Marjorie Keller (1950–1994)
The Answering Furrow (1985)
Owing to Virgil's Georgics. With assistance from Hollis Melton and Helene Kaplan. Music: Charles Ives, "Sonata for Violin and Piano #4 (Children's Day at the Camp Meeting)" and "Ambrosian Chant (Capella Musicale del Duomo di Milano)." Filmed in Yorktown Heights, New York; St. Remy en Provence, France; Mantua, Rome and Brindisi, Italy; and in Arcadia and the island of Kea in Greece. Georgic I – The annual produce first seen in spring – The furrowed earth ready for planting - The distribution, support and protection of young plants – The implements of the garden. Georgic II – The life of Virgil is recapitulated in summer, with a digression on the sacred – The sheep of Arcadia – The handling of bees – The pagan Lion of Kea. Georgic III – The skill and industry of the old man in autumn – Ancient custom and modern method – The use of implements of the garden. Georgic IV – The compost is prepared at season's end – The filmmaker completes THE ANSWERING FURROW with the inclusion of her own image. Note on the music: The music works with the image to parallel the trace of history. Ives recalls Protestant hymns, which recall the origin of the hymn in 12th century Milanese music, which allows for that music closest (in my experience of making this film) to the hum of bees and of amplifiers, the Orthodox Greek chant.