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Panelists discuss Seberg’s significance

Actress still influential in Europe

November 12, 2011
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Jean Seberg continues to be an influence in the realm of film history and also remains a cultural icon in Europe more than 30 after her death.

That was the focus of a panel discussion Friday at the Orpheum Theater during the Jean Seberg International Film Festival, which honors the Marshalltown-born actress.

Jude Rawlins, a guest from London who started the Saint Jean website, said just last week he saw a T-Shirt in a store window featuring Seberg's film "Breathless."

Article Photos

Panelists discuss the cultural significance of Jean Seberg Friday during the Jean Seberg International Film Festival at the Orpheum Theater. Pictured are David Hinton, left, and Jude Rawlins.

"Jean is one of the most culturally significant figures of American people in Europe in the late 20th century," Rawlins said. "It came as a real shock to me that people in America didn't know this."

David Hinton, a film historian and professor in Tennessee, also participated in the discussion. He grew up in Marshalltown and his mother was friends with Jean's mother, Dorothy Seberg. Hinton continues to teach the legacy of Seberg in his class.

"I teach 'Breathless' every semester," Hinton said. "Her significance in film history is because of her performance in 'Breathless.'"

Two more of her Seberg's films were screened Friday including "Bonjour Tristesse" and "Paint Your Wagon."

"Breathless" is scheduled for an 11 a.m. and a 2 p.m. showing Saturday with "Lilith" showing at 8 p.m.

The Orpheum presented the Marshalltown Community College Outstanding Service Award to Robert Fridley of Fridley Theaters Friday night as part of the festival. Fridley has promoted film in Iowa for the past 60 years.

"Bob Fridley has done everything to promote film in Iowa," said Orpheum Director Pip Gordon. "It's really nice to be able to make this kind of acknowledgment."

The festival runs through Sunday at the Orpheum. For a schedule of events, visit



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