Before his career as an innovative film programmer Freed had been a devoted photographer. Beginning in his teens, influenced by the images in periodicals such as Life Magazine and by abstract art, he photographed on subway trains, open air markets, backyards, schools, at the seashore and in the woods. All his life he has been obsessed with trees and water, those essentials components of life. His work covers a wide range, including: nature, street photography, abstract subjects, portraiture, carnivals, musicians, circuses and sports.
His visual education continued during his career as a film programmer. He established a unique series on the American Underground Cinema. Here he discovered exemplars of what he calls “ecstatic nature,” filmmakers such as Ed Emshwiller and Stan Brakhage. Their work also became templates. During his career as an art cinema programmer he continued photographing. In August, 2009, in conjunction with an exhibit of photographs taken during his ownership of the Coolidge Corner Theater, the Boston
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