Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Quetzalcoatl Premiere

Preservation Week 2012 has come and gone. How did you celebrate? There were a number of great activities all over the country – I hope you were able to participate and deepen your understanding of the need to preserve our cultural heritage today so that it may be passed on to the next generation. If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to review our preservation pointers.

Dartmouth's major Preservation Week event was a public screening of the film Quetzalcoatl. You may recall from earlier posts (here and here) that funding for the film restoration was provided by a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. Part of the mission of the NFPF is to promote film exhibition and so projecting the film before an audience was a grant requirement.

Quetzalcoatl was ready for public viewing at about the same time that our colleagues at the Hood Museum of Art were preparing a major exhibit, "Men of Fire: Jose Clemente Orozco and Jackson Pollock". We decided to schedule the premiere during the "Men of Fire" exhibit (April 7 – June 17) and serendipitously Preservation Week fit right in.

April 25 was the premiere and Mary Coffey, Associate Professor of Art History, provided an introduction to an audience of fifty students and community members. She highlighted these aspects of the film:
  • The director’s use of pan and scan to emphasize parts of the mural.
  • The impact of the musical score by Theodore Newman.
  • What parts of the mural the director included and what was excluded.

What a difference it made to experience Quetzalcoatl on the big screen! After the movie, Professor Coffey took questions from the audience and many commented that the film helped them better understand Orozco's work. One person stated that although he had studied the mural, he had never before been able to see at eye level the figures of Quetzalcoatl and the Christ in the way the film maker made possible.

If you would like to view the movie, a DVD copy may be checked out from the Jones Media Center. Ask for Jones Media DVD 13348. Or you may see it on Dartmouth's YouTube channel.

If you are in the Upper Valley, be sure to visit the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College to see the "Men of Fire: Jose Clemente Orozco and Jackson Pollock" exhibit from now until June 17.

Written by Barb Sagraves.

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