Spring 2013 Film Line up


Film Screenings Fridays 5:30 p.m. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building)
*Exceptions noted (Fresno Filmworks at Tower Theater, 815 E. Olive Ave.)

Week 1: January 18: Introduction to the course [no film]

Week 2: January 25: The Scarlett Empress (1934)
Discussant: Ed EmanuEl

The Scarlet Empress represents one of the most interesting combinations of German Expressionism and Surrealism as it tells the story of the fantastic transformation of Princess Sophia Frederica of Prussia to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. The great German film director, Josef von Sternberg creates a hyperrealistic atmosphere of nightmarish gargoyles and grotesque figures twisted into agonized replicas of human beings. All of this is set against the imperial splendor of the eighteenth century Russian court. The film stars Marlene Dietrich as Catherine, Sam Jaffe as the insane Grand Duke Peter whom she is forced to marry. When the film was released in 1934 to American audiences it failed to capture an audience. Today, however, it is considered one of Jose von Sternberg’s greatest films. His particular take on the failings and cruelty of the Russian nobility points a way to a coming revolution that will sweep away the corruption and abuse of power that is so powerfully dramatized in this film. 104 minutes.

Week 3: February 1: Have you Heard From Johannesburg: From Selma to Soweto (2010)
Discussant: Connie Field (Filmmaker)

Long one of South Africa’s most important and powerful allies, the United States becomes a key battleground in the anti-apartheid movement as African-Americans lead the charge to change the government’s policy toward the apartheid regime. A grassroots movement to get colleges, city councils, and states to divest their holdings in companies doing business in South Africa spreads across the entire nation pressuring the U.S. Congress to finally sanction South Africa. This stunning victory is won against the formidable opposition of President Ronald Reagan. African-Americans significantly alter U.S. foreign policy for the first time in history. European sanctions follow, and with them, the political isolation of the apartheid regime. 90 minutes.
Co-sponsor: African People’s History Committee

*Week 4: February 8: Fresno Filmworks: Oscar nominated Short Films (2012)

*Week 5: February 15: Remember the Titans (2000) ((film screening at 5 p.m.)
Discussant: Herman Boone (Coach portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film)
Presentation following the screening: “Becoming a Titan.”

Suburban Virginia schools have been segregated for generations, in sight of the Washington Monument over the river in the nation’s capital. One Black and one White high school are closed and the students sent to T.C. Williams High School under federal mandate to integrate. The year is seen through the eyes of the football team where the man hired to coach the Black school (Herman Boone) is made head coach over the highly successful white coach. Based on the actual events of 1971, the team becomes the unifying symbol for the community as the boys and the adults learn to depend on and trust each other. 114 minutes.
Co-Sponsors: Martin Luther King/Grunnar Mrydal Scholars Committee & African People’s History Committee

Week 6: February 22: Le hérisson (The Hedgehog) (2009)
Discussant: Rose Marie Kuhn
With Josiane Balasko, Garance Le Guillermic & Togo Igawa French director Mona Achache’s first feature film, The Hedgehog, is the story of an unexpected encounter: of Paloma Josse, a 11-year old girl, fearsomely intelligent, Renée Michel, a secretive and solitary Parisian concierge, and the enigmatic Mr. Kakuro Ozu. The film is a fairly free adaptation of the French novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Achache reportedly got the rights to make her film before the novel was released and became highly successful. Achache’s films won several awards: a. o. Best director (2009) at the Cairo International Film Festival; a Golden Space Needle for Best Film (2010) at the Seattle International Film Festival; and the Audience Award Washington DC Filmfest (2011). In French with English subtitles. 100 min.
Co-sponsors: Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures and French Studies Program

*Week 7: March 1: The Misfits (1961)
Discussant: Lois Banner
The Misfits is the story of an aging burlesque performer (played by Marilyn Monroe), who has come to Reno, Nevada, to secure a divorce, and her interactions there with three cowboys (played by Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, and Eli Wallach). Set in Reno in the 1950s, with many scenes shot at a rodeo and in the nearby desert, it is a parable of the overtaking of the frontier by mechanization, of masculinity and femininity in a modernizing world, and of good and evil in the human spirit. Monroe’s husband, Arthur Miller, wrote the screenplay; the characters are based on their real life counterparts; Monroe speaks lines she spoke in real life. Many film critics consider it to be among the finest American movies ever made. (Lois Banner) 124 minutes.
Co-Sponsors: Department of History and Women’s Studies Program
Also on March 1, Presentation by Lois Banner: “Marilyn Monroe: Uncovering the Mysteries of her Life and Death,” Peters Educational Auditorium at 4 p.m.

