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Oct. 14 Talk: "Film: An Eternal Present?"

Archivist Rick Prelinger will give a public talk and Q&A -- "Film: An Eternal Present?" -- Monday, Oct. 14 at 4:15 p.m. in Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building.

There have never been so many documentary films, makers, viewers and distribution outlets. But something is lacking amidst this renaissance, Prelinger says: engagement with history.

Perhaps wishing to escape being typed as historical specialists, perhaps worried about alleged short attention spans, filmmakers seem to be minimizing the role that history and historical images play in their works. Are documentaries moving into an eternal, ahistorical present? Has style overtaken rigor and substance? What is the prognosis for a genre that increasingly rejects coming to terms with the past? Prelinger will examine how this process has come to be and suggest ways that makers can employ history to intervene in the present and influence the future.

Rick Prelinger is a writer, filmmaker and founder of the Prelinger Archives, a collection of tens of thousands films of cultural importance to the U.S., begun in 1982 and acquired by the Library of Congress in 2002.

Information:, (802) 343-9866.