Location: Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Directed by Emile de Antonio (1919–1989), 16mm, color, 90 minutes. The screening is followed by a conversation with Donna De Salvo, Douglas Kellner, and Mary Lampson.
This autobiographical swansong (released only months before Emile de Antonio’s death) captures his political voice via a personal profile, and simultaneously assaults the legacy of J. Edgar Hoover, who compiled a 10,000-page FBI dossier on the filmmaker. Gone are his predilections for archival compilation, interviews with powerbrokers, and the emphasis on montage. Instead the film is constructed largely from simple pieces of direct cinema that alternate with de Antonio’s direct address to the camera as he reflects on his life and its curious entangling with Hoover’s pathological police state. Mr. Hoover and I, he wrote in 1989, “is made of poor means but it is ambitious, more ambitious than Batman.”
This three-day screening series highlights the films of Emile de Antonio, one of the most important political filmmakers in the United States during the Cold War. The event is co-organized by Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, and Laura Poitras as part of a series of public events, lectures, and talks organized in tandem with Laura Poitras: Astro Noise. All notes and descriptions are adapted from Anthology Film Archives program notes, written by Dan Streible, co-editor of Emile de Antonio: A Reader.
Tickets are required ($10 adults, $8 members, students, and seniors). Capacity is limited; visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.