The 2008 financial crisis is certainly a watershed moment in not only American history but one that fundamentally shifted the psyche of the global stage as we know it. Once multiple economies crashed, leaving swaths of people with sobering and uncertain financial futures, it’s no surprise that film and culture would respond accordingly and shift deeper into the escapist fantasy that had begun to dominate the box office in the earlier part of the ’00s, i.e. superhero films, remakes and adaptations of beloved franchises of movie-goers’ youths, and giant worlds built with black-and-white morality in mind. However, there was of course something else emerging from the scars the recession left behind. As the dust settled on the crisis, banks were bailed out and the economy began to find an equilibrium, filmmakers began tapping into the zeitgeist and psyche of an America that had just been scammed out of a stable future and the fascinating purveyor and products of such a colossal scam. (more…)
An underappreciated pioneer with a knack for crafting wonderfully feminist fare, Dorothy Arzner is a filmmaker all cinephiles should know. A successful woman director and openly gay, Arzner was, in many ways, a rarity in classic Hollywood. She became the first woman to direct a sound film, as well as the first to be in the Directors Guild of America. In 1927, she directed her debut studio film, Fashions for Women; her last would be First Comes Courage in 1943. For sixteen years, Arzner worked with other powerful, prolific women, such as screenwriter Zoë Akins and actresses Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Clara Bow, and Rosalind Russell. These collaborations were about women who didn’t fit the traditional 20th-century mold and thus experienced the pleasures and pain of female rebellion. (more…)
Guest post by Noah Arjomand.
In an age in which political and cultural boundaries are both being constantly crossed and fiercely policed, an age of polarization into seemingly unreconcilable camps, the idea of living or moving between worlds can seem at once utopian and essential. The “between worlds” idea seems to have captured imaginations—my own included—to such an extent that IU Cinema has elected to feature two film series on the general theme in as many years. In 2018, IU Cinema’s Mira Nair: Living Between Worlds presented her work spanning India, America, and Uganda. Now, I am helping to organize an IU Cinema Creative Collaboration that we are calling Between Worlds: Cultural Hybridity in Turkish Film. (more…)
Guest post by Isabel Nieves.
Themester intern Isabel Nieves had a conversation with Samuel D. Kassow, a professor in the Department of History at Trinity College. They discussed the upcoming Themester film, Who Will Write Our History. The film recounts the story of Emanuel Ringelblum and his mission to create an archive that documented the history of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. This archive is known as the Oyneg Shabes Archive. Mr. Kassow also tells the story of Ringelblum in his book, Who Will Write Our History, which actually inspired the film. (This interview was edited and condensed.) (more…)
My introduction to Germaine Dulac many years ago in film school revolved around the surrealists. I learned about her fraught collaboration with Antonin Artaud, which resulted in a group of surrealists rioting at the premiere of The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928).
However, Germaine Dulac was so much more than an object of surrealist ire and mythology. She was a pioneer of artistry in early cinema. A prolific writer, educator, and filmmaker, she deserves as prominent a place in film history as her French impressionist and visual music peers. (more…)
Every month A Place for Film will bring you a selection of films from our group of regular bloggers. Even though these films aren’t currently being screened at the IU Cinema, this series will reflect the varied programming that can be found at the Cinema, as well as demonstrate the eclectic tastes of the bloggers. Each contributor has picked one film that they saw this month that they couldn’t wait to share with others. Keep reading to find out what discoveries these cinephiles have made, as well as some of the old friends they’ve revisited. (more…)