Apr 222010

NOC staff

James Baker Hall: Elbow of Light, premiering in Lexington on Friday, April 30, is not quite documentary and not quite biography—it may best be described as a meditation on art, spirit, and tenacity in the life of one of Kentucky’s most celebrated teachers and creators. Shot in the year before Hall’s death, the film offers intimate interviews with him and his wife, writer Mary Ann Taylor-Hall. Hall discusses the tragedy of his childhood, his life-long recovery from that tragedy, his life as an artist and teacher, and his method of working. Continue reading »

Mar 272010

Learning a New Art Form to Tell the Story of James Baker Hall

By Whitney Baker

When I asked James Baker Hall if I could do a film on his life, his work, his teaching, I imagined a viewer who didn’t know life could be transformed through writing and art. At one time, I was that person, locked in to a cycle of confusion, rehashing the same unresolved stories and arguments about life, death, beauty and destruction. Without giving ourselves the right to be surprised by creation and re-creation, we spin our wheels, and our resentments entrench rather than pass away.

Jim helped us understand art’s role in letting go of old ideas and opening one’s self to new ones. He agreed to let me make the film. The only issue was, I knew nothing about making a film. Continue reading »