Thacher: Frontier Schooling

Lisa Eisner Captures the Unfettered Adolescence of the Iconic Californian Boarding School

Filmmaker Lisa Eisner’s latest short is a love letter to the unique camaraderie, original curriculum and idyllic environs of The Thacher School, set to the avant-pop Americana of Brooklyn singer-songwriter Julian Lynch. Nested in the rolling mountains and hillside orange groves of California’s Ojai Valley, famous for its “Pink Moment”––that time of day when the rural paradise is cast in an almost supernaturally rosy light––Thacher’s emphasis on outdoorsman-ship requires that every freshman learns to ride and care for a horse. As the faculty points out, it “is the only school where your supplies include books, a horse, a saddle, a knife, a shotgun, and a pack of matches." Founded in 1889 by the Yale-educated Sherman Day Thacher, the ambitious boarding school has produced its share of illustrious graduates, from aviation magnate Howard Hughes to playwright Thornton Wilder. Marrying the rigorous teaching and genteel traditions of East Coast colleges with the rugged landscape and self-starting pioneer spirit of the American West, Thacher offers a unique escape from the obsessions of the modern world. “If you were ever to go back to school,” says Eisner, “Thacher would be the greatest school in the world. It would just change your life completely.”

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Conversations (1)

  • suizou
    This left me feeling super good.
    • Posted By suizou
    • December 13, 2011 at 2:19AM
    • Share Comment:

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