The Academy Award-nominated documentary, “A Few Notes on Our Food Problem” featured at Schnitzer Cinema

Part of the James Blue Tribute, the evening also screens the director’s “Colombia Trilogy”


EUGENE, Ore. -- (December 3, 2013) – Schnitzer Cinema, continuing the six-month James Blue Tribute, screens the Academy Award-nominated documentary “A Few Notes on Our Food Problem” and Blue’s “Colombia Trilogy” on Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon Campus. Blue’s brother, Dr. Richard Blue, will be joined by Gill Dennis, screenwriter of “Walk the Line” and a collaborator of James Blue’s, in presenting the films. Cosponsored with the Cinema Pacific film festival, the screenings are free and include free popcorn and soda.


Nominated for an Academy Award in 1968, “A Few Notes on Our Food Problem,” is Blue’s visionary essay film that looks at the green revolution and the development of agricultural production on three continents. The documentary was shot in Taiwan, India, Uganda and Brazil and was a follow-up to Blue’s “The March.” Blue served as director, scriptwriter, narrator and editor of “A Few Notes on Our Food Problem.”


Blue’s “Colombia Trilogy,” three films made for the United States Information Agency (USIA) in the 1960’s, will also be screened. The trilogy consists of three short films: “The School of Rincon Santo,” “Evil Wind Out,” and ”A Letter from Columbia.” Shot with a Nagra audio tape recorder and a 35 mm camera, the footage was taken by Blue and his colleague Stevan Larner during a trip to Bogotá, Columbia.


“The School of Rincon Santo” looks at the efforts of a village completely without amenities to obtain a school for their children. The film won a Silver Lion Prize at Venice, was judged the Best Documentary Film at international festivals in Bilboa and Amsterdam and was translated into 56 languages. “Evil Wind Out,” focusses on the work of a doctor in a Columbian village to lower the death rate of children. The final film in the trilogy, “A Letter from Columbia,” reimagines progress, property and community and playfully tweaks documentary conventions.  


“The theme is people helping themselves to progress,” said Blue in “James Blue: Scripts and Interviews.” “I worked as I always work: finding the essential elements of a situation which, when brought together, express something about the situation without my having to intervene in it.”


Guests for the evening include Dr. Richard Blue, James Blue’s brother, whose career spans five decades as a Foreign Service Officer and an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.  He will be joined by Gill Dennis, Master Filmmaker-in-Residence at the American Film Institute, screenwriter of “Walk the Line,” and James Blue’s collaborator in writing  “A Few Notes on Our Food Problem” and other projects.


The James Blue Tribute honors University of Oregon alumnus James Blue, an independent filmmaker renowned for his socially engaged documentaries and teaching, with a six-month tribute that will include screenings, guest speakers, and panels as well as publications and websites produced by UO faculty and students. Cinema Pacific and the JSMA’s James Blue Tribute is supported by a JSMA Academic Support Grant, and is cosponsored with the Clark Honors College, UO Libraries, and the UO Cinema Studies Program.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America, Europe and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in the state of Oregon—and the only university museum--accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About Cinema Pacific

Cinema Pacific is an annual film festival based at the University of Oregon in Eugene that is devoted to discovering and fostering the creativity of international films and new media from Pacific-bordering countries, including the U.S. Through onsite and online presentations, the festival connects stimulating artists and ideas with a diverse public, furthering our understanding of world cultures and contemporary issues.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,

Cinema Pacific,