Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry Film Screening

Lowcountry Local First, Grow Food Carolina, Lowcountry Street Grocery, Blue Bicycle Books & CMH:

Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry Film Screening

Poetry Reading by Marcus Amaker Before The Film

Tue · October 3, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

$5.00

More Info:
http://lookandseefilm.com/

Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry Film Screening
The Charleston Music Hall, Lowcountry Local First, Grow Food Carolina, Lowcountry Street Grocery & Blue Bicycle Books are excited to present a film screening of Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry on October 3rd at 7pm. WENDELL BERRY, writer, poet, teacher, farmer, and outspoken citizen of an endangered world, gives us a compelling vision of the good and true life. Passionate, eloquent, and painfully articulate, in more than fifty works – novels, short stories, poems and essays -- he celebrates a life lived in close communion with neighbors and the earth while addressing many of our most urgent cultural problems. Rather than train the lens on Berry himself, as would be an expected and more typical approach, Look & See allows Berry, in a sense, to point the camera toward the stories and landscapes he would have us regard: the stories of small generational farmers in Henry County as a way to better understand the struggles, hopes and vital importance of rural land-based communities. Marcus Amaker, the City of Charleston's first Poet Laureate, will open the evening with a spoken word performance. Terence Malick & Robert Redford are the Executive Producers for the film with Nick Offerman serving as a co-producer.

About Wendell Berry

WENDELL BERRY, writer, poet, teacher, farmer, and outspoken citizen of an endangered world, gives us a compelling vision of the good and true life. Passionate, eloquent, and painfully articulate, in more than fifty works – novels, short stories, poems and essays -- he celebrates a life lived in close communion with neighbors and the earth while addressing many of our most urgent cultural problems. A fierce and caring critic of American culture and a long-time trusted guide for those seeking a better, healthier, saner world, he has farmed a hillside in his native Henry County, Kentucky, together with his wife, for more than forty years.

Over the years, Berry has received the highest honors including the National Medal of Arts and Humanities, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award. Much has been said and written about his work.

Here are some examples:

“Berry once again carves out a unique position in American social debate: not liberal (he hates big government), not conservative (he hates big corporations), not libertarian (he would balance individual rights along with those of the commonwealth), but always sharp-tongued and aglow with common sense.” - Kirkus Reviews

“As a poet, [Berry] has stood apart from the categories and controversies of the literary world, writing in language neither modern nor postmodern, making poems that have the straightforward elegance of the Amish furniture in his farmhouse. And in recent decades, he has produced a body of political thought, in a series of essays and speeches, that is so Jeffersonian it seems almost un-American in today’s world.” Smithsonian

"Berry's poems shine with the gentle wisdom of a craftsman who has thought deeply about the paradoxical strangeness and wonder life." Christian Science Monitor

“Berry is a prophet of our healing.” New York Times Book Review

Wendell Berry writes at a long, deep work counter fastened to the wall and floor beneath a forty-paned window. “A grid with more than two dimensions, a way to measure and to frame anything of his choosing,” close friend James Baker Hall describes, the window serves as a metaphorical lens for his mind’s eye.

About the Film

The most powerful way to draw a portrait of such an accomplished thinker and artist with a painfully lucid voice is to attempt to get behind his eyes and to imagine the world as he sees it. Rather than train the lens on Berry himself, as would be an expected and more typical approach, this film allows Berry, in a sense, to point the camera toward the stories and landscapes he would have us regard: the stories of small generational farmers in Henry County as a way to better understand the struggles, hopes and vital importance of rural land-based communities.

Food and agriculture have become popular topics recently, but of all the major voices on this collections of issues, Wendell’s is the only one coming from rural America. How can we have a real discussion of food and agriculture if we don’t begin to truly regard, understand and better care for our rural communities and farmers?


Synopsis:
LOOK & SEE revolves around the divergent stories of several residents of Henry County, Kentucky who each face difficult choices that will dramatically reshape their relationship with the land and their community.

In 1965, Wendell Berry returned home to Henry County, where he bought a small farm house and began a life of farming, writing and teaching. This lifelong relationship with the land and community would come to form the core of his prolific writings. A half century later Henry County, like many rural communities across America, has become a place of quiet ideological struggle. In the span of a generation, the agrarian virtues of simplicity, land stewardship, sustainable farming, local economies and rootedness to place have been replaced by a capital-intensive model of industrial agriculture characterized by machine labor, chemical fertilizers, soil erosion and debt - all of which have frayed the fabric of rural communities. Writing from a long wooden desk beneath a forty-paned window, Berry has watched this struggle unfold, becoming one of its most passionate and eloquent voices in defense of agrarian life.

Filmed across four seasons in the farming cycle, LOOK & SEE blends observational scenes of farming life, interviews with farmers and community members with evocative, carefully framed shots of the surrounding landscape. Thus, in the spirit of Berry’s agrarian philosophy, Henry County itself will emerge as a character in the film - a place and a landscape that is deeply interdependent with the people that inhabit it.

Quote:
As I see, the farmer standing in his field, is not isolated as simply a component of a production machine. He stands where lots of lines cross – cultural lines. The traditional farmer, that is the farmer who was first independent, who first fed himself off his farm and then fed other people, who farmed with his family and who passed the land on down to people who knew it and had the best reasons to take care of it... that farmer stood at the convergence of traditional values... our values.”
Poetry Reading by Marcus Amaker Before The Film
Poetry Reading by Marcus Amaker Before The Film
Marcus Amaker is Charleston, South Carolina’s first Poet Laureate.

When he was 10, he wrote “When I grow up, I want to be a rock star like Prince.” Since then, his love for the purple one inspired him to pursue art in all of its forms.

He’s a well-known graphic/web designer and videographer, producing award-winning work for many local nonprofits and organizations. He’s also the lead graphic designer for the national music magazine, No Depression.

In 2016, Marcus was named Charleston, South Carolina’s first Poet Laureate, as appointed by Mayor John Tecklenburg. His seventh book, Mantra, is also an app, featuring audio, video and new poems. Marcus’ poems have been featured on TEDx, PBS Newshour, A&E, the Huffington Post, several journals and poetry collections.

In 2017, He was named one of Charleston’s 50 Most Influential people by Charleston Business Magazine.

As a musician, he’s recorded more than 15 albums, including a poetry and jazz album with Grammy-nominated drummer Quentin E. Baxter. No matter how old he gets, Marcus’ most famous song will be “Big Butt,” written when he was 10 years old.

Marcus graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He worked in newspapers for 12 years. During that time, he was the editor of the Post and Courier’s Charleston Scene entertainment section.

But, most importantly, he still loves Prince (RIP) and is obsessed with Star Wars.

photo by jonathan boncek
Venue Information:
Charleston Music Hall
37 John Street
Charleston, South Carolina, 29403
http://charlestonmusichall.com/