Private Project

Richard Wilbur and the Things of This World (Full Series)

A documentary about the second U.S. Poet Laureate featuring interviews with Donald Hall, Stephen Sondheim, Brian Bedford, Austin Pendleton, Rhina P. Espaillat, Dana Gioia and Wilbur in the last five years of his life. A meditation on mortality, love and loss. A masterclass in creativity, poetry, humanity and how to conduct one’s life with dignity and grace. The non traditional running time has been extolled by former Emmy-winning ABC journalist, Bill Blakemore, as integral to the film’s power.

  • Ralph Hammann
  • Ralph Hammann
  • Richard Wilbur (featured poems)
    Many award winning books, Candide, translations of Moliere
  • Ralph Hammann
  • Richard Wilbur
    Key Cast
    2nd US Poet Laureate
  • Austin Pendleton
    Key Cast
    My Cousin Vinny, The Muppet Movie, Finding Nemo, Simon, Catch 22, What’s Up Doc?, The Front Page, Starting Over, Oz, etc.
  • Brian Bedford
    Key Cast
    Tony-winning actor, films include: Grand Prix, The Importance of Being Earnest, Nixon, The Pad and How to Use It, etc.
  • Stephen Sondheim
    Key Cast
    Award-winning composer & lyricist
  • Donald Hall
    Key Cast
    14th US Poet Laureate
  • Rhina P. Espaillat
    Key Cast
    Award-winning poet
  • John Simon
    Key Cast
    Theater and film critic
  • Dana Gioia
    Key Cast
    Former Chair of the NEA, award-winning poet
  • A.E. (Alicia) Stallings
    Key Cast
    Award-winning poet
  • William Blakemore
    Key Cast
    Award-winning journalist (ABC News)
  • Meghan Picerno
    Key Cast
    Candide (City Opera, directed by Harold Prince)
  • Patty Kimura
    Key Cast
  • Justina Trova
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Episodic
  • Runtime:
    9 hours 23 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 22, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ralph Hammann

Ralph Hammann was a film and theater teacher and critic for over 35 years. He also had a part time career as an actor and theater director. As a curator of film festivals at the Berkshire Museum, he introduced audiences to such diverse directors as Kurosawa, Fellini, Lean and Chabrol. Following his departure from education, he has returned to his first and most abiding love, cinema.

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Director Statement

As a 67-year-old embarking on his first feature film, I am something of an anomaly, but film has always been a mainstay of my life since my father, an award winning photographer, brought me to my first movie, The Animal World, at age 4. The special effects by Ray Harryhausen and Willis O’Brien introduced me to the endless opportunities of the medium to explore other worlds, cultures and ideas. After a near-lifetime of teaching and critiquing films, I hope to use my accumulated knowledge and experience in making a few films that have something to say that might make a difference in our present tumultuous times. I chose my first subject to be Richard Wilbur, one of the most important (if under-sung) poets and figures of our time. I hope in this film to give the viewer a chance to live in his presence for a an extended period that exceeds traditional formats. I firmly believe the result will be transformational.