The Harvard Film Archive will honor the late Anne Charlotte Robertson, a Boston filmmaker who chronicled her life and work, particularly her battles with mental illness, on Super 8 film. Robertson, who died at 63 of cancer on Sept. 15, 2012, earned a graduate degree from Massachusetts College of Art in the 1980s and was mentored by professor and filmmaker Saul Levine. Her intensely personal films include “Five Year Diary,” a project spanning nearly two decades that documented her mental breakdowns and hospitalizations. The HFA, which is home to the Anne Charlotte Robertson Collection, will screen a fraction of its holdings, including parts of “Five Year Diary,” over two nights, Sept. 15-16. The event, titled “I Wanted to See How I Lived, I Wanted to Love Myself and My Past: A Tribute to Anne Charlotte Robertson,” is presented in video format and offers different 80-minute programs each night, starting at 7.
The HFA highlights the work of another prolific, experimental filmmaker on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. “One Night, Standish Lawder” will bring in the filmmaker, photographer, inventor, educator, and film historian for a focused retrospective and discussion about his work. Lawder, 77, spent a year as the Henry R. Luce Visiting Professor of Film at Harvard — the university’s first faculty position in cinema studies.
For more information on both events, go to www.hcl.harvard.edu/hfa.
Perry Henzell’s cult classic “The Harder They Come” celebrates the 40th anniversary of its US premiere. The February 1973 opening in New York led to six straight years of midnight screenings around the United States, including many at the Orson Welles Cinema in Cambridge. Arlington’s Regent Theatre hosts a one-night-only screening of the newly restored, independent classic on Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The event also features live music from the Boston Jazz Reggae Trio before the screening. “The Harder They Come,” about an aspiring reggae singer-songwriter who turns to life as an outlaw after a record company swindles him, is credited with introducing both Jamaica and reggae to the moviegoing world, launching star Jimmy Cliff’s music career to international success. The Regent will be giving away a limited amount of tickets to Cliff’s Sept. 25 concert at the Boston House of Blues concert at the screening event.
For tickets and more information, go to www.regenttheatre.com.
The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) hosts two community film events this month, leading up to its annual festival in October. There will be a program of short films Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Old Schwamb Mill (17 Mill Lane, Arlington, www.oldschwambmill.org). Then on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. the AIFF hosts “Racing the Rez,” Somerville filmmaker Brian Truglio’s documentary about Navajo and Hopi runners from two rival high school cross-country teams in northern Arizona battling for a state championship. Truglio will discuss the film following the screening. It takes place at the Robbins Library community room, lower level, 700 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington.
For more information, go to www.AIFFest.org.
Support for Saul
A random encounter in New York with 89-year-old photography pioneer Saul Leiter so impressed Holly Van Leuven, 23, a recent Emerson College graduate, that she’s made it her personal mission to bring the documentary “In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life With Saul Leiter” to the Landmark Kendall Square Cinema on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. Teaming with the film’s director, Tomas Leach, and the folks from the Salem Film Fest, where the film premiered in March, Van Leuven launched her campaign on Tugg, a new crowd-sourcing platform that matches films with venues based on audience support. A threshold for attendees must be met by Sept. 3 in order for the film to screen.
For more information and to view a trailer from the film, go to www.bit.ly/saulleiter.
The biweekly experimental film series Balagan kicks off another season at the Brattle Theatre on Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. with Chris Sullivan’s animated art film, “Consuming Spirits” (2012). The screening will be followed by a conversation with the director, whose carefully crafted animated feature was made over the course of nearly 15 years and shot frame by frame on 16mm film. Called “a strange, hypnotic journey,” the film is about the intersecting lives of three small-town characters. Earl Gray (voiced by Robert Levy) is an elderly late-night radio host; Violet (Nancy Andrews) lives with her elderly mother and works at a newspaper, where she pursues a romance with oddball Victor Blue (voiced by Sullivan). Shifting between past and present, fantasy and reality, the film unfolds in a slow, deliberate fashion that immerses the viewer in Sullivan’s unique, imaginary world. Ticket price is $10 ($8 for students and seniors).
For more information, go to www.balaganfilms.com.
Docs on the water
The 8th Annual Newburyport Documentary Film Festival runs Sept. 20-22, offering 14 features and three programs of short documentaries. Among the feature films are Boston filmmaker Mary Jane Doherty’s “Secundaria,” which follows a group of dancers through Cuba’s world famous National Ballet School. Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine’s “Life According to Sam” is the inspiring story of one Foxborough family’s fight to save their only son from the rare and fatal disease progeria. Festival venues include Newburyport’s enduring art house The Screening Room and The Firehouse Center for the Arts, a 195-seat theater in Market Square on the waterfront.
For a complete schedule, go to www.newburyportfilmfestival.org.