Monday, March 20

The DocYard Presents (previous events)Special Events Archive

Things Ricky Forgot to Teach But Somehow I Learned Them Anyway – Films From Mary Jane Doherty

Buy Tickets Brattle passes not accepted.


Director: Mary Jane Doherty

Program Details: GRAVITY, 40 minutes, 1985, USA, b/w, 16mm to digital + two other short works by the filmmaker

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The DocYard is honored to present an evening of film and discussion with filmmaker and Boston University film professor Mary Jane Doherty. Doherty will be discussing the evolution of her work as a filmmaker and a teacher, through the lens of examining the influence of her most trusted mentor, Ricky Leacock, on her life’s work.

Mary Jane Doherty will be joined for a discussion with the subject of her 1985 film GRAVITY, Dr. Rainer Weiss, MIT Professor of Physics, Emeritus. Dr. Weiss is on the short list of candidates for this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for his groundbreaking research on gravitational waves, the early days of which Mary Jane captured in this film. Hear their dialogue about making the film then, and where that early work has led each of them today!

About the Program:

It’s the early 1980s, the final days of MIT’s notorious Film/Video Section.  Famous filmmaker Ricky Leacock was in no mood to teach.  And his graduate student, Mary Jane, had no idea how to learn. Yet something happened, some transaction between the two that only now, decades later, can be expressed in words.

This evening we look at how inspiration works, in its most mysterious form.  Mary Jane will screen her “Science” Documentary, GRAVITY (1985, 40 minutes, b/w, 16mm to digital), featuring soon-to-be-Nobel Laureate Dr. Rainer Weiss, and bookend this main screening with her first short film, THREE FISH, and a clip from SONIC BOOM BOOM, a brand new work-in-progress.  We’ll see lessons learned – from the inane to the sublime – by one filmmaker who deeply reveres another.

About the Filmmaker:

Cornfield-MJ-web-300x195Mary Jane Doherty, a two-time finalist for the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, teaches film production courses including her innovative approach to the NARRATIVE DOCUMENTARY. She trained at MIT, where she produced GRAVITY, a film about experimental astrophysicists, then freelanced for Northern Light Productions, Blackside, and VIDA Health Inc.

Professor Doherty emerged as a filmmaker in her own right with two feature films following children growing up within the Cuban Ballet System: SECUNDARIA (2013) and PRIMARIA (2016), both traveling the international festival circuit.

Now, she is filming a series about the Boston Children’s Chorus and the mystery of the sound.

About The DocYard:

For decades, Boston has been a center for documentary filmmaking. It is a place where students come to learn and experiment, where some of documentary’s giants are teaching and creating new work, and where the craft is continuously nurtured and expanded. Today’s filmmakers are breaking new ground that has its foundation, more often than not, in Boston’s rich documentary legacy.

Celebrating what is innovative, interesting, and inspiring in documentary, The DocYard is a bi-weekly film and discussion series that takes place every other Monday. Their goal is to grow a vibrant, creative community for Boston’s filmmakers, film students and film lovers through each of these special events.