Saturday, April 19, 2014

Posthumous Review Praises Jon Imber Documentary

Perhaps, from the heavens, Jon Imber can read this and smile.

Two days after the 63-year-old Maine painter and valiant ALS fighter passed away, local art historian Daniel Kany has given 60-minute documentary Jon Imber's Left Hand a rave. The movie recently premiered at the Maine Jewish Film Festival and is scheduled to screen April 26th at Independent Film Festival Boston.

From Kany's Press Herald write-up:

The movie picks up at the start of what Imber calls “my ALS summer.” It is a story about the artist and his wife, the painter Jill Hoy. The pair for decades have been key members of the Stonington and Maine painting communities.
While Imber is the object of the film, Hoy is its true subject. We see Imber lean more and more on his loving wife. And while we watch him become a prisoner of his own failing body, it is Hoy’s heart that we feel breaking.

Per an obituary from WBUR Radio, Imber was able to see the film when it debuted Sunday March 23rd:

"I do know that Jon was very pleased with the film," said Joanna Fink, director of the Alpha Gallery on Boston's Newbury Street. "He was able to travel to Portland, Maine for the premiere, which meant a lot to him.” Fink also thinks that was the last trip Imber made, and said it exhausted him, "but he was upbeat about the film and its critical response."

The extended trailer for the documentary (linked above), a project initially titled Virgin Territory, is a must-watch. As Kany so rightly notes in his review, Imber is a "natural narrator." The film titles, working and final, both come from the fact that ALS forced Imber to switch from his right hand to less familiar, other painting limb.

The documentary is part of an ongoing series sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists. To help underwrite the Imber movie, one of the artist's works was auctioned, netting $7,000.


[Maine Masters]

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