Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | August 26, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 6pm | John Gianvito in person!

John Gianvito, Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind (2007). Image courtesy of the artist.
John Gianvito, Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind (2007). Image courtesy of the artist.

Inspired by Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United StatesProfit Motive and the Whispering Wind is a quietly stunning memorial to the lives of America’s radicals, rebels, and everyday freethinkers from colonial times to the present. Filmmaker John Gianvito traveled the country for three years, filming the forgotten landscapes that once served as stages for our nation’s uprisings, rebellions, and strikes, as well as the burial sites of political firebrands like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eugene V. Debs, Emma Goldman, Malcolm X, and César Chávez. Weaving his compositions into a poignant visual history of capitalism’s discontents, Gianvito elegantly reminds us of America’s roots in idealism and dissent. Accompanied by Hope Tucker’s Bessie Cohen, Survivor of 1911 Shirtwaist Fire (2000). Co-presented by the Chicago Cinema Forum. 2007, John Gianvito, USA, DigiBeta video, 58 min.

John Gianvito is a filmmaker, curator, and teacher based in Boston, Massachusetts. Born in Staten Island, New York, he studied with directors Alexander Mackendrick and Don Levy at the California Institute of the Arts where he received his BFA in Film/Video, and received a Master of Science in Visual Studies degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied with, and eventually co-taught alongside documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock. As a film curator, he served for five years as the film programmer for the Harvard Film Archive and is currently film curator for the List Visual Arts Center at MIT.  In 2001, he was made a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. Gianvito is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College.  His writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, CinemaScope, Undercurrent, International Documentary, and elsewhere. He is the editor of the book, Andrei Tarkovsky: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 2006).

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Michael Sicinski on Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind (CinemaScope)

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