A Conversation on Composing ‘Body and Soul’

Eun-Chul “Charlie” Oh's score for Body and Soul

This Saturday IU Cinema will present a World Premiere of a new orchestral score for Body and Soul. To learn more about what was involved in creating a completely new score for a silent film, I spoke with Eun-Chul “Charlie” Oh—IU student, composer, and 2016 winner of the Jon Vickers Film Scoring Award; and Larry Groupé, an Emmy Award winning composer, who has recently joined IU’s faculty to design the new Music Scoring for Visual Media program. (more…)

Art and A Movie: An Organized Window into a Chaotic World

Still image from the film Pollack
Still image from the film Pollack.

Our world is messy. Our world is overwhelming. Our world endlessly expands in every direction. Humans have many things that differentiate us, but the world’s incomprehensible totality is universal. Another thing that we have in common is art. Art has many functions but one that many, myself included, find the most solace in is taking the infinite world and creating a window. The world is boundless but the screen, the frame, the stage, the pedestal, the pages of a book; these all take interminable reality and confine it to one moment. Art makes the incomprehensible tangible. (more…)

Complicating a Simpler Time: Lewis Klahr’s Collage Films

U.S. pop culture in the postwar era often presented a tidy world. TV moms vacuumed in heels and full skirts. Superman’s hair was always neat and presentable, despite flying around the city faster than a speeding bullet. And media preferred to avoid moral ambiguities.

Collage animator Lewis Klahr draws from mid-twentieth-century pop culture – comics, advertisements, magazines – to create his films. But in the true spirit of collage, Klahr’s repurposed worlds are not tidy. He transforms the idealized homogeneity of his source images into meditations on the vices or cultural anxieties that postwar society attempted to mask. (more…)

Haitian Connections

Dany Laferrière
Dany Laferrière

Guest post by Vivian Nun Halloran, associate professor of English and American Studies.

In celebrating the visual adaptations of the fictional works of Haitian-born, Quebec-based journalist, novelist, and screenwriter Dany Laferrière through a three-film festival, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies sets out to deepen our collective appreciation of the imaginative richness and political valences of interamerican cultural productions featuring Caribbean artists living in diaspora. (more…)

The Fire This Time

Still photograph of James Baldwin.

“They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand;
and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it.”
-James Baldwin

Documentaries are the vegetables of the movie world. You may not always want to consume one, but for the sake of your health you really should. They can act like visual newspapers to provide dispatches from a turbulent present. They can bring the past to vivid life in order to provide guidance for the future.  Raoul Peck’s Academy Award nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro accomplishes the latter task by intellectually resurrecting acclaimed writer James Baldwin. The filmmakers do this not a moment too soon, because his words are needed more than ever.