In collaboration with the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, with support provided by the Art Bridges Foundation and the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission, the Museum of Fine Arts is proud to present three films centered on LGBTQ artists, filmmakers, and allies and their role in advancing conversations about art, social justice, and queer visibility.
From the deeply closeted Marsden Hartley, who overtly referenced his sexuality using coded symbolism to the politically charged work of LGBT artists in the 1980s and the Black Lives Matter social justice movement of today, Stories We Tell advances our understanding of the intersection between art, LGBT visibility, and civil rights by exploring the economic and social forces connecting three distinct eras.
Together, these three films touch upon the myriad ways that art, activism, and the civil rights struggles of all peoples have been entwined throughout history.
Sunday, July 25 at 1 PM – Museum of Fine Arts (Marly Room)
“Cleophas and His Own”: In September of 1943, the typescript of a private, unpublished narrative was discovered in Corea, Maine, among the belongings of the American modernist painter and poet Marsden Hartley — just a few days after his death. This powerful and poignant elegy called Cleophas and His Own and written by Hartley to assuage his grief at the loss of a young man he loved, is now a feature-length film directed by Michael Maglaras and produced by Terri Templeton of 217 Films. The film presents Hartley (played by Maglaras) seated in his makeshift studio in Corea in 1943 where, tired and ill, he recounts a tragic story to an unseen visitor of the sad fate that befell the Francis Mason family: a family of farmers and fishermen with whom he lived on a remote island in Nova Scotia seven years before. Using Hartley’s text in its entirety and preserving the poem’s 13-chapter structure, the film uses flashbacks and employs 24 of Hartley’s paintings and drawings to tell of the events leading up to and following the Atlantic hurricane of September 19, 1936, when Hartley lost the young man who had become the love of his life. Following the death of this young man, the last seven years of Hartley’s life were devoted to reliving these experiences through poetry and painting, leaving behind a body of work, second to none in the American experience, devoted to this young man’s memory and his love the Mason family. 2 hr. 27 min. Directed by Michael Maglaras.
Virtuoso filmmaking in a rare and beautiful hybrid…Cleophas and His Own holds the viewer spellbound from start to finish. —Peggy Parsons, Director of Film, National Gallery of Art
Hypnotic…this haunting film illuminates Hartley’s life and work with a nearly Bergman-like gravitas. —Victoria Dalkey, Sacramento Bee
…a penetrating performance of understated intensity…a passionately rendered ode… —Jason Gargano, CityBeat
Free for MFA members; $5 for not-yet members
Organized by Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg
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