Film Forum

Volunteer Spotlight: Richard Markley

Our latest volunteer in the spotlight, Richard Markley, taught and translated Japanese for many years and he still enjoys Japanese films.

February 2017 volunteer in the spotlight: Richard Markley

What is your occupation?
I was a teacher and college instructor for the first half of my adult life, first teaching English as a Second Language and later Japanese. For the second half, I was a translator of Japanese documents into English, working as a freelancer from home for the most part, but for five years I worked as an in-house translator for a Japanese company up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m mostly retired now.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of work?
I guess reading and listening to music. I also like wine tasting and visiting wineries. And last but not least is watching movies from time to time.

How did you get involved with Filmworks?
I first became involved as a part of the audience some years ago now, but about a year and a half ago I was talking with Gloria Burrola about giving back to the community and she suggested becoming a volunteer for Filmworks. At the time she was still in charge of all the volunteers, until she retired [to the advisory board] last year.

What has your experience as a volunteer been like?
It has been great, a lot of fun and edifying from time to time as well. Can’t think of anything offhand that really stands out but I’ve only been volunteering for about a year and a half so I’m still fairly new at it. One thing I really like about it is that I get to associate with a goodly number of progressive people, which can be hard to do here in Fresno.

What kind of films do you enjoy the most?
Well, that’s kind of hard to say since I like many types of movies, but if you pinned me down I guess I’d say art films and Japanese films, especially those of Akira Kurosawa. Just to take one example, I must’ve seen “Seven Samurai” at least eight to 10 times by now, and I imagine I’ll see it many more times before I croak.

What’s your favorite film you’ve seen with Filmworks?
Once again, a difficult question to answer since there have been many outstanding films at Filmworks over the years. It’s hard to pick out just one. One that stands out, however, is “Searching for Sugar Man,” a documentary about a Detroit folksinger named Sixto Rodriguez who, unbeknownst to him, became very popular in South Africa.

Why should people get involved with Filmworks?
Well, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a way of giving back to the community. It’s a way of meeting many different people. And it’s also a way to see all kinds of art and indie films that you can’t see at regular theaters in Fresno.

Filmworks thanks our February 2017 volunteers:
Cleo Bauer, Teule Bell, Fae Giffen, Karen Hammer, Rebecca Horwitz, Neal Howard, Nuria Ibars, Carl Johnsen, Kathryn Johnsen, Richard Markley, Monica Marks, Carlos Eduardo Marquez, Ann McGowan, Conde McGowan, Dominic Papagni, Minal Patel, Roque Rodriguez, Allen Smith, Lorraine Tomerlin, Michael Torres, Suzanne Watkins

To meet our past volunteers in the spotlight and to find out how you can volunteer with Filmworks, visit our volunteer page.

Every second Friday of the month, Fresno Filmworks screens first-run independent and international movies at the historic Tower Theatre.