Museum of Fine Arts - Boston Nov. 9th 3pm
Previous Festival Screenings:
Maine Jewish Film Festival
Independent Film Festival Boston
Woods Hole Film Festival
"A Great Triumph"
Edgar Allen Beem
This beautiful film ... takes the wind out of you."
Sebastian Smee, Boston Globe
"A masterpiece of intimacy in the face of tragedy … an extraordinary accomplishment."
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Daniel Kany, Maine Sunday Telegram
Hollyhock, Jon Imber, 2011, oil on canvas
"There's something breathless, and breathtaking, about the dexterity and daring of Imber's brushwork; it recalls 18th century Japanese Zen painting, which abandoned control for capturing the spirit of the moment."
Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe
Hear the Keith Shortall, MPBN interview with director Richard Kane
recorded April 4, 2014.
Boston Globe review
April 23, 2014 by art critic Sebastian Smee
Maine Sunday Telegram review
March 30, 2014 by Daniel Kany
Downeast Magazine essay
July 2014 by Edgar AllenBeem
The film is now on the Festival circuit which is getting a great deal of notice for Jon Imber's work as well as the Maine Masters series of films. The film will broadcast on Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) TBA. We have also received the interest of the American Public Television (APT) to syndicate the Maine Masters series nationally. However a fund raising campaign will be needed toraise the funds to re-package and insure the series for national broadcast. More information on that forthcoming.
The DVD will be released in November 2014 and can be purchased at www.mainemasters.com. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on DVDs.
Jon Imber and Jill Hoy
In the summer of 2012, painter Jon Imber was diagnosed with a fatal degenerative disease, ALS.
Imber’s Left Hand tells the story of this artist’s courageous and sometimes darkly humorous response to such a sentence. The film traces his adaptations, switching from painting with his right hand to his left, and then to both hands as the condition worsens. Adversity only makes him more determined to paint, and paint he does: more than 100 portraits in a three-month span.
In the film we first encounter Imber in his Somerville, MA studio. He and his partner, painter Jill Hoy, analyze a self-portrait and talk about the anxiety to come. The painting becomes an unsettling metaphor of Imber’s psychological journey living into his dying through his art.
In one scene, while reviewing family photos, he comes across a picture of himself at nine at a Passover Seder. Hoy says it’s his Judaism that’s at the root of who he is. “How so?” Imber asks, to which Hoy replies, “Your delivery, your being, your responsibility,your search, your quest for the integrity of what you do. I thinkthat there's a very deep root there.”
The way in which Imber carries on that search against the greatest of odds is at the heart of this portrait. Especially moving is the way in which members of the Stonington, Maine community rally to support Imber—dropping by to give him a back rub or bring a dish to eat—even as he invites them to have their portraits painted.
In the end, Imber’s Left Hand is a testament to the life-givingforce that is art and the ability of two people and their community to face an uncertain future with passion and resolve.