LANDSCAPE FOR MANON Peter Hutton
Mr. Hutton(1944-2016), who made his first films in the early 1970s, spent over four decades bringing motion pictures back to the moment when the Lumière brothers invented the medium in the 1890s.
All of his films were silent. Generally devoid of camera movement and montage, they suggest sketchbooks or photographic albums. Many are reveries in which the only animation in a precisely balanced composition might come from a wayward breeze or a slight shift in illumination. Most of his films were voluptuously monochromatic. (Mr. Hutton himself was mildly colorblind.)
In a 1978 interview with Sightlines magazine, Mr. Hutton described his films as “diaristic without being autobiographical.” Beginning with “July ’71 in San Francisco, Living at Beach Street, Working at Canyon Cinema, Swimming in the Valley of the Moon” (1971), shot when he was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, his films were largely defined by place. Locations included Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, China and Iceland, as well as several American cities. The most elusive and melancholy of city symphonies, his three-part “New York Portrait,” was shot mainly in the late ’70s and early ’80s but not completed until 1990.
“Budapest Portrait (Memories of a City)” (1984-86) epitomizes Mr. Hutton’s austerely romantic worldview. The movie is a half-hour succession of moldering apartment houses and massive factories, a place of faded splendor and industrial funk, populated by lonely Stalinist monuments and revolutionary ghosts. Human presence is minimal and typically suggested at one remove by photographs, shadows or bullet holes. The city might be a stage set for an invisible drama.
Peter Barrington Hutton was born in Detroit on Aug. 24, 1944, the son of Donald Hutton and the former Dorothy Plunkett. His father worked in advertising but had earlier served in the merchant marine — an occupation that had a profound effect on the younger Mr. Hutton.
In an interview with the website Cinemad, Mr. Hutton spoke of his childhood fascination with his father’s photo albums. He later took his father’s advice and shipped out with the merchant marine.
“I paid my way through art school by working on ships,” he said. “I went to sea for a semester, then to school for a semester, back and forth from sea to school.”
Mr. Hutton had originally wanted to be a painter and studied art in Hawaii. He began making films at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts.
He later taught filmmaking at a number of schools, including Bard College, where he was the director of the film and electronic arts program, and worked as a professional cinematographer, largely on documentaries — including “Baseball” and “The Statue of Liberty,” directed by Ken Burns, a former student — and independent features.
Excerpt from J. Hoberman, Peter Hutton Filmmaker With Austerely Romantic Worldview Dies at 71. New York Times 2016/6/27(https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/movies/peter-hutton-filmmaker-with-austerely-romantic-worldview-dies-at-71.html)
HOW A MYSTERIOUS HITCHHEICKER PICKS UP THREE STONES Pasi “Sleeping” MYLLYMÄKI 8mm(digital version) / 2min. / 1979
New York Portrait Part1 Peter Hutton / 16mm／15min／1976-1978 (USA)・・・◎
LANDSCAPE FOR MANON Peter Hutton / 16mm / 13min. / 1988 (USA)
TITAN’S GOBLET Peter Hutton / 16mm / 10min. / 1991 (USA)
LODZ SYMPHONY Peter Hutton / 16mm / 20min. / 1993 (USA)
STUDY OF A RIVER Peter Hutton / 16mm / 16min. / 1996 (USA)
◎・・・Screening only in Yokohama