Ordinary Miracles

Ordinary Miracles

As seen in ORDINARY MIRACLES: THE PHOTO LEAGUE'S NEW YORK, a film by Daniel Allentuck and Nina Rosenblum. Picture courtesy Daedalus Productions. All rights reserved.

Ordinary Miracles

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Ordinary Miracles (2012)

Also Known As: Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York

Opened: 06/15/2012 Limited

NoHo 706/15/2012 - 06/21/20127 days
Quad Cinema/NYC06/22/2012 - 06/28/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated


ORDINARY MIRACLES: THE PHOTO LEAGUE'S NEW YORK is a feature-length documentary film which tells the story of the rise and politically motivated fall of the Photo League, (1936--1951) which for fifteen years served as the center of the documentary movement in American photography at a time when the camera was held to be, in James Agee's words, "the central instrument of our time."

The Photo League's membership roster reads like a Who's Who of leading American and emigree photographers including Sid Grossman, Aaron Siskind, Jerome Liebling, Dan Weiner, Morris Engel Walter Rosenblum, Weegee, Lisette Model and W. Eugene Smith. Directly inspired by Lewis Hine and the photographers of the Farm Security Administration and with expert guidance from photographers Paul Strand, Berenice Abbott and Beaumont Newhall, the Photo League's collective portrait of urban life during these turbulent years is comparable to the indelible record of rural America created by the photographers of the Farm Security Administration. Many FSA photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott and John Vachon were also active members of the Photo League.

ORDINARY MIRACLES is built around a handpicked selection culled from the hundreds of images made by approximately sixty individual League photographers, fashioned into sequences designed around various subjects of League focus (Harlem, the Lower East Side, children at play, Coney Island, WWII). The previously under-reported contribution of Photo League trained war correspondents and combat cameramen who served in all branches of the armed services during WWII is rectified in an exciting sequence devoted to the Photo League's war. The rich and evocative soundtrack is a blend of contemporary and vintage music: The Mills Brothers, The Ink Spots, Django Reinhardt, The Andrews Sisters, Fats Waller, Coleman Hawkins and Philip Glass.

ORDINARY MIRACLES, distributed by The Orchard, a pioneering independent music and video distribution company operating in more than 20 global markets, is available on iTunes.

About the Filmmakers

Daniel V. Allentuck (Director/Producer)

Daniel V. Allentuck is a writer, producer and a co-founder of Daedalus Productions, Inc. His films include AMERICA AND LEWIS HINE [NY Film Festival Premiere/ PBS broadcast, IDA Award], narrated by Jason Robards, Jr. and John Crowley, A HISTORY OF WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS, narrated by Maureen Stapleton and WALTER ROSENBLUM: IN SEARCH OF PITT STREET. He wrote the script for the Academy-Award-nominated feature documentary LIBERATORS: FIGHTING ON TWO FRONTS IN WWII, narrated by Denzel Washington, which was broadcast on PBS' "American Experience" series. He has a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association, a CHRIS Statuette from the Columbus Film Festival, two CINE Golden Eagle Awards, a W.I.C.I. Clarion Award and a Blue Ribbon from the American Film Festival.

Nina Rosenblum (Director/Producer)

Nina Rosenblum is an Academy Award-nominated producer, director and writer of documentaries, shorts and segments. President of DAEDALUS PRODUCTIONS, INC., she has produced and directed for TBS, HBO, PBS, NY TIMES TV, SHOWTIME, ABC, NBC. Her co-production partners include Channel Four/UK; WDR/Germany; La Sept, France, Canal + Spain and SBS/Australia. She is a member of the Directors' Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, NY Women in Film, the Independent Feature Project and the International Documentary Association. Her films include AMERICA & LEWIS HINE, THROUGH THE WIRE, LOCK-UP: THE PRISONERS OF RIKERS ISLAND, WALTER ROSENBLUM: IN SEARCH OF PITT STREET, TWIN LENSES, CODE YELLOW: HOSPITAL AT GROUND ZERO, ZAHIRA'S PEACE and IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY.

Mary Engel (Contributing Producer)

Contributing producer Mary Engel is an award-winning filmmaker and the director of the Orkin/Engel Film and Photo Archive. Her first film RUTH ORKIN: FRAMES OF LIFE" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996 and was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the "Outstanding Documentaries of 1996." Her second film "MORRIS ENGEL: THE INDEPENDENT" premiered on Turner Classic Movies in 2009. Engel co-produced a remake of her parent's classic 1953 feature film LITTLE FUGITIVE. Engel recently formed a 501c3 non-profit called Photo Legacy Foundation, which will help support APAG.

Campbell Scott (Narrator)

Campbell Scott is a veteran actor, film director and voice over artist. His numerous awards include Best Actor from the National Board of Review for his performance in ROGER DODGER and the NY Film Critics Award for Best New Director for the film BIG NIGHT. He starred in the series SIX DEGREES on ABC in 2006. In 2007 he was a regular on the series DAMAGES. He also has a recurring role in the USA drama "ROYAL PAINS." He narrated the 2007 Iraq war documentary NO END IN SIGHT. He plays Richard Parker in the up-coming feature AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.