A major voice in the use of film as personal essay, queer documentarian Jenni Olson has been making 16mm durational urban landscape voiceover films for more than 20 years. Her feature-length essay films The Joy of Life (2005) and The Royal Road (2015) both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and have earned awards and acclaim worldwide. In this presentation, Olson will share select excerpts from her work as well as discussing her unique storytelling style—in her films, contemplative 16mm urban California landscapes are accompanied by lyrical essayistic voiceovers reflecting on an eclectic array of topics ranging from the history of the Mexican American War to the pleasures of pining over unavailable women.

“I’ve been filming the landscapes of San Francisco since just a few years after I arrived here. In capturing these images on film, I’m engaged in a completely impossible and yet partially successful effort to stop time.” —from The Royal Road

Positing the ambition that landscape cinema has the capacity to transform how we see the world, Olson will also discuss some of her cinematic influences and engage attendees in dialogue about broadening our expectations for film form.

In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Olson is also an acclaimed LGBT film historian, co-founder of the pioneering LGBT website PlanetOut.com, proud proprietor of Butch.org and a 2018 MacDowell Colony Fellow.

Note: An emergency snow date has been reserved for this event: March 20, 4-6 p.m., in the Keefe Campus Center Theater.

Contact Info

Heather Grimes
(413) 542-5870
Please call the college operator at 413-542-2000 or e-mail info@amherst.edu if you require contact info @amherst.edu