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Filmmaker Strives to Preserve It
Written by Letitia Baldwin
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

SEDGWICK — E.B. White, the famous American writer who lived for half a century in Brooklin, once said, “Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

The quote from White, one of The New Yorker magazine’s best known contributors who wrote the beloved children’s book classics “Stuart Little” and “Charlotte’s Web,” appears on every e-mail sent by Sedgwick filmmaker Richard Kane. The same conundrum applies to Kane, whose film “Protecting The Nature of Maine” highlights conservationists’ ongoing campaign to alter Plum Creek Timber Co.’s plans for the Moosehead Lake region and keep the more wild Lily Bay Peninsula from being developed and other environmental issues over the past 50 years.

Steam billows on Lily Bay on the eastern shore of Moosehead Lake. The undeveloped peninsula and the efforts to conserve it are featured in Kane-Lewis Productions’ film “Protecting The Nature of Maine,” being shown at 7 p.m., Dec. 17, at the Blue Hill Public Library. — J. & M. MONKMAN

Kane’s mission then shifts to aesthetics and feeding the eyes through “Carlo Pittore: Maine Master,” a documentary about a prolific painter by that name, who lived and worked in New York City, Southern Italy and Bowdoinham. And, “Rock Solid,” a film profiling Steuben sculptor Jesse Salisbury, his inspiration for the 2007 International Schoodic Sculpture Symposium and the participating sculptors from Maine and around the world. (Click here to read on)

“Protecting The Nature of Maine,” “Carlo Pittore: Maine Master” and “Rock Solid” will all be shown starting at 7 p.m. in the Howard Room of the Blue Hill Public Library. The Natural Resources Council of Maine, Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium and the Union of Maine Visual Artists are co-sponsoring the free screening of Kane-Lewis Productions’ three films. Kane, Salisbury, Brooksville artist Rob Shetterly and writer/film producer Veronica Young will also contribute to the evening program.

Somesville poet and arts writer Carl Little knows Kane well and has collaborated with him on previous film portraits of celebrated Maine artists Stephen Pace, Dahlov Ipcar and William Thon. In Maine, those may not be familiar names — as, say, Andrew Wyeth — but those artists are highly regarded in the American art world. The footage and interview document their lives and artistic legacy.

“E.B. White was probably playing on the words ‘save’ and ‘savor’ but Dick [Richard Kane] is too,” Little said last week. “Dick leans towards projects that will make a positive impact on the world.”

Little singled out Kane’s previous films, “Stephen Pace: Maine Master” and “Lois Dodd: Maine Master” because they show the artists actually at work and capture their creative process and sources of inspiration. Pace, an abstract expressionist painter who met Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso, spent many summers living and painting in Stonington. Dodd, whose paintings reveal beauty in the ordinary, divides her year between homes in Cushing and New York City.

“I think the last two on Stephen Pace and Lois Dodd are extraordinary because you are able to see the artists in action,” Little explained. “When you can see Lois Dodd studying a flower and then translating it to the canvas, it is an amazing process to witness.”

Richard Kane and Melody Lewis-Kane are the creative force behind Kane-Lewis Productions. The couple’s combined experience as filmmakers and media educators spans half a century. Their clients have included National Geographic, Discovery Channel, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the John F. Kennedy Center Education Department. For more information, visit their Web site at www.kanelewis.com.

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