Local History Double-Feature at Princeton Theater this Sun., 10/21

Local History Double-Feature at Princeton Theater this Sun., 10/21

Posted on October 16, 2018

1974 Film Based on River Journey through Central NJ Paired with
2018 Documentary of Local Farming History, Including Today’s Farm-to-Table Scene

The Millstone Valley of central New Jersey, settled by Dutch farmers three centuries ago, is the setting and inspiration for two short films that will be paired up at the Princeton Garden Theater on Sunday October 21 at 4 pm.

Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past & Present, is a 38-minute video documentary that premiered at the Princeton Garden Theater in June to a sold-out audience and rave reviews in local press. The film is based on the historic account of Jessie Lynes Havens of Montgomery and made by the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition of Rocky Hill and Griggstown, in association with the Van Harlingen Historical Society of Montgomery.

The second film, Three Days on Big City Waters, was made for public television in 1974 and features two Rutgers professors, playing themselves, who journeyed by canoe from Princeton to Ellis Island two years before. Three Days is a humorous adventure movie, with an unmistakable 1970s sensibility, that deals with serious issues about environmental protection and immigration policy—themes equally relevant today.

One of the professors, Dr. Michael Aaron Rockland of Morristown, will introduce his film and answer audience questions afterwards. Brad Fay, president of the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition and a screenwriter for the farming documentary, will do the same for his film.

“Anyone who appreciates the cultural and natural history of the Princeton area will be delighted to experience these two films. You’ll see two professors walking down Nassau Street with a canoe above their heads, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for the farmers and restaurateurs who are active today in our communities,” said Brad Fay.

Speaking of his 1974 film, Dr. Rockland said: “As a writer I normally act on paper. This was the one occasion when I acted in a movie, and it was a terrific challenge, even while playing a version of myself. My friend Charlie and I made this trip in 1972 and were dumbfounded when a filmmaker wanted to essentially recreate the trip as a movie. The film may look like a documentary, but it is scripted. It had a great influence on my writing (usually it’s the other way around) and I was to go off on nine other trips in its aftermath, all through the human built environment. They eventually produced my book Snowshoeing Through Sewers.”

Tickets are available in advance at http://princetongardentheatre.org/films/three-days-on-big-city-waters or at the door. The first showing of the farming documentary sold out, so advance ticket purchases are recommended.

Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past & Present is a production of Flickering Duck Productions in association with Visionary Video & Filmworks Studios, and the filmmakers Fred Frintrup of Milltown, NJ and Peter Frintrup of Los Angeles. The film is a project of the MVP Coalition in support of its mission to preserve the historic resources, farmland and natural landscapes of the Valley and to promote the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway; the Byway roughly parallels the Millstone River and the D. & R. Canal through Montgomery, Hillsborough, Millstone, East Millstone, Franklin, Griggstown, Kingston, Princeton, and Rocky Hill.

This film was made possible, in part, by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State through the State/County History Partnership Program Grant, administered in Somerset County by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Source: Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition