By Dixie Jordan
Two films by the late Piedmont filmmaker and sculptor Laraine Lee will be screened Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Ave. Admission and refreshments are free.
The screenings are part of a current PCA exhibit, Passion by Design, that features bronze and canvas sculpture by Lee and paintings by Irfan Akbar. Those works will be on view through March 18.
The first film, the 20-minute fiction short Circling the Square (1980), explores the internal upheavals of a woman looking to create definitions in her emotional life. It was previously shown at several international film festivals and aired nationally on PBS stations. Lee wrote, produced, edited and directed the film.
The 60-minute film Stephane Grappelli: Live in San Francisco (1982), features the jazz violinist at the height of a career that spanned well over 70 years and brought him acclaim and enthusiastic audiences around the world. It includes guest appearances by David Grisman on mandolin, Darol Anger on violin, Mike Marshall on mandolin and Rob Wasserman on bass.
Lee co-produced Stephane Grappelli along with Carlos N. Broullón of Piedmont and Raymond Poirier and edited the film.
A native of Sweet Home, OR, Lee obtained master's degrees in dance and film from the University of Oregon. She apprenticed at San Francisco's A.C.T. and worked at the Cricket Theater in Minneapolis before returning to the San Francisco area.
In the late 1980s Lee turned to sculpture and maintained a studio at California State University East Bay, where she also taught figurative sculpture. She died in 2010.