On September 19, I went to a salon-style event organized by the MIT Open Doc Lab
where author and film scholar Scott Macdonald
talked about his new book The Cambridge Turn
. The book looks at the development of a tradition of documentary filmmaking in the 1960s and 70s right here in Cambridge, MA, exemplified by the work of filmmakers like John Marshall and Ed Pincus. I’m looking forward to reading the full book when it’s published, since the films he's studying really resonate with me. As well as the connections between these films Prof. MacDonald is looking at the intellectual context behind them; he pointed out a potential link between the categories of filmmaking that flourished in Cambridge, which he defined as Personal and Ethnographic (in a way “different sides of the same coin” since they’re both rooted in the filmmaker’s direct experience), and the development of experience-based Pragmatism philosophy in Cambridge.