a tribute to robert and irwin young
opens august 12
The Young Brothers were insiders in the film industry—their father, Al, founded the New York City film processing lab DuArt in 1922—but in the careers they pursued, they consistently put themselves on the side of society’s outsiders. Robert, who co-wrote the screenplay for pioneering portrait of Black life in America Nothing but a Man, continued to focus on marginalized subjects in his own work as a director. Irwin, who died earlier this year at age 94, picked up his father’s duties at DuArt, in 1960, where his policy of prioritizing projects by passionate but cash-strapped independent filmmakers—as well as in his work as a patron to filmmakers and an accidental archivist—helped to cultivate the culture of indie cinema in NYC. Focusing on the lives of poor people and the films of poor filmmakers, together the Young Brothers made American cinema inestimably richer.