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Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian collection, circa 1961-1988

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Series 4: Moving Images
Processing work in progress. The list of projects minimally processed so far reflects only the contents of this collection, and is not exhaustive. Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian have collaborated on the following films: Death Row, Robert Creeley: Willy's Reading, William August May, Out of Order, Creeley, and Robert Creeley: The Persistence of Verse (a conversation between Robert Creeley and Bruce Jackson, 2001). Both directed, edited, and produced these films. Jackson did the cinematography and Christian recorded the sound. Running times for all films are approximate. Descriptions of these films, and other film highlights from the collection, appear below.
"Hard Language," 1974
Jackson and Christian organized this symposium at SUNY-Buffalo (now University at Buffalo). Participants included: Leslie Fiedler (American critic), Angus Fletcher (literary scholar), Frederick Jameson (critic), René Girard (literary theorist), Neville Dyson-Hudson (anthropologist), William Bossert (mathematical biologist), Roger Abrahams (folklorist), Richard Macksey (literary scholar), Nathan Lyons (photographer and photo historian), Jackson, and Christian.
Death Row, 1979
Jackson conducted extensive interviews with inmates on death row at Ellis Unit, in Texas. The film documents the daily lives of the inmates, from work to recreation, from mealtimes to their personal thoughts about their lives and imminent fate. Some employees of the prison are also interviewed. 60 min.
Services Rendered, 1979
Jackson produced, did sound, and some camera for this film, which was directed by Andy Ferullo. Approximately 15 vignettes of working people in Buffalo, at work and talking about their work. 60 min.
I Found a Feather, 1980
A short fiction film Jackson did not finish. He shot the footage near Buffalo, in the Alabama Swamp Complex, part of the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (with its headquarters located in Alabama, New York).
Robert Creeley: Willy's Reading, 1982
In this film Creeley reads drafts of a poem he wrote to honor the birth of Willy, his son. 16 min.
William August May, 1982
A documentary about William August May, a lifelong deep water fisherman, and the changes to the California environment he has observed. 18 min.
Michael McClure, 1982
An unfinished documentary on the life of poet Michael McClure.
Out of Order, 1983
Interviews with six former nuns, as they talk about their lives as nuns and after leaving holy orders: what made them decide to join and later why they left, as well as their experiences readjusting to the secular world. Diane Christian, a former nun, is one of the interviewees. 89 min.
Creeley, 1988
A film about Creeley's background and development as a poet, including interviews with him and others, plus conversations with him. 59 min.
William Kunstler, 1988
An unfinished documentary on the life of civil rights leader and formidable lawyer William Kunstler. 18 min.
Robert Creeley: the Persistence of Verse, 2001
A conversation between Creeley and Bruce Jackson. 17 min.
Cummins Wide: Photographs from the Arkansas Prison, 2008
Footage taken at Cummins Unit, a prison in Lincoln County, Arkansas. Jackson had considered making a film during the time he was making the photographs that would be in Killing Time, Inside the Wire, Cummins Wide, and other books and exhibits. With that future project in mind, he shot this footage, using a Sony Portapak. According to Jackson, he used an edited version of this footage to get a grant to help fund the making of Death Row.

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