Interview with Cecile Starr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther


Cecile Starr was born in Nashville, Tennessee on July 14, 1921 and died in Vermont, December, 2014. During WWII she worked at the Australia News and Information Bureau, associated with the Office of War Information and at the March of Time as she moved amongst the greats of documentary filmmaking of the period and Greenwhich Village: Grierson, Flaherty, Damien Parer, Alexandre Hammid, Joris Ivens, Helen van Dongen, Raymond Spottiswoode, Helen Levitt, Henwar Rodakiewich, Willard Van Dyke, Boris Kaufman, Irving Jacoby, Ricky Leacock and Aram Boyajian, whom she married in 1957, as well as James Agee and Iris Barry. In 1949 Starr started writing film reviews for the Saturday Review of Literature, taught film and film history from in the Graduate Program 1955-1961 at Columbia University and created and coordinated school film programs for the Lincoln Center Education Department in 1967-1968. During this period she was particularly active contributing to Sight and Sound, Film Quarterly and Filmmakers Newsletter. She was an instructor and consultant in film and film history at the New School for Social Research and Hunter College in New York City, the New York Society of Ethical Culture, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Walden High School. Starr also consulted for the United Nations World Health Organization, the Institute of Adult Education, The Public Library Inquiry, the Film Council of America and the Mental Health Film Board. As Producer, scriptwriter and Consultant on 4 films including Fellow Citizen: A. Lincoln (1972), Islamic Carpets (1970), Richter on Film (1972) and Rembrandt and the Bible (1967), Starr turned her scholarly interest in film to a practice born out of her research. Starr also published the books Experimental Animation: Origins of a New Art (1968), (with Robert Russett) Ideas on Film: A Handbook for the 16mm Film User (1971) and Discovering the Movies: An Illustrated Introduction to the Moving Image (1972).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-84
Number of pages27
JournalFramework: the Journal of Cinema and Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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