Thursday, April 14, 6 p.m.
Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA
Patrons of the Figge Art Museum's "Films at the Figge" series will be treated to both an Academy Award nominee and an Emmy Award nominee on April 14 when the Davenport venue hosts screenings of two critically lauded documentaries about disparate artists: Cavedigger, an exploration into the work of sculptor Ra Paulette, and Which Way Is the Front Line from Here?, a salute to the late, Oscar-nominated photo-journalist Tim Hetherington.
A 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject, Cavedigger is the story of Ra Paulette, who obsessively digs massive, ornately carved, sandstone caves in Northern New Mexico as art. These works are commissioned by patrons, who envision smaller-scale projects, but Paulette often take years to finish, and artistic conflict ensues over money and the scope of the project. All of his caves are created using only hand tools, and producer/director Jeffrey Karoff's work demonstrates the classic conundrum of an artist knowing, or not, when a project is actually finished. Toward the end of Cavedigger, audiences see Paulette start his magnum opus: a cave he expects to take the last 10 years of his life, on unauthorized land, and in secret. Today, the public can book a docent-led tour to "The Windows of the Earth" cave sanctuary featured in the documentary, and the resort and retreat venue Origin at Rancho de San Juan allows for the only public-viewing opportunity of Ra Paulette's amazing "land art" creation.
Described by the Hollywood Reporter as "a tremendously affecting salute," Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? Is director Sebastian Junger's tribute to his longtime friend and colleague, British photo-journalist Tim Hetherington. In 2011, Junger and Hetherington were Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary Feature for their film Restrepo, a first-person account of the war in Afghanistan. Six weeks after attending the Academy Award ceremonies, while covering the conflict in Libya, Hetherington was hit by shrapnel from a mortar blast and killed. A 2014 Emmy nominee, Junger’s acknowledgment of Hetherington’s extraordinary work is both an elegy for and a celebration of the legacy Hetherington left behind, and in addition to featuring some of the final footage captured on Hetherington's camera, Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? finds Junger conducting interviews with those who knew their friend best.
Cavedigger and Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? will be screened locally on April 14, admission to the 6:30 p.m. films is free as part of the museum's “Thursdays at the Figge” programming, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 and visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.