Filmmaker Visits, Psychedelic Japanese Cinema and Docs

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Popcorn fans rejoice! Our concession stand will reopen on a limited basis this Thursday, and will be open Thursdays-Saturdays during a "soft" reopening, with just popcorn, water & some candy available until further notice. Per Cornell guidance, when the Ithaca campus is at COVID-19 Alert Level Green, events may provide food and beverages, however masks must be worn when not actively eating or drinking.

What a week we have for you!! Beginning today, we’re offering a rare opportunity to view, via our virtual platform, Sudanese Film Group Shorts, a program of 8 compelling films, made by three different Sudanese filmmakers, that shines a light on a forgotten chapter of film history. A group of filmmakers working in the film department of the Ministry of Culture in Sudan founded the Sudanese Film Group (SFG) in April 1989 in order to be able to act more independently of the state. Their aim was to be involved in all aspects of film production, screening and teaching and maintaining a Sudanese passion for cinema. But the coup of June 1989 brought with it a distrust of all forms of art and ended all cultural endeavors, including the SFG, which was banned. This on-demand program features 8 short films from the filmmakers who would make up the SFG, and is available on our site through March 17!

We’ve also got a very special in-person event happening Monday at 7:30pm—(X)-trACTION, a collaborative mash-up between five media artists and short-short videos submitted by the public, with filmmakers Cathy Lee Crane (Ithaca College) and Jason Livingston ’94 in person and other filmmakers joining live via Zoom! The program examines not only the technical and common use of the term “extraction,” but also how artists grapple with making art in ways that: extract images, ideas, and stories from their subjects both human and geographical. Only way to see this stuff is by coming out Monday night! 

Our Experimental Landscapes series continues tomorrow with Costa da Morte, a film originally scheduled for our Spring 2020 calendar. It’s a fascinating observation of a section of the northwestern Spanish coastline famed for shipwrecks (one expects nothing less of an area called “the coast of death”), looking at the people who make a living in this area: fishermen, loggers, and craftspeople. Patty Keller (Comp Lit & Romance Studies) will provide an introduction.

Director Shatara Michelle Ford will join us for a Zoom Q&A this Wednesday following a screening of her debut feature Test Pattern, about an interracial couple put to the test after a sexual assault. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a staggeringly impressive debut, blending color, sound and story to create an intricate emotional tapestry” that reveals the systemic injustices and social conditioning women face when navigating sex and consent within the American patriarchy. The film was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards: Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay and Best Female Lead.

The gender affirmation of a 7 year-old girl is explored in the documentary Little Girl, which looks at how the residents of a rural French town come to accept what this young girl has always known about herself. Given that politicians in Texas are attempting to classify cases such as what is documented in Little Girl as child abuse, this film is sadly all the more relevant to today’s struggles for trans rights. 

Andrew Campana (Asian Studies) introduces the Thursday night screening of Toshio Matsumoto’s Funeral Parade of Roses (pictured), a kaleidoscopic masterpiece that's one of the most subversive and intoxicating films of the late 1960s. An unknown club dancer at the time, transgender actor Pîtâ/Peter (Kurosawa’s Ran) gives an astonishing Warhol superstar-like performance as hot young thing Eddie, hostess at Bar Genet—where she’s ignited a violent love-triangle with reigning drag queen Leda for the attentions of club owner Gonda. Shown in a new restoration, Funeral Parade of Roses is an absolute trip, with Stanley Kubrick citing it as a direct influence on A Clockwork Orange. Screening again on Friday night! 

Our Saturday Night Noir series continues apace with John Farrow’s excellent The Big Clock, with all the evidence of murder pointing toward the wrong man! Magazine publishing is a deadly business, Ray Milland. And speaking of a deadly business, Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci screens this weekend! 

Finally, our Oscar Shorts screenings come to a close this Sunday with the Oscar Shorts: Documentary programs. Screening in two parts, folks who purchase tickets to Program 1 at 4pm will receive free admission to Program 2 at 5:30pm.

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image from the film FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES