by Robert Gardner, produced by Studio7Arts
28 programs, 1972-1981
Screening Room was a 1970s Boston television series that invited independent filmmakers to show and discuss their work on a commercial (ABC-TV) affiliate station. This unique program, developed and hosted by filmmaker Robert Gardner, dealt even-handedly with animation, documentary, and experimental film, welcoming such artists as Jean Rouch, Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage*, Hollis Frampton, Yvonne Rainer, and Michael Snow. Frequently, guests such as Octavio Paz, Stanley Cavell and Rudolph Arnheim appeared as well. The filmmakers presented on the show are now considered the most influential contributors to their respective genres and the footage is invaluable for students, scholars and lovers of film.
Nearly 100 episodes were broadcast between 1972 and 1981. Thirty years later, the Museum of TV and Radio in New York copied the 2” master tapes and subsequently nearly thirty programs have been edited for release. These DVDs contain conversations with filmmakers about their work as well as excerpts or, more frequently, the full-length films themselves. In 2008 Gardner received an Anthology Film Archives Film Preservation Award for this series.
Regularly priced at $1200, the full series (25 DVD packages/28 programs) is now being offered directly from Studio7Arts for a limited time for only $750. The institution price per program is $175, so this deep discount provides departments and libraries an affordable opportunity to augment their reference collections with this rich resource. These DVDs were produced in limited numbers; there are no immediate plans for additional production.
*Marylyn Brakhage has taken legal action to prevent the distribution of the Stan Brakhage Screening Room DVD despite the pleading of leading critics and scholars who have argued the importance of these programs to a fuller understanding of Stan Brakhage’s film legacy. While still alive Stan Brakhage supported the release of these programs as long as they did not infringe on his exclusive arrangement with Criterion, which they have not. Nevertheless, Stan’s widow has insisted that their distribution stop. Interested scholars and fans may contact us directly or watch the fantastic DVD Criterion has produced of Stan's films.
Robert Gardner & Stan Brakhage
Robert Gardner & Robert Fulton
John Whitney Sr.