my becoming (at images cinema)

Ce_UPQAW8AEt858.jpg-large.jpeg This is a photo of me at the opening reception for my current exhibit: My Becoming. The description I hung on the wall reads as follows:

I am about to have a baby. As of this show hanging I am eight months pregnant– my due date is May 7, a week after I take the show down.

This is my first exhibit as an unemployed person. That is to say, I am now a Full Time Artist, my dream of many years. I am grateful for these two months as a full time artist, as I prepare to share that with the role of Full Time Mom. From December 1, 2010 until March 1, 2016 I worked right here at Images Cinema, during the most critical years of my adult life thus far. After leaving New York City and breaking my own heart (it needed to be broken, to let the light in) I moved in with my parents in Bennington for a year, before finding my own place in Williamstown. I found a community here, because of Images, and I stayed, so much longer than I planned to, because there was work to be done on my own self.

During these five-plus years some important things happened: My mom’s cancer resurfaced, and then she died. I met my husband (our first kiss happened right here in this cinema). I got married. I got pregnant.

Starting as a film projectionist, trained under the inimitable Dave Blair, I worked in the little booth upstairs; the most magical place in Williamstown if you ask me. That’s the best job I’ve ever done, something I am very proud and honored to have been a part of. As the theater transitioned to digital projection at the end of 2012 I transitioned to working in the box office, as well as the business office processing memberships and donations, along with learning and taking control of the digital projection system. I’ve been a part of history here, in this 100 year old, continuously run movie theater, something I am incredibly grateful for.

I’ve worked with some really special people here at Images, it’s been an honor to share this space with them. You know them– they program the films, sell you tickets and popcorn, smile when they see you, answer questions, create a unique and lovely movie-going experience, and clean up when you leave. I’m grateful for the work they do, and to have been part of it. Thanks for keeping the magic alive, guys.

These pieces are a mix of drawing and watercolor, little windows into my life. Each one is a different kind of self portrait: coffee cups are me, lemons and cat and wine and mixer.

From Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Things:

Many things conspired
To tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
Or my hand touched them:
They were
So close
That they were a part of my being,
They were so alive with me
That they lived half my life
and will die half my death.

Okay. Now I’ll waddle my pregnant body into the theater with my large popcorn and sit in the dark and dream some dreams.

Anna Moriarty Lev, April 2016

my becoming, self portrait.jpgmixer and wine bottle.jpgburgers and fries.jpgcitrus fruits.jpgflowers.jpgcats.jpgunnamed-1.jpgunnamed-3.jpg

 

 

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the flick

In the past two and a half years since I left New York City, I’ve felt at least mild anxiety each time I go back to visit. Something about the city itself, the streets I used to walk daily, the relationships I left there, my past coming face to face with my present. This week I went to the city for a day trip to see a play with two friends, and it was the first time I felt completely comfortable. Maybe it was because I was there with people I’d never been to the city with, or that enough time has passed…

April marks my five year anniversary of working in movie theaters. Five years ago, in 2008, I walked into the IFC Center and asked if they were hiring. That job changed my life in ways that only now am I starting to understand. On Tuesday, my friends Janet and Sandra (who run Images Cinema, where I currently work) and I went to see The Flick at Playwright’s Horizons. It’s a play about working in a cinema in the final days of 35mm film projection. Watching this play, which connects to my own life more than anything I’ve ever seen, feelings and thoughts rushed to the surface of my mind and heart.

Working as an usher/box office/concessions staff and eventually manager at IFC was such a sweet and tender time in my life (as well as a bit tumultuous). The people I met, the movies I saw, the things I learned became part of who I am. I remember my last day working there. As I walked through each theater at the beginning of the shift, doing my morning checks, I thought: this is where I became my adult self. I fell in love here. I changed. 

