Filmmakers such as Phil Solomon, Abigail Child and Nathaniel Dorsky have acknowledged the poetry of John Ashbery as a profound influence on their own work. Ashbery’s radical play with meaning, form and syntax can be seen as providing some of the underpinning for the experimentation with montage and with the treatment of the image by filmmakers as otherwise disparate as Dorsky, Child and Solomon. This program offers three examples.
Legendary RKO producer Val Lewton's most intensely personal and unnerving film, The Seventh Victim is also one of the great American films of the World War II years, and one of the few to render vivid the uncertainty and underlying anguish of the period. In her effulgent screen debut, Kim Hunter stars as a tender young woman who cautiously leaves her repressive orphanage school to search for her elder sister, who has disappeared ominously somewhere in Greenwich Village. Introduced to the film by his Harvard classmate Edward Gorey, Ashbery later wrote "Despite its second-tier cast and modest production values, The Seventh Victim captures the weird poetry of New York in a way that few films have ever done."
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