"H-2 Worker" and director Q&A [Masterclass: John Mullen]
(Dir. Stephanie Black, 1990, 70 min.)
H-2 Worker is a controversial expose of the travesty of justice that takes place around the shores of Florida's Lake Okeechobee - a situation which, until the film's release, has been one of America's best-kept secrets. There, for six months a year, over 10,000 men from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands perform the brutal task of cutting sugar cane by hand-a job so dangerous and low-paying that Americans refuse to do it.
Followed by a conversation with director Stephanie Black.
Festival Passes available - https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/115378
ABOUT JOHN MULLEN:
John Mullen, Film Editor 1935-2008: From Trailers to Docs
Bumping and slapping moviolas like pinball machines....
"John was a New Yorker and gifted cameraman who over four decades ago started cutting trailers to support an early marriage and family. Still a writer at Look Magazine I used to watch him on West 57th St., surrounded by bins of 35mm clips from the latest Hollywood costume drama. Having un-stitched the best efforts of top writers, editors and soundmen he now began to re-stitch them into 15-second TV teasers and more "leisurely" (his word) 30- and 60-second theater versions. The work was fast, physical and audible -- SLAM (lock in the latest from the cutting table), WHIRRR...BAM, stop, unlock, back to cut and tape. John would grunt, growl, mutter, the moviola his humble pinball machine...then smile or laugh when pleased, inviting me to take a peek. A year later I sat next to him at a rented moviola with a 16mm port in his own home as he worked nights and weekends on my own humble, linear story about a railroad train, liking what he saw but suggesting we shoot more. He became my partner and the result was a good film.
No more un-stitching for John. Call him a mechanic or midwife he was now hooked on the goal of helping talented, courageous directors like the four women you will meet this week capture lightning in a bottle. Not always easy to work with he nevertheless respected a filmmaker's vision, undaunted by an infinity of ways to convey it. I believe he had total recall of images and sound plus the energy, literally, to cut and paste. Like all good editors he has been unsung because audiences don't notice the editing! But the judges and juries of over a dozen major film awards certainly did."
- Tom Barry, Film Director
343 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY 10027
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