Last month The New York Times Magazine ran a piece titled “The Quiet Menace of Kelly Reichardt’s Feminist Westerns.” In it the author argues that, although Reichardt has only made one “true” Western, all of her films, in fact, can be considered revisionist Westerns that promote the possibility of a quiet, often lost, and in some way defeated, female lead. For these characters civilization does little to provide them with the justice that is promised, and their lonesome, often roaming, nature may strike a chord with those who remember the John Wayne or Clint Eastwood Westerners that have become “classics.” (more…)
The blogging team at A Place For Film extends thanks to IU President Michael A. McRobbie for supporting our new blogging adventure by inviting us to share the transcript of his remarks, which kicked off this fall’s President’s Choice: Reporting Conflict Film Series.
Introduction of Peter Weir’s The Year of Living Dangerously
President Michael A. McRobbie
IU Cinema, IU Bloomington on October 9, 2016
Thank you, Jon [Vickers].
And let me once again commend you and your staff for your commitment to highly innovative programming that has helped the IU Cinema become one of the finest university cinemas in the nation, not just in the view of thousands of us who frequent it regularly, but also in the opinion of such legends of the cinema as Meryl Streep and Glenn Close. The cinema has very quickly become one of the jewels of the Bloomington campus.
I am delighted to be here tonight to say a few words about the films I have selected as part of this semester’s President’s Choice Series, “Reporting Conflict,” and to introduce the first film in the series—Peter Weir’s The Year of Living Dangerously. (more…)
Since the earliest days of avant-garde cinema, experimental filmmakers have interrogated vision. They have defied or ignored norms of cinematography to create images that appear distorted, abstract, fantastical, or visually confusing. Historically, the reasons why individual filmmakers distort the image have been diverse. Some seek a “pure” cinema akin to classical music. Others feel that marginalized stories need to be told differently than mainstream cinema. (more…)
I had the great pleasure of being invited to have lunch with John Boorman during his visit to the IU Cinema. He was so sharp and intelligent, and he told wonderful stories. I ushered a screening of Point Blank just so I could hear him talk. I loved the movie, but at the time seeing it was more of a bonus compared to Boorman’s stories about making it.
Boorman’s versatility has served him well throughout his career. It has allowed him to make many different kinds of films and satisfy different types of audiences. But he has achieved something special with Point Blank and The General. Both films are about driven, principled criminals and are made with great technical creativity. They differ in several respects, but are united by the clear-eyed intelligence and clever storytelling that are trademarks of John Boorman’s work as a filmmaker. The two crime films were made 31 years apart, but bear some interesting resemblances. A viewing of both films reveals stylistic and narrative similarities that enhance the audience’s enjoyment of both films. (more…)
Lilly Library’s acquisition of John Boorman’s papers led to a stimulating campus visit by the visionary filmmaker last month. Events during Boorman’s visit included a Public Reception associated with the opening of The Directed by John Boorman: An Introduction to His Collection at the Lilly Library and the John Boorman: Conjurer of Cinema Film Series at IU Cinema. This week I had a chance to interview Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivist Craig Simpson, who oversaw the creation of the Boorman Collection and partnered with IU Cinema on the film series. I hope you’ll enjoy this conversation, peruse the images of the exhibition, then head over to Lilly Library to experience these artifacts of an exhilarating film career in person. (more…)
Each semester when I introduce my selection for the City Lights Film Series at the Indiana University Cinema, I begin by saying that all of the series’ titles are pulled from the David Bradley Collection, housed in the Lilly Library here on the Indiana University Campus. That is to say, the titles, specifically, are selected from the Collection. The physical films themselves are another matter. Many of the 16mm film prints are in delicate condition, and the process of projecting them might actually be harmful to the material. As a result, the IU Cinema often choses to obtain, from elsewhere, more modern copies or prints that can handle the sometimes rough process of film projection. (more…)