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Citizen Blue: The Life and Art of Cinema Master James Blue

  • Directed by Dan Miller
  • Oregon, 2017, 60 mins., English

University of Oregon professor Dan Miller’s new film explores the legacy of Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, educator, and historian James Blue. Blue (1930–80), a U of O (and Portland’s Jefferson High School) graduate, is regarded as one of the important voices in social activist filmmaking, an early driving force in media arts education, and a catalyst in the formation of regional film arts organizations. Blue is best known for his Cannes Film Festival prizewinning The Olive Trees of Justice (1962), about a Frenchman returning to his native Algiers to witness mass exploitation. His other important films remain classics, including The March (1964), which chronicled the civil rights march on Washington and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech, and A Few Notes on Our Food Problem (1968), about the growing issue of hunger around the world. Blue was founder of the Rice Media Center in Houston and was a leader in the movement to democratize media access and production across America. Following the screening, Miller will be joined by brother Richard Blue; Pacific Film Archive founder, author, filmmaker, and NWFC visionary Sheldon Renan; Founding member of the Northwest Film Center, Brooke Jacobson, and Oregon film chronicler Anne Richardson for a discussion on James Blue’s legacy and how he helped create the stage upon which they sit. Presented in partnership with the James Blue Alliance.

Appears in: Northwest Tracking

Genres: Documentary