The life and career of independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke and the socially conscious films of Charles Burnett will be the topics explored by Laurence Kardish and James O. Naremore, respectively, who have been named 2013 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy’s educational grants committee, which selected Kardish and Naremore on the basis of their manuscript proposals, presented the first half of the scholars’ $25,000 grant awards at a private luncheon on March 17.
Kardish is senior curator emeritus at the Museum of Modern Art’s department of film. His project, Shirley Clarke: The Original Chelsea Girl, is the first book-length critical biography of the film and video artist from New York, whose unconventional subjects and approaches challenged entrenched social mores, and whose creative activism expanded the aesthetic possibilities of filmmaking.
Naremore is chancellors’ professor emeritus in the English department at Indiana University. His project, The Cinema of Charles Burnett, is a two-part book that will place Burnett’s work in the contexts of the Hollywood film industry and the work of other black filmmakers, with special attention to his leading role in the Los Angeles rebellion of the 1970s. The book will also offer a complete, annotated filmography, with detailed analyses of Burnett’s major works.
Established in 1999, the Academy Film Scholars program is designed to “stimulate and support the creation of new and significant works of film scholarship about aesthetic, cultural, educational, historical, theoretical or scientific aspects of theatrical motion pictures.” The Academy’s cultural and educational wing – the Academy Foundation – annually grants $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. Through the foundation, the Academy also presents screenings and other public programs each year. Kardish and Naremore join 13 other Academy film scholars who are currently working on projects.