Elizabeth Smart

An Afternoon with Elizabeth Smart (1913 – 1986)

Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, 4 p.m.  At the Revue Cinema.

Maybe you read By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept some years ago. Perhaps you’ve only heard Elizabeth Smart’s name and the title of her slim, poetic novella. But, no question,  the strange story of her life and obsessive love, which she fictionalized in By Grand Central Station continues to fascinate.

Born in 1913 to a well-to-do Ottawa family, Smart took off for England at age 19 to study piano, but soon began to pursue her interest in writing. It was through words that she fell passionately in love with British poet George Barker long before she met him. They never married, but Smart would have four children by him (he had a total of 15) and, throwing aside the conventions of the day, raised them as a working single mother.

Filmmaker Maya Gallus explores Smart’s life and work in a lyrical documentary: Elizabeth Smart: On the Side of the Angels. Named for a collection of Smart’s diaries, the film features a dramatic portrayal by Jackie Burroughs and is narrated by novelist Michael Ondaatje. Powerful excerpts from Smart’s work, and rare, archival photographs create a compelling exploration of her life and art.

This will be Gallus’s second visit to the Revue to introduce one of her films about Extraordinary Women. In December, to the interest and delight of the audience, she spoke about her documentary The Mystery of Mazo de la Roche and the Canadian novelist’s hidden life.  

Tickets: $15, general; $13 seniors, Revue members at the door. $13 in advance on Eventbrite.