*Week 8: March 8: Fresno Filmworks: Rust and Bone (2012)

Week 9: March 15: The Invisible War (2012)
Discussant: Kirby Dick (Filmmaker)
The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigation into one of America’s most disturbing secrets: the epidemic of rape within the US military. Focusing on the powerful stories of several young veterans, the film is a moving examination of the staggering personal and societal costs of these assaults. Meticulously researched, the film reveals that hundreds of thousands of service members have been assaulted over the past several decades, with nearly half of those assaulted being male. Combining interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress with the devastating testimony of veterans, the film catalogues the conditions that have protected perpetrators and allowed this epidemic to continue. Both a comprehensive inquiry and an insight into what can be done to bring about much-needed change, The Invisible War urges us all, civilian and military alike, to fight for a system that protects our men and women in uniform. Nominated for an Academy Award (Documentary Feature) 93 min.
Co-Sponsors: Fresno Center for Non-Violence, Peace Fresno, & Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Week 10: March 22: Chasing Ice (2012)
Discussant: to be confirmed
In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk. Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet. Rated PG-13, 75 minutes.
Co-Sponsors: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom & Center for Creativity and the Arts

Week 11: SPRING BREAK March 25-29

Week 12: April 5: Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation) (2011)

Discussant: Partow Hooshmandrad

Set in contemporary Iran, the family drama A Separation shows the painful dissolution of a marriage. The movie has won dozens of international honors, including the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie tells the story of Simin, who wants to leave Iran with her husband, Nader, and their daughter. When Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer’s-suffering father, Simin sues for divorce. Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents’ home, but their daughter decides to stay with her father. When Nader hires a young woman to assist with his ailing father in his wife’s absence, he hopes that his life will return to normal. However, when he discovers that the woman has been lying to him, he realizes there is more on the line than just his marriage. In Farsi, with English subtitles. Rated PG-13, 123 minutes.
Co-Sponsors: Middle East Studies Program & Persian Language and Culture Studies
Week 13: April 12: Son of the Olive Merchant (2011)
Discussant: Mathieu Zeitindjioglou (Filmmaker)
For their honeymoon, Anna and Mathieu traveled to Turkey to learn about Mathieu’s Armenian heritage and the Armenian Genocide that occurred in 1915. Mathieu and Anna question and discuss the genocide with the people they meet during the trip, and what they learn is startling. Son of the Olive Merchant incorporates footage from their honeymoon mixed with additional interviews, news footage, historical documents and animation. In English, French & Turkish with English subtitles. 76 minutes.
Co-Sponsor: Armenian Studies Program

*Week 14: April 19-21: Fresno Filmworks Festival

Week 15: April 26: Valley of Saints (2012)

Discussant: Nicholas Bruckman (Producer)

Gulzar works as a boatman on the beautiful Dal Lake, paddling tourists to see some of the most spectacular landscapes of the Himalayas. Living with his uncle in a leaky shack and barely able to make ends meet, he plans to run off to Delhi with his best friend Afzal. A military crackdown derails their escape. Waiting for conditions to change, Gulzar is asked to escort a mysterious woman who is studying the impact of pollution on the lake. Gulzar starts to see how trash and sewage are a threat to the delicate ecosystem and learns simple methods to help alleviate the problem. But as Gulzar falls for Asifa, jealousy threatens his boyhood friendship with Afzal and he must make choices that had not occurred to him before. Poetic and romantic, this first film set in the endangered communities of Kashmir’s Valley of Saints blends fiction and documentary to bring audiences inside this unique world. In English/Kashmiri with English subtitles. 82 minutes.

Co-Sponsor: Center for Creativity and the Arts

Week 16: May 3: Archeology of Memory: Villa Grimaldi (2008)

Discussant: Marilyn Mulford (Filmmaker)
The film follows exiled Chilean musician, Quique Cruz, from the Bay Area to Chile and back to the U. S. in a unique journey as he creates his master work, a multimedia art piece to heal his wounds inflicted by state sponsored torture of the Pinochet regime. He visits former concentration camp sites and ruins, and talks to his mother about his disappearance and incarceration for the first time in thirty years. To help tell his story, he searches for artist friends who were incarcerated with him. In these intimate conversations—with writer Nubia Becker, poet Anita Moreira and painter Guillermo Nuñez—we see these artists, and their art, as they re-tell their experiences as political prisoners and talk of how they use their art for healing. The film utilizes experimental footage, intimate accounts from Quique and the other protagonists, and art to build dramatic tension. The Musical score is an intricate element of the film. The film spans the years from Salvador Allende’s Chile through the coup led by Augusto Pinochet. It ends at the former torture site in 2006 with the dedication by current Chilean President Michelle Bachelet of a theater where Quique performs his piece in front of thousands of people. 55 minutes.

*Week 17: May 10: Fresno Filmworks: to be announced

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