolutely no idea where his or her dinner actually comes from: “The quality of our food is measured by how it will ship, rather than how it tastes.” Not rated. 91 minutes. 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, Regal DeVargas; 10:15 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4, New Mexico History Museum.— Rob DeWalt own choice that I am in this position— the lucky one. Sometimes I feel I don’t want to be this person. ... But it’s amazing.” And so the experiment comes to an end— the U.S. has gained another ballet dancer and Cambodia may have lost a small part of its soul. Not rated. 88 minutes. 3:40 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, The Screen; 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, NDI-NM Dance Barns.— Madeleine Nicklin and Sabra Moore, as well as writer and culture critic Lucy Lippard, appear in the film. “The first [issue of Heresies] was probably the most exhilarating; that was the one where we really thought we were going to change the world,” Lippard says.
Changing the world— meaning the patriarchal power structure— was an uphill battle. “If a woman would go to an interview for a job, she’d be given a typing test, no matter what,” remarks journalist and collective member Patsy Beckert. And as Lippard recalls, “I was supposedly too cute to be here. ‘You’re too cute to be an art critic.’ Mark Rothko actually told me that.” Artist Nina Yankowitz says matter-of-factly, “It became clear to me that everything in my life, in terms of art, I was going to have to fight for.”
Braderman’s film covers a lot of ground in portraying the difficulties that women have had to overcome, both in art and politics, and that in some ways continue today. As Su Friedrich says, “People who are coming up now in their 20s and 30s ... don’t have a clue; it’s impossible to know what a vacuum we were working in compared to now.” Not rated. 95 minutes. 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, New Mexico History Museum; 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.— Douglas Fairfield Pirkle Jones: Seven Decades Photographed Jane Levy Reed’s 2008 documentary attests to the glorious vision and social conscience of photographer Jones. Among those interviewed for the film are Tim B. Wride, co-curator of a 2001 exhibition of Jones’ work; Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Kathleen Cleaver, who was secretary of communications for the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and who helped facilitate Jones’ photography of the Panthers. Jones and his wife, Ruth-Marion Baruch, put together the exhibit A Photographic Essay on the Black Panthers. Several of his portraits of Panthers Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael, and Bobby Seale are iconic.
When you watch this film, you will feel the man’s concern with justice in society, especially when it comes to events that unfolded in the San Francisco Bay Area. But you will also be enraptured with the gallery of images Jones composed during his long career, which ended with his death on March 15 of this year.
A montage of his photos presents a spider web glittering with water drops, stark buildings with open windows, a man sitting on a truck bumper, a little bait shop, three young men on a motorcycle, and Dorothea Lange photographing the destruction of a landmark tree. Jones’ portfolio includes other shots of prominent photographers, among them Minor White, EdwardWeston, and Imogen Cunningham.
Then there are the landscapes he captured in California; one stunning cityscape is View of Twin Peaks #1, San Francisco, From Fog Series, 1955. Jones was “wonderfully sensitive to the luminous skies we have,” curator Phillips says of this photographer’s photographer. The obituary that ran in The New York Times included a compliment from Jones’ mentor, Ansel Adams: “His photography is not flamboyant,
Pirkle Jones: Seven Decades Photographed