Monday, July 18 – Sunday, July 24

Monday, July 18

The class views rushes. Worth reflects on the students’ use of walking in their films:

The rushes seem the same as always to me. Johnny’s film was different however. It was full of shots of John Ballou walking, endlessly walking. My feeling was that since Johnny wasn’t too familiar with silver making, he had people walk. “When in doubt about what to do, shoot someone walking.” I remember Suzy’s rushes were she had a sequence of undecided mother walking in and out of the hogan – also everyone walks everywhere. Even in Johnny’s horse film, he had me walk the horse. The trucks were a substitute for walking. The sequence of the schoolhouse visitors that the Tsosie girls shot in the beginning also had this constant walking. The merry-go-round – Suzy’s swing – where the swing wasn’t moving, the camera moved.

Later when I went in to talk to John Adair, I mentioned this walking of Johnny, and some of the above observations. John pointed out (see his notes) that this was a perfect illustration of the Navajo need for motion rather than as I saw it mere indecision. We talked a bit about how I saw motion in walking as “doing nothing.”…To the Navajo, perhaps walking is doing something (B14FF30PP299-300).

Tuesday, July 19

Worth and Adair prepare for the upcoming premier of the films. Worth writes out what he plans to say before the films are shown:

“When I spoke to you before at the Chapter Meeting in June, I said ‘we’ll let the films that the students make do the talking.’ Well – now is the time for that. We have worked hard for two months and we are ready to show you the first results. This is the first time that Navajos have made movies. These are the first Navajo movies.

John, Dick and I are proud of all the students. In all my years of experience I have never had a group of students who learned faster.

Before you see these films, I would like to explain something about movies to you. The students are finished working on these movies, but work still remains to be done by the laboratory which develops the film. You will notice that the films that you will see will have scratches on them and other marks. This is because these are the films that the students have worked on. They are called work prints. Later, these work prints will be changed over and the films will be made clean and smooth. What you are seeing is the first stage of the finished product. Like silver as it comes out of the mold when it still has to be filed and sanded and polished.

The students who made these films are not the only ones who have learned something this summer. We too learned a lot. From watching these films being made, we learned something about Navajos and Navajo ways. I hope that you will enjoy watching. Thank you.” (B14FF30P304).

Worth also ties up the loose ends of the sand painting story:

Dick just asked me if I had forbidden the Tsosie girls to use the footage that I had directed. I said no. I had not said a word to them. They re-shot the sand painting because sand painting A had been erased and they felt they needed the same painting for Dick to sit on as the one they originally photographed. I never thought that they would use that painting because they originally said that they couldn’t (B14FF30P304).

Thursday, July 21

Worth begins to interview students about their finished films. He also learns that Susie has “already taught her mother how to use the camera, exposure meter, and lenses” (B14FF30P310). He sees Mike Anderson’s finished film and comments that it is quite good.  Reflecting on his academic relationship with Adair, he writes,

For me the test of the collaborative effort is coming up now. The different training that John and myself have and the different needs of our academic life seems to be becoming clearer. I feel that this kind of research needs a multi-disciplinary approach, and I feel also that our respective approaches are the right ones. But there seem to be two problem areas. One: Allowing the separate interests to flourish without arising anxiety on our separate parts. For example, John wanting the film, when I hate to leave my baby. Or me wanting to question Navajos about communication, and John worrying that there is no data on values, or “cultural imperatives” (B14FF30P308).

Friday, July 22

The class continues to prepare for the world premier (B14FF30P313).

Saturday, July 23

The researchers meet with Edward Hall and John Collier. They discuss the theoretical basis of the research, exploring the idea of film as language (B14FF30PP314-318).

Sunday, July 24

No notes.


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