New York Is Oregon Territory: James Blue Takes Washington Square

by Anne Richardson


In 1962, the first issue of the magazine which would become Film Comment hit the stands. On the cover was the brand new filmmaker du jour, James Blue.  This photo must have been taken just before Blue won the Critics Prize at Cannes for his French language feature, The Olive Trees of Justice, shot in Algeria.

The dates of Cannes that year were May 7 to May 23, 1962.

Blue was a frequent contributor to Film Comment during its earliest years. In 1965, Sheldon Renan, a fellow Portlander turned New Yorker, began publishing his film writing in Jonas Mekas’ Film Culture. Meanwhile, on the Left Coast, PSU professor Andries Deinum was co-editor, with Ernest Callenbach, of Film Quarterly. During this period, Portland writers were contributing to all three of these important film journals.

I will be writing about James Blue during the James Blue Tribute, organized by Richard Herskowitz to celebrate the bequest  made by The James and Richard Blue Foundation of James Blue’s papers and films to the University of Oregon.