Clotheslines &
If This Ain’t Heaven

Director: Roberta Cantow
USA / 1981 / 1984 / 32 min / 28 min

Presented as part of “Welcome to Metrograph: A to Z” – Live Screening introduced by the director and programmer/writer Nellie Killian.

This program features a pair of extraordinary New York City portraits by the award-winning documentary filmmaker Roberta Cantow. Clotheslines, which showcases backyards crisscrossed with lines, treats laundry as a form of folk art as well as a fraught social signifier and lens for women to reflect on the joys, pains, and ambivalences of household chores. And If This Ain’t Heaven introduces us to Mr. G, a 50-year-old Black man, and his cat, Africa, he both talks to and talks for, alleviating his loneliness through these conversations and deep friendship.


“Welcome to Metrograph: A to Z,” launched in our first programming calendar, is an ongoing series initiated as a way to introduce moviegoers to our particular take on cinema history. The intention was to offer our own idiosyncratic alphabet: one title per director, neither canon nor anti-canon, but rather a selection of our favorite films that serve as life-changing revelations or enduring personal passions, and ultimately films for which Metrograph exists to spread the gospel. Currently in its second turn around the alphabet, the series, which was up to titles beginning with the letter “C” at the time of the theater’s closure, will now be presented online.