About Cornell Cinema
Cornell Cinema has been cited as one of the best campus film exhibition programs in the country, screening close to 300 different films/videos each year, seven nights a week in the beautiful Willard Straight Theatre. Each calendar includes an array of classic Hollywood and foreign films, independent titles, documentaries, experimental work, recent international cinema, silent films with live musical accompaniment, cult classics and recent Hollywood and arthouse hits, in addition to guest appearances by visiting film and videomakers.
Cornell Cinema began in 1970 as a university film society, but has evolved into a media arts center with a national reputation. Cornell Cinema's primary purpose is to expose Ithaca and regional audiences to alternative forms of cinema (such as documentary, classic, and experimental films) as well as alternative voices not usually heard through the mass media. Its secondary purpose is to provide affordable, second-run commercial entertainment for the Cornell community. In fulfillment of its educational goals, Cornell Cinema encourages audiences to reflect critically on commercial and other media by supplementing its over 650 annual screenings with the facilities of a media arts center. These include a media study library with extensive reference materials, publications, a film collection, and frequent guest artists and critics offering workshops and presentations.
Educational and Exhibition Services
Film and Video Exhibition
Over 300 films/videos are screened annually in series such as Monday Night Classic Cinema, Tuesday Night Cinema Off-Center (experimental film and video), director and actor retrospectives, overviews of national and minority cinemas, Silent Classics with live piano accompaniment, Ithaca Premieres, and Weekend Favorites.
Visiting Artists and Speakers
Over thirty guest filmmakers and speakers attend Cornell Cinema screenings and workshops each year, introducing and discussing their work. Previous guests have included Todd Haynes, Kelly Reichardt, Alex Rivera, Scott Ferguson '80, Will Gluck '93, Tim Squyres '81, Ernie Gehr, So Young Kim, Jennifer Reeves, Brent Green, Serge Bromberg, Howard A. Rodman '71, Sam Green, Peter Hutton, Julie Murray, Vincent Grenier, Chantal Akerman, Craig Baldwin, Irit Batsry, Stephanie Black, Robert Beavers, Sadie Benning, John Cleese, Ximena Cuevas, Su Friedrich, Miranda July, Lewis Klahr, Ang Lee, Sharon Lockhart, Anne Makepeace, Anand Patwardhan, Leighton Pierce, Daniel Reeves, Jay Rosenblatt, Thelma Schoonmaker, Roshan Seth, and Yvonne Welbon.
IthaKid Film Fest
Cornell Cinema's showcase for alternative children's media, the IthaKid Film Fest presents a total of ten Saturday matinees in the late fall (November/December) and early spring (February/March). The festival features high-quality children's programs, including feature-length international films, animated and live-action short films and videos, experimental and documentary works for children, silent classics with live piano accompaniment, and special hands-on workshops with guest artists. Previous workshop guests have included children's filmmaker Michael Rubbo, animators John Canemaker and Stephanie Maxwell, and Toronto-based experimental filmmaker John Porter.
Media Study Center
Cornell Cinema maintains a media study center in 104 Willard Straight Hall that includes a film collection of over 200 experimental and classic titles (short and feature-length work), a small film book library, and over 14,000 research files containing reviews, articles and publicity materials. Films are used in classes and for private viewings by students, faculty and other researchers. A video viewing station is available by appointment by calling 255-3522. The Cinema Office also provides information services and consultancies for those interested in tracking down films for exhibition or information for research purposes.
Campus and community groups can call attention to their organizations, and faculty can schedule films in conjunction with their courses, by proposing cosponsored screenings to the Cinema Advisory Board. Proposals are most likely to be approved when they meet the needs of the cosponsor’s members, are also of interest to a broader audience, are available in formats other than just DVD, and when they are accompanied by the promise of assistance (publicity, speaker presentations, or funding). Applications can be picked up in 104 Willard Straight Hall or downloaded here. The deadlines are October 15 for the spring semester, February 1 for the summer, and May 5 for the fall. Call 255-3522 for more information.
A program of the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance. Cosponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students. Cornell Cinema receives major support from the Undergraduate and Graduate and Professional Student Assemblies and Public Funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Photo: Willard Straight Theatre. Image from Pandora's Box inserted. Photo credit: Michael Roman