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Playing at the 2013 Mead—Allan Baldwin: In Frame and More

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“In 1967, an amateur photographer from Hastings loaded his caravan with food, film, and a Linhoff camera.” So begins the film Allan Baldwin: In Frame, a poignant odyssey of a photographer who becomes an accidental historian, after a chance encounter with an elderly Maori woman bearing a moko, or traditional chin tattoo.

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Led to believe that such markings had died out in his adoptive home of New Zealand, Baldwin goes in search of other women who still have them. The results are the magnificent portraits from the ‘60s and ‘70s that inspired Michael King’s 1972 book, Moko: Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century.        

Co-presented by the International Center of Photography, the film Allan Baldwin: In Frame will make its U.S. premiere on Saturday, October 19, in a program beginning at 8 pm. The director, New Zealand-born-and-raised actor and filmmaker Tearepa Kahi, will be in attendance.

Watch the trailer.


Baldwin’s gentle approach and the dignity he accorded his subjects is palpable throughout the film; one woman tells us how Baldwin won over her mother: “He spoke with such humility,” she says. “My mother took a shine to him.” The daughter herself was photographed in her late 20s with her baby on her back, and her tearful reunion with Baldwin late in the film is a moving testament to the enduring bond between them. Filmmaker Kahi, whose first name “Te Arepa” translates as “Beginning” and honors his mother, has created not just a loving tribute to Baldwin but to the women in the photographs and the art form that sets them apart.

Allan Baldwin: In Frame will be preceded by Irish Folk Furniture, a beautifully composed stop-motion animated short by Tony Donoghue about the repair, recycling, and repatriation of 16 pieces of traditional farmhouse furniture—in essence, folk art in an Irish village. Filmmaker Donoghue, a former zoologist, will be in attendance as well.

Watch the trailer.


 

Also on the Maori tip:

Maori culture is featured prominently in our current exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep. Also at the Mead, on Saturday, October 19, at 2:30 pm in Linder Theater, Maori spiritual practices are explored in How Far Is Heaven, a 2012 film about New Zealand’s only homegrown Catholic order of nuns, living in an isolated village. Directors Miriam Smith and Christopher Pryor will be attendance for this U.S. premiere.

Watch the trailer.


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