Farb presents short films at Forum

LAKE PLACID – Extra chairs had to be brought in for the screening of three of Jay resident Nathan Farb’s short films Friday evening at the Lake Placid Film Forum.

The famed photographer presented three shorts in the series “Nathan Farb’s Home Movies”: “iJay,” a depiction of the destruction of Tropical Storm Irene in Jay and the Keene area and the cleanup afterward; “Eisen,” in which Farb delves into his family’s sordid past; and “Karaoke at Sea with Roger Ebert,” which is exactly what it sounds like.

Farb told the crowd gathered in the annex of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts Friday evening that he was pleased so many of his close friends showed up for the screening.

“I’m buffering whatever happens by packing the place with friends,” he joked.

“iJay” mixed videos of rushing water with still photos punctuated by captions of printed word to create a narrative to the film, which was largely done without sound. Farb documents the rise of the storm in August 2011, the destruction done by flooding and the aftermath, including photos of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s visit to take in the wreckage.

“I didn’t try to explain too much,” Farb said after the short finished. “I just try to present what happened.”

In “Eisen,” Farb visits Arkansas to investigate why his father committed suicide but instead shifts focus to other family secrets in a study of his aunts, uncle and cousins that rang with truth, according to one audience member who spoke out after the film finished.

Forum Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll introduced “Karaoke,” setting the scene as a film festival cruise in 2002. One evening on the cruise, a karaoke session broke out, and Roger Ebert ended up leading an a cappella rendition of a union song dedicated to film critic Mary Corliss, who had recently lost her job. Farb and several others documented the whole thing and he cut it together into a tribute to Ebert, who died earlier this year.

Carroll called Ebert a close friend, and she said the film shows him the way she’ll always remember him.

Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or jcollier@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.