10 Sep

Friday Night Flick: “IRWIN” and “A Story In Stone”

Streaming Online September 18th

On Friday, September 18 treat yourself to a double feature of art-inspired filmmaking. Watch “IRWIN – A New York Story” and enjoy the story of legendary cartoonist Irwin Hasen, who was among the first group of artists to shape comic book culture. Then, “A Story In Stone” centers on the studio of Bridgeport artist and printmaker James Reed and his master work with stone lithography. Both films will be presented online, back-to-back by the Housatonic Museum of Art beginning at 7pm. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org for the film link.

“IRWIN – A New York Story” tells Irwin Hasen’s story as he recounts his colorful life as a sports cartoonist for the boxing industry and as a pioneer comic book illustrator for DC Comics. Hasen worked on features such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Wildcat, and reached nationwide celebrity in the 1950's with his newspaper strip DONDI.

The half-hour documentary “A Story In Stone” tells the story of James Reed and his studio, Milestone Graphics, where he has printed limited editions for local and nationally recognized artists. Learn about the history of stone lithography, the process used by masters such as Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Toulouse-Lautrec to reproduce some of their work.

Both films were co-directed by Dan Makara of Redding, CT and Frank Borres of Bridgeport, CT. The films are part of an exceptional online, art-inspired film series presented by Housatonic Museum of Art and curated by the Connecticut Film Festival. Mark your calendar for the entire ‘Friday Night Flicks’ series, with all films going online from the Housatonic Museum’s website at 7pm. Upcoming films in the series include:

September 25: “Actually Iconic: Richard Estes,” followed by Q&A with director Olympia Stone. Richard Estes is an icon of the photorealist movement yet he has humbly avoided media attention over his long career. “Actually, Iconic: Richard Estes" invites viewers into Estes’ world with unprecedented access to the artist and his masterpieces. Through intimate discussions of his technique and inspirations, and interviews with leading curators and critics this delicate portrait explores Estes’ pioneering genius.

October 2: “Double Take: The Art of Elizabeth King” followed by Q&A with director: Olympia Stone. Enter the world of sculptor and stop-action filmmaker Elizabeth King, who embarks on each new project by posing a single question to herself: “Can this be physically done?” This documentary explores King’s passion about the mind/body riddle, the science of emotion, the human/machine interface, and those things a robot will never be able to do. From studio to exhibition, and in conversations with fellow artists, curators and critics, the film asks what looking at and seeing one another means in an increasingly mediated world.

October 9: “Nothing Changes: Art For Hank’s Sake.” How far would you go to pursue your passion? At 87 years old, Hank Virgona commutes to his Union Square studio six days a week and makes art. Despite poor health, cancer, lack of revenue and obscurity as an artist, Hank is unrelenting in his quest to understand how life and art are the same.

October 16: “Curious Worlds: The Art & Imagination of David Beck.” This film pulls back the curtain on artist David Beck: a master sculptor, carver, and miniature architect who works in a fantastical genre all his own, creating intricate worlds that are alive with magical and brilliant observations. His pieces have been shown at the MET, the Guggenheim, and some of the world’s most prominent galleries. His work, "MVSEVM" was commissioned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where it is on permanent display. To the larger public, though, he is virtually unknown.

October 23: “The Original” followed by Q&A with director and artist, Richard McMahan, and “Little Fiel,” followed by Q&A with director Irina Patkanian and “A Day With Barkley Hendricks.” Outsider artist Richard McMahan is on a quest to painstakingly re-create thousands of famous and not-so-famous paintings and artifacts in miniature. From well-loved Picasso and Frida Kahlo paintings to the more obscure, McMahan has mastered dozens of genres over 30 years. “Little Fiel” is a stop motion animation/documentary loosely based on the life story of Mozambican artist Fiel dos Santos who grew up during the 16-year civil war. Fiel created eight figures representing his family from dismantled civil war guns. Three New York artists turned them into puppets and created immersive stop-motion animation, inspired by Fiel’s memories. Barkley Hendricks is considered one of the great painters of the mid-to-late 20th century, hear this great artist discuss his work, life and creativity.

October 30: “The Light of Fire” and “8000 Paperclips.” In “The Light of Fire,” a fire destroys American-Israeli artist Yoram Raanan’s studio and forty years of his work. But when he begins painting again, startling images he's never painted before emerge, and he and his family begin to realize how different everything has become. 8000 Paperclips “8000 Paper Clips” explores the value of art, Israeli artist and TED Fellow, Raffael Lomas’s own history with depression and struggle, and what humans need – no matter their national status. It follows a group of extraordinary young people as they overcome adversity and build hope for their future – with the support of a team of people whose hearts they have touched.

November 6: ‘With Dad” followed by Q&A with director & photographer Stephen DiRado and the film, “Summer Spent.” The short nonfiction film “With Dad” documents the work of photographer Stephen DiRado, specifically during the period of his father’s mental decline and eventual death from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009. The film includes interview footage of DiRado, high-resolution digital scans of DiRado's work and contemporaneous digital video footage. “Summer Spent” is a 40-minute documentary depicting DiRado's obsessive, work discipline and life connected to people on Martha's Vineyard for over 25 years.

Caption For Photo Above: Dan Makara, co-director of the films ‘IRWIN” and “A Story In Stone.”


Movie poster for IRWIN – A New York Story

Caption For Photo Right: Movie poster for “IRWIN – A New York Story"


James Reed, subject of the film “A Story In Stone,” at work with stone lithography in his Milestone Graphics studio in Bridgeport, CT.

Caption For Photo Right: James Reed, subject of the film “A Story In Stone,” at work with stone lithography in his Milestone Graphics studio in Bridgeport, CT.


A behinds the scenes photo from the film A Story In Stone. Eric Mourlot (left), the grandson of French lithographer Ferdinand Mourlot, discusses the history and process of lithography with James Reed.

Caption For Photo Right: A behinds the scenes photo from the film “A Story In Stone.” Eric Mourlot (left), the grandson of French lithographer Ferdinand Mourlot, discusses the history and process of lithography with James Reed.