Richard Myers’ “Marjory’s Diary”

A Screening and Discussion with the Filmmaker

  • Date: Friday, June 25, 2010, 8 P.M.
  • Where: The Forum at All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid, Pasadena (see below for directions)
  • Admission: $10.00 General: NewTown Members Free
  • Reservations: Call NewTown at (626)398-9278 or Email us at
  • From Los Angeles: Take the Pasadena Freeway to its end at Arroyo Parkway. Take Arroyo Parkway north to Colorado. Turn right on Colorado. Go about three blocks to Euclid and turn left.
  • From The Valleys: Take the 210 Freeway to Lake Avenue exit. Go south on Lake to Walnut and turn right. Take Walnut to Euclid (one block past Los Robles) and turn left.
  • Parking is in the lot directly north of the church or on the street.

About Richard Myers

NewTown is honored to present an evening with Richard Myers who, from his base on northeast Ohio, has created a body of work encapsulating America’s passage from an innocent hometown simplicity to the moral complexities of a nation at war with itself. His works display technical perfection without ostentation while presenting a highly personalized, profoundly American history, often, as in Marjory’s Diary, positing his own family as a paradigm of the nation and its families.

Myers taught at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and is particularly known for his 1970 film Confrontation at Kent State, which he filmed in Kent during the week following the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970; it is an important document of the period.

Myers began to produce independent films in the early 1960s. Many of his films are highly personal, with non-narrative or loose narrative structures derived from his dreams. Although some films (as, for example, his 1993 film Tarp) feature no actors at all, instead focusing entirely on inanimate objects, most films feature nonprofessional actors and are produced on very small budgets.

Myers’ films have been exhibited at film festivals in San Francisco, Chicago, Richmond, Virginia, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio, and elsewhere. He has presented shows at more than 100 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The filmmaker’s work also has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and he has received grants from the Guggenheim Fellowship for Filmmaking (1969, 1971), the American Film Institute (1970, 1982, 1984), the National Endowment for the Arts (1975, 1982), and the Ohio Arts Council (1975, 1979, 1982, 1985).

Myers is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as grants from the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In the Words of the Filmmaker

“Marjory’s Diary is a portrait of my mother, as told through the diaries she kept from 1924 – 1948 and in relationship to the broader intent of the movies she was influenced by during her young life. The video consists of personal photos of Marjory and her family and friends along with stories of her boyfriends and her husband, who was an alcoholic. Old photos of Marjory and her friends in her hometown Massillion, Ohio, along with pictures from dance reviews and plays are used to tell the ‘story.’ Myers’ wife, Pat, narrates the passages from the diaries.

Included in the video are shots of Marjory walking along the Massillon streets and outside the building that housed the restaurant and bar that she and her husband operated. Also included are ‘stills’ from many of the films she saw during the 20 year period. As an avid movie goer, she saw 242 movies during the years 1924 – 1948. There were probably more, but 242 titles appear in the dairies, they’re not all included in the video. The movies she saw related to the tenor of the times, and in many cases, to the tenor or her personal life!

Movie entertainment, its logic and rhythm, have always been controlling factors in American life. The movies of the twenties, thirties, and forties have been arguably one of the most pervasive, powerful and inescapable force of the times, a force so overwhelming that it has been finally metastasised into life.

The narrative and visual imagery which Marjory experienced as a young woman through the movies were, in part, the basic means by which she and many others processed experience. The development of the movies became an entertainment more popular, more powerful, and illusionary. than anything that had gone before. Many people tried to turn their lives into popular drama sanctioning their actions because they saw someone do it on the silver screen.

Much of the narrative and visual imagery that was seen in the movies became the elementary means by which people processed everyday life. Movies addressed our deepest-seated fears and longings, obliquely and metaphorically, and the movies my mother saw helped mold and influence her and millions like her who lived during the great depression.

My mother died in 2005, she was 97 years old.” … Richard Myers

About NewTown

NewTown strives to make people aware that contemporary art forms are innovative, accessible, enjoyable and important parts of society’s fabric. NewTown often defines itself as “a laboratory for innovative presentational formats.” The goals of these formats are to bring new audiences to today’s cutting-edge art, while providing artists with new and challenges contexts in which to make new art. NewTown has brought new art works and new art forms to an estimated 171,000 people, many of whom had never encountered “experimental” art, with many of the events free and in public spaces; been a leading advocate for small, grassroots arts organizations; and maintained minimal administrative costs, so over 85% of all memberships, grants and ticket sales go directly to artists and event production.

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