Student Life

"Utopias in Four Movements, a Live Documentary" to screen Sun., Feb. 13

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - The Grinnell College Cultural Films Committee will present a screening of “UTOPIA IN FOUR MOVEMENTS, a LIVE DOCUMENTARY!” on Sun., Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green will be on site to narrate the documentary and cue a live soundtrack and score by Brooklyn-based band, The Quavers, of which Grinnell alumnus T. Griffin '93 is a part.

The documentary, currently offered at the Walker Center in Minneapolis, was considered “the most compelling screening” at the 2010 Sundance festival.

According to Terri Geller, assistant professor of English who worked to bring the film to Grinnell, “‘Utopia’ is the culmination of Green’s longstanding interest in the optimism of the early 20th century, and raises questions as to what impedes us in realizing so many of our collective hopes and ambitions.”

“This provocative live documentary explores the concept of utopia in the contemporary world by presenting four vignettes of experiments of the past century—from the construction of the language of Esperanto in order to promote peace through a shared language, and a “world’s largest” shopping mall in the remote city of Dongguan, China (now abandoned), to the tireless optimism of an American exile in Cuba (Tupac Shakur's aunt), and the desire to identify remains in mass graves from the Bosnian War via forensic anthropology—in a multimedia cinematic experience.”

The film was selected by Grinnell’s Cultural Films Committee for its significance in highlighting social change, internationalism and addressing broad interdisciplinary issues.

Reviews:

“The most compelling screening of the entire [2010 Sundance] festival. Utopia was not only utterly moving but a reminder that there is real power conjured through the irreplaceable and unreproducible experience of collectively watching cinema.” —Huffington Post

"This provocative ‘live documentary’ explores the concept of utopia in the contemporary world by presenting four vignettes on experiments of the past century— from the universal language of Esperanto to a “world’s largest” shopping mall in the remote city of Dongguan, China—in a multimedia cinