Part of LEF Foundation’s project exploring Boston’s unique documentary legacy, “Facing Realities” is a mobile film series that pairs filmmakers and their works for an in-depth dialogue about their own – and each other's – work, influences, and inspirations. This program presents two filmmakers close to the heart of Boston’s non-fiction world: Robb Moss and his former Harvard student Amanda Micheli. Over the past thirty years, Moss has established himself as a major pioneer in personal documentary filmmaking. A student of Ed Pincus and Ricky Leacock while at M.I.T. in the 1970s, Moss has since created candid, raw, brave first person films including The Tourist and The Same River Twice. His films are enriched with poetic imagery, philosophical inquiry, and an uncanny gift for finding the extraordinary in quotidian details and rituals. Amanda Micheli has established her own voice in documentary, working as director and cinematographer on her own work, including Double Dare, as well as being in demand as a cinematographer on others projects, such as Lauren Greenfield’s film Thin. With her Oscar-nominated La Corona, Micheli builds on the legacy of her teacher, Robb Moss, and those who influenced him, continuing New England’s innovative documentary tradition.
Screening thirty years after its making, River Dogs is a lyrical chronicle of a thirty-five day river trip along the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. Moss' inspired photography shapes what becomes a meditation on youth, nature, and an idyllic, fleeting moment in time. La Corona captures the pride and vulnerability of a group of Colombian women prisoners as they compete in their prison's fiercely competitive beauty pageant. Sharing her former Harvard professor's innate skills for multi-layered imagery and inspired composition, Micheli eschews sensationalism and crafts a film about universal desires for love, independence, and acceptance. As a bridge between the two filmmakers's work, we'll screen an excerpt from Moss' follow-up to River Dogs, 2003's Same River Twice, including a critical scene photographed by Micheli.