CAMERAPERSON screening and POST REALISM SEMINAR #17 with filmmaker Kirsten Johnson

Monday May 20, 2019 7 PM Communications 150 (Studio C)
CAMERAPERSON with filmmaker KIRSTEN JOHNSON
co-sponsored by Porter College and Film + Digital Media

Documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson (Citizenfour, Fahrenheit 9/11) has spent decades traveling the world, amassing a treasure trove of footage that she has assembled into an insightful, visually bold memoir about the power of images.

 A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage collected over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson.

Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. A hybrid work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.

Screening is open to the public and accessible to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing on request.


POST-REALISM SEMINAR #17
Navigating the Visible and Invisible of Identities and Systems When Filming

Monday May 20, 2019 2:30-5 PM Communications 113 (Studio D)

Camerawork is a practice that engages the body, the intellect, aesthetics, the instincts and the heart. I think of the moving images I create as relationships that get made in a vivid present moment but move forward endlessly into an unknown future. In this dynamic between those who film and those who are filmed, identities, context and power matter, yet are often unknowable and invisible. I assume that my visual searching is profoundly subjective, in spite of the observational and investigative work I do. My actions as I film and the images that emerge are full of blindspots, misapprehensions, and projections. This workshop opens up the questions of how to enjoy navigating the challenges of this multi-level work with rigor, kindness and aspiration.


KIRSTEN JOHNSON is currently grappling with her father’s dementia and the state of the planet by making a comedy about death. Her film Cameraperson premiered at Sundance 2016, was short-listed for an Academy Award, won the National Board of Review “Freedom of Expression” prize, and was named one of the ‘Top Ten Films of 2016’ by The Washington Post and The New York Times. Her short film, The Above premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival and was nominated for the IDA Best Short of 2016. Kirsten’s camerawork has appeared in the Academy Award-winning Citizenfour, Academy Award-nominated The Invisible War, Tribeca Documentary winner, Pray The Devil Back To Hell, and Cannes winner Farenheit 9/11. She is curious about the future of image literacy, the nature of subjectivity, and believes in cinema.



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