At Images Cinema I was given the opportunity to be a film projectionist: the dream! To project 35mm film for two years, the final two years before digital took over, was an honor. That was such a special job for me, one that I’ll never forget. I loved it. I miss it all the time. For these past few months there’s been so much to focus on with the new digital projection system, and all my new responsibilities, that I hadn’t taken the time to really think about what that transition meant. While watching The Flick all these feelings began surfacing: about film, and the regret of leaving it behind, the history of it and what it meant to me personally. I thought about Dave, the head projectionist who trained me. I really enjoy all my new responsibilities, and working with the new system– being a part of something new, on the cusp of change– but there’s something about my time as a film projectionist that has a sort of glow around it.

It’s hard to really explain how I feel about this play. Seeing my movie theater life– the mundane tasks of cleaning and running a theater, etc.– heightened on a stage was so exhilarating and touching. I have a lot of feelings about it, and I’m still processing them.

391565_410956015633780_1444561135_n in the projection booth at Images Cinema  217_516668979407_5720_n working box office at the IFC Center

art reception photos

IMG_0334 Last night was the reception for my current art show at Images Cinema. It was a great turn-out, and three pieces are sold so far! My wonderful sister Phoebe took these photos. I think they give a good impression of the night, and have kind of liveliness to them.

IMG_0351

interiors

Here are all the drawings in my January art show, “Interiors,” now hanging at Images Cinema. Come see the show in person! There will be a reception on Monday, January 21st at 5:30pm.

marcia with cat and cup

Marcia with Cat and Cup, $150

tulips, brooklyn, red lamp

Tulips with Brooklyn Mug and Red Lamp, $150

pink tulips with striped cup

Pink Tulips with Striped Cup, not for sale

lady lamp

Lady Lamp, $150

pink water flowers

Pink Water Flowers, sold!

Spring St Bathroom

Spring St. Bathroom, $150

Spring St Work Space

Spring St. Work Space, $150

Millie's Chair

Millie’s Chair, $150

All drawings are framed for the show, and can be purchased with or without the frame. They are just cheap frames though, not professional quality, so you may want to reframe after purchasing. If you live in the area, I reccommend Joyce Kennedy Framing, as she is the best framer I know.

january art show

To start the new year off right, I will be having an art show in the lobby of Images Cinema for the month of January. This group of drawings is called “Interiors,” and many of them will be for sale. Here are some of the pieces that will be in the show:

Spring St Bathroompink water flowersMillie's ChairSpring St Work Space

in·te·ri·or

/ɪnˈtɪər i ər/ [in-teer-ee-er] adjective

1. being within; inside of anything; internal; inner; further toward a center: the interior rooms of a house.
2. of or pertaining to that which is within; inside: an interior view.

projectionist dispatch: WFF 2012

The Williamstown Film Festival, which took place mostly at Images Cinema, Oct. 17-21, has just ended. After six days of very long hours, prepping, testing movies, and working the actual festival events, here I am on a Monday evening projecting our regularly scheduled film and taking a breath.

It was a blast. I’m serious. Yes there were some very long days. Yes I didn’t sleep enough. Yes I felt the pressure of making sure things went just right. But I loved it. It’s the energy of show week in the theater, of the “big game”– that rush. You know what I mean? All of us saying things like, “Here we go!” “One more down!” and “You rock!” (If I hadn’t been working with such a supportive team, things would have felt different, I’m sure.)

One of my favorite things about the festival is when directors come up to me and say, “Are you the projectionist? Thank you so much! My film looked great!” I love that. Sometimes they even come up to the booth just to say thank you. How cool is that? Having worked at a cinema in New York City, I know this is not always the case with directors, but for some reason, at WFF, it’s the majority.

I love knowing I am part of making these artists’ dreams come true: seeing their work on a big screen. I don’t decide which films are chosen, but I work hard to make sure they look as good as possible, and it gives me a warm feeling inside to do that. It’s why I enjoy being a projectionist: I am doing work I believe in.

And there is nothing quite like the pride I get in saying, “Yes, I am the projectionist.”