Monday, December 6, 2010

John Katz RIP

When I was a graduate film student at York University, Professor John Katz taught documentary film studies, (appreciation, not production).  The years I was there, the remarkable documentary Best Boy became the sensation of the Toronto Film Festival and John took it upon himself to become the Canadian distributor for the film.

As a grad student, I had access to a Steenbeck editing machine - these were the days when film was edited on film - and John came in to ask me to check the one 16 mm print of Best Boy he had that would be circulating the country.  So we sat down and watched the film together, scanning at some points as we'd both seen it, (I was in the premiere audience at the festival that year--I remember TVOntario film buff Elwy Yost sitting next to be and in tears at the end).  I remember still John's excitement at having found the wherewithal to distribute the film.  He had an infectious enthusiasm for this new foray outside of academe.

John Katz passed away from kidney failure November 28.  RIP.

1 comment:

DR said...

Thanks to Mr. Katz for allowing me to appreciate that documentary film making is art form unto itself. He was a very wise man who enjoyed sharing his passion with all of us at York U. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.