This monograph will consist of three programmes presented by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive and curator of this retrospective.
Anne Charlotte Robertson (Ohio 1949 Massachusetts 2012) was an American independent filmmaker whose work is characterised by her telling the story of her life in the first person in the form of a confessional chronicle that culminated in “Five Year Diary”, a monumental 36-hour-long film divided into 82 parts and made over 17 years (1981-1998).
Robertson’s struggle with loneliness and her clinical diagnosis of manic-depressive disorder is an essential part of the complex fabric of her films. “Five Year Diary” started out as a project to monitor and measure the author’s changing image in a detailed manner and, in particular, her weight changes. However, it ended up as an ambitious production in 82 parts, most of them focused on a particular event: a visit, a nervous breakdown, the traumatic death of a family member… When she turned the camera on her everyday life, Robertson discovered a kind of self-therapy, more directly expressed through the various layers of dialogue that she usually accumulated over her images, using frank comments (some of them made live during the screenings of “Five Year Diary” and added later) that reveal the deep and unstable emotions that defined her world, while at the same time giving a voice to her warm sense of humour full of self-deprecation.
“Five Year Diary” also provides a key reference point in the continuous creative evolution of Robertson, an artist who never stopped experimenting with different approaches and techniques to create a complete body of work that finds room for both crude emotions or confrontation and the tranquillity of lyrical simplicity. This retrospective in three parts highlights the variety of Robertson’s extraordinary filmmaking: it includes her early films, made before she enrolled in a postgraduate course in the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, key films from her time as a student and also a wide-ranging exhibition on “Five Year Diary”. Robertson’s films set up a fruitful dialogue with the avant-garde films and traditions incarnated in key filmmakers such as Marie Menken, Ed Pincus and Jonas Mekas, while maintaining a categorial and vital focus on her special experience of life.
The three programmes that make up this retrospective will be presented by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive, the institution to which Robertson bequeathed her films and documents shortly before she died. Mr Guest will also be a member of the Jury of the Official Selection of Punto de Vista.
This retrospective joins the one previously announced on the German and Chilean filmmakers Ute Aurand, Renate Sami, Helga Fanderl and Jeannette Muñoz, and the historical retrospective “An Oceanic Feeling”, curated by Erika Balsom.