Hillevi and I are at “THE FLAAAHERTY” Pills . Having arrived, we’ve added a few self-conscious ‘A’s to the film seminar named after explorer and documentarian Robert Flaherty. I only understood the gathering before through its somewhat cultish mythology, prevelant among the few out there who are absolutely committed to daring non-fiction films. It is a week long and has an ambitous and potentially exhausting schedule of screenings and discussions. Unlike a festival or almost all other cultural-binge activity, the films are kept entirely secret until they are screened. It’s like box after box of crackerjacks; you just don’t know what little prize you might get. With the thoughtfulness of this year’s curator, Chi-hui Yang, however, everyone seems to be expecting the best.
I hope to record some thoughts and reflections here over the course of the seminar, but all I can say right now is that it is a total pleasure to be engaged in this attempt at a temporary utopia. Projects with such pure idealist principals seem few and far between these days, especially outside of the academic sphere. But, given an appropriate level of skeptical awareness, I think they can be really transformative experiences. We shall see. Maybe Hillevi will turn into a frog… she noticed they were strangely absent from Colgate’s idylic campus in Hamilton, NY.