Past Events in Cultural Films
12.07.10 Screening of The Wedding Song
Rosenfield Center 101, 7-10 p.m.
Panel discussion with Katya Gibel Mevorach, Professor of Anthropology; Mirzam Perez, Assistant Professor of Spanish; and Mervat Youssef, Assistant Professor of French teaching Arabic
2.13.11 Utopia in Four Movements
Sunday, February 13 (location TBA)
Oscar-nominated documentarian Sam Green will perform Utopia in Four Movements, an epic multimedia "live documentary" that was one of the hits of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Green offers his own narration and cues a live soundtrack and score by Brooklyn-based band The Quavers. Utopia, co-directed by sound artist Dave Cerf, is the culmination of Green's longstanding interest in the optimism of the early 20th century and our failure to realize so many of our collective hopes and ambitions. The piece is divided into four movements that each looks at a manifestation of the utopian impulse: the world's largest shopping mall in China (now abandoned), the invented language Esperanto, the tireless optimism of an American exile in Cuba, and the desire to identify remains in mass graves via forensic anthropology. Utopia in Four Movements: a live documentary! Oscar-nominated documentarian Sam Green and a live band perform Utopia in Four Movements, an epic multimedia "live documentary" that was one of the hits of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Green offers his own narration and cues a live soundtrack and score by Brooklyn-based band The Quavers. Utopia, co-directed by sound artist Dave Cerf, is the culmination of Green's longstanding interest in the optimism of the early 20th century and our failure to realize so many of our collective hopes and ambitions. The piece is divided into four movements that each looks at a manifestation of the utopian impulse: the world's largest shopping mall in China (now abandoned), the invented language Esperanto, the tireless optimism of an American exile in Cuba, and the desire to identify remains in mass graves via forensic anthropology. Read more about it.
Guggenheim Fellow, animator and filmmaker Nina Paley will screen her acclaimed film Sita Sings the Blues, a digitally animated, feminist retelling of the Indian classical epic Ramayana. Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw.
04.08.11 Nina Paley and Sita Sings the Blues
JRC 101 7:30 p.m.
Ms. Paley will give a talk before the screening and will lead a Q&A session afterward about the making and reception of the film. In 2002 Ms. Paley followed her then-husband to Trivandrum, India, where she read her first Ramayana. This inspired her first feature, Sita Sings the Blues, which she animated and produced single-handedly over the course of five years on a home computer. The film takes this 2,000-year-old Sanskrit epic and “remixes” it with elements as diverse as a ’20s-era jazz singer, her own illustrations and life story and Indonesian shadow puppets. She will also offer a master class to Grinnell students Friday afternoon at 3 pm in ARH 302; this class will be of particular interest to those interested in the study of film, gender, and Indian literature and religion. Ms. Paley teaches at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan.
The Strand Theatre 1 p.m.
TEZA ("morning dew" in Amharic) from acclaimed Ethiopian-born director Haile Gerima, is set in Ethiopia and Germany. Teza examines the displacement of African intellectuals, both at home and abroad, through the story of a young, idealistic Ethiopian doctor ; above all, Teza explores the possession of memory - a right humanity mandates that each of us have - the right to own our pasts." (Directed by Haile Gerima. Starring Aaron Arefe, Abiye Tedla, Takelech Beyene). Awards include Best Film award (the African Oscar) at the Fespaco Pan African Film Festival 2009, Best Screenplay Award at the 2008 Venice Film Festival
09.09.11 "Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet"
4:15 p.m. in ARH 302
Cultural Films and the Rosenfield Program present “Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet,” a documentary about the political theater group coming to Grinnell next week. Brownies, tea and coffee will be served.
"Political, spectacular, universal, rich” describes the street theatre-style of Bread and Puppet, one of the country’s oldest, non-profit theatre companies, coming to Grinnell College for a week-long residency this month.
Bread and Puppet uses larger-than-life papier-mache puppets, music and dance to drive home points about how people treat each other, with an overall theme of universal peace. The troupe will offer a free outdoor public performance on Mon., Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. on the college’s MacEachron Field. The puppeteers will also participate in an ongoing social justice symposium on Wed., Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. A documentary about the troupe’s work will be shown at 4:15 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 9 in Room 302 of Alumni Recitation Hall. Throughout the week, the troupe will also conduct puppetry workshops for Grinnell students.
Tickets are not required for the Bread and Puppet public events. The audience for the Sept. 19 outdoor performance is encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs as limited seating will be available. MacEachron Field is located in the heart of the Grinnell campus, north of 8th Ave. If inclement weather, the performance will be held in Harris Center, 1114 10th Ave.
The troupe’s residency at Grinnell is sponsored by the college’s Public Events Committee.
09.16.11 "Resist with the Living Theater"
7:30 p.m., in ARH 302
A documentary film about art and activism in the pre- and post 9/11 world.
09.24.11 Breakfast at Tiffany's
Lunchtime panel discussion with Profs. Khactu, Leung and Rivas. Upstairs in dining hall, JRC 224A, noon
“On Mickey Rooney’s Buckteeth: Hollywood Racism and Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. 1:00 p.m.
Free Screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s to follow at 1:00 p.m. at The Strand Theatre, 921 Main Street.
Audrey Hepburn is the pretty, quirky New York socialite Holly Golightly in this classic film. Come celebrate Tiffany's 50-year anniversary! Sponsored by Cultural Films Committee for Family Weekend .
10.28.11 University of Iowa mirrors Grinnell's CFC Utopia event
"Utopia In Four Movements" at the Englert Theater in Iowa City. Friday, October 28, 2011 At 8 p.m. This is a free event, sponsored by the University Of Iowa.
Sam Green and The Quavers return to iowa with their live documentary, "Utopia In Four Movements." If you missed the CFC screening of it last year to a packed house in JRC 101, now you have a rare opportunity to see it again. Don’t miss the film The Huffington Post pronounced The Best Of Sundance 2010.
02.24.12 "When the Bough Breaks"
With Post-Screening Talk with Director Ji Dan
8p.m. ARH 302
Independent documentary director Ji Dan will be appearing on the Grinnell College campus on Feb. 24 for an 8pm screening of her film "When the Bough Breaks." Screening will begin at 8pm, to be followed by a conversation with the director. Venue: Alumni Recitation Hall (ARH) Room 302, 1226 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112. "When the Bough Breaks" is scheduled to premiere on Feb. 20 as part of the Museum of Modern Art's "Documentary Fortnight at MoMa." Sponsorship for this important event comes from the the Rosenfield Program, Center for International Studies, Cultural Films Committee, Center for Humanities, and East Asian Studies Concentration at Grinnell College.
03.01.12 The Taqwacores
4:15p.m. Faulconer Gallery
Author Michael Muhammad Knight will read from and discuss The Taqwacores, a fictional work that spawned an actual Islamic punk music scene. Co-sponsored by Writers@Grinnell, Department of Religious Studies, Center for Humanities, and Faulconer Gallery.
03.02.12 Muhammad was a Punk Rocker
4:15p.m. Faulconer Gallery
Author Michael Muhammad Knight, film director Omar Majeed, and musicians from The Kominas will speak about evolving Islamic punk rock culture in the United States.
03.02.12 Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam
7 p.m. Faulconer Gallery
Three years in the making, this feature documentary traces the progression of the Muslim Punk scene: from its imaginary inception in a novel written by a white-convert named Michael Muhammad Knight to a full-blown, real-life scene of Muslim punk bands and their fans. Comments by director Omar Majeed will follow the screening. Co-sponsored by Cultural Films Committee, SGA Films, Department of Religious Studies, Center for Humanities, and Faulconer Gallery.
11.02.2012 Cultural Films Election Weekend, Janeane from Des Moines
7 p.m. JRC 101
Film Screening, Talk and Q&A,
An Iowa housewife's personal and political convictions are severely tested as she seeks answers from the Republican presidential candidates leading up to the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. Director: Grace Lee. 78 minutes. Q&A with Grace Lee (director), Jane Wilson (lead actress and writer), and Carl Pfirman '83 (alumnus; co-producer)
11.03.12 Cultural Films Election Weekend, Medium Cool screening
10:30 a.m. ARH 302
TV news cameraman finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence which erupts around the 1968 Democratic Convention. Director: Haskell Wexler. 111 minutes. Lunch Conversations with Alumnus and Film Producer, Carl Pfirman '83, 12:30 p.m. in ARH 302. Encore screening of Janeane from Des Moines, 2 p.m. in ARH 302
11.30.12 Monty Python Fest, Life of Brian screening
4:15 p.m. ARH 302
Irreverent satire of Biblical films and religious intolerance focuses on Brian, a Jew in Roman-occupied Judea. After joining up with an anti-Roman political organization, Brian is mistaken for a prophet, and becomes a reluctant Messiah. Run time: 94 minutes
11.30.12 Monty Python Fest, Monty Python and the Holy Grail screening
7 p.m. ARH 302
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles. Run time: 91 minutes
12.15.12 Pre-Finals Weekend, Casablanca screening
7 p.m. ARH 302
12.16.12 Pre-Finals Weekend, Maltese Falcon screening
7 p.m. ARH 302
03.11.13 Anand Patwardhan Screening & Director Talk
7 p.m. JRC 101
Grinnell's Cultural Films Committee and Gandhi and Resistance course will join with the University of Iowa to sponsor a visit by Anand Patwardhan, India's leading activist documentary filmmaker.
For nearly thirty years, Patwardhan's courageous work on slum-dwellers and women's rights, on people displaced by massive dam projects, on the political manipulation of Hindu-Muslim conflict, and (most recently) on the fight for social equality by India's Dalits (i.e., "untouchables") has provoked controversy, broadcasting bans, Supreme Court cases, and a great deal of public awareness.
Patwardhan will be screening his latest film, _Jai Bhim Comrade_, which examines Dalit activism in India today and will be giving a director talk and Q&A. This public program will be on March 11 from 7 PM (JRC 101).
For more information on Patwardhan and his films, please see:
(Most of Patwardhan's documentaries are in our Library.)
11.20-21.14 Hollywood, Billy Wilder, and the Anti-Nazi Film
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m., ARH 302
Film Screening and Q&A: Billy Wilder's 1961 Cold War comedy One, Two, Three followed by a Q&A Session with renowned film historian Prof. Sabine Hake. The film moves between the East and West German border and between U.S. and Russian occupation soldiers and business men while a Coca-Cola executive from Atlanta in West Berlin tries to avoid being fired by keeping his American Boss's daughter from marrying an East German Communist.
Thursday, Nov. 21, 4:15 p.m., BCA 152
Lecture by Dr. Sabine Hake "Exiled in the American Century: Revisiting the Holywood Anti-Nazi Film." German exile studies have for a long time been informed by the kind of binaries that associate the exiles fleeing Nazi Germany for the United States with a stance of political and aesthetic resistance. Her lecture on the Hollywood anti-Nazi films intends to challenge such simplistic readings. A little studied group of approx. 150 feature films, made between 1939 and 1945 to support the fight against Nazism, the anti-Nazi films bring out the contradictions of exile experienced by the diverse group of Central European actors, screenwriters, and directors arriving in Hollywood after 1933. Focusing on the contribution of the actors in performing the absolute Other, Nazism, on the screen, Dr. Hake's discussion will reconstruct their enlistment through anti-Nazi stereotypes, performance styles, and forms of character identification in the promotion of American democracy and the making of what Henry Luce famously called the American century.
Dr. Sabine Hake is the Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture in the Department of Germanic Studies at The University of Texas at Austin where she has taught since 2004. A cultural historian working on nineteenth and twentieth century Germany, with a special emphasis on film, she is the author of six monographs, including German National Cinema (2008, second revised edition), Topographies of Class: Modern Architecture and Mass Society in Weimar Berlin (2008), and Screen Nazis: Cinema, History, and Democracy (2012). In addition, she has coedited four anthologies and published numerous articles and book reviews. Since 2011, she also serves as the editor of German Studies Review, the journal of the German Studies Association.
05.04–05.05 2015 Unveiled and Queering the Fortress Europe
Monday, May 4, 7:30 p.m., and Tuesday, May 5, noon, BCA 152
Katrin Sieg, professor of German and European Studies at Georgetown University, will screen Fremde Haut (Unveiled) at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 4, in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Room 152. She will hold a question and answer session after the screening.
At noon Tuesday, May 5, she will presents "Queering the Fortress Europe," in Burling Library Lounge. In the talk, Sieg will place the film in the larger context of asylum law and policy in Europe.
Fremde Haut tells the tale of a lesbian fleeing persecution in Iran. When she escapes to Germany she passes as a man to gain refugee status, and then falls in love with a German woman.
European asylum law and policy is increasingly coming under attack for its inability to protect those fleeing persecution, either for political reasons or for belonging to particular ethnic, racial or social group, including gay, lesbian, and transgendered people.
Sieg asks, "How has queer European cinema and visual culture of the past decade helped to conceptualize the enactment of queer desires and identities as a human right? The enshrining of gay rights in EU law, and the celebration of queer icons at such popular events as the annual Eurovision Song Contest seemingly signal the unequivocal victory of gay rights as human rights. What perverse impulse, then, drives some European filmmakers to call the discourse of a cosmopolitan, ethnically diverse and sexually tolerant Europe into question?"
04.29–04.30 2015 Shacks and Shanties/Medium Cool
April 29, 7:30 p.m., ARH 302, and April 30, 4:15 p.m., Faulconer Gallery
Artist Faheem Majeed will present on the Shacks and Shanties project at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Faulconer Gallery. The project was a multifaceted South Side Chicago installation initiative that served as a collaborative platform for artist interventions, and a space for civically engaged community members and organizations.
Majeed will also screen the film "Medium Cool" by Haskell Wexler at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29 in Alumni Recitation Hall, Room 302. In his 1969 review, Roger Ebert wrote "In Medium Cool, Wexler forges back and forth through several levels...There are fictional characters in real situations...there are real characters in fictional situations." The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for its significance. Faheem will talk about the film, which he cites as one of his inspirations as a creative artist.
Majeed, a full-time practicing artist, tackles questions about civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional racism through environment and art. He was the inaugural artist in residence for University of Chicago’s Arts in Public Life Initiative, and has taught classes in socially engaged art practices. He has also been active in arts administration, curation, and community facilitation.