50 Frames: Peter Hutton’s At Sea (2007)


“Hutton’s films help us to respect perception itself, and to enjoy an experience of cinema that seems to lie outside the conventional world of hysterical consumption.”—Scott MacDonald

Fifty still frames from the acclaimed experimental filmmaker Peter Hutton’s latest—and possibly best—film documenting the birth, life, and death of a container ship. Includes a conversation between Hutton and film critic Scott MacDonald.

RELATED EVENT: ”An Evening with Peter Hutton” at Esopus Space

Detroit native Peter Hutton (1944–2016) was an experimental filmmaker known primarily for his silent cinematic portraits of cities and landscapes worldwide. His films, which include New York Portrait: Chapter One (1978), Budapest Portrait (1984–86), In Titan’s Goblet (1991), Lodz Symphony (1991–93), and Time and Tide (2000), were distributed by Canyon Cinema of San Francisco. Hutton studied painting, sculpture, and film at the San Francisco Art Institute. He taught film at Hampshire College, Harvard University, SUNY Purchase, and Bard College, where he was the Film and Electronic Arts Program Director since 1989. A major retrospective of Hutton’s films was presented at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2008. His final work, Three Landscapes, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013.

Scott MacDonald is the author of numerous books on film, including the five-part series A Classic Cinema: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers (1988–2006), published by Berkeley: University of California Press. His articles and interviews have appeared in Film QuarterlyOctober, and Artforum, and he has curated events at the Museum of Modern Art, Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive, and the Chicago Historical Society. A 1999 Anthology Film Archives Film Preservation Honoree, MacDonald is a professor at Hamilton College and chairs the Cinema and Media Studies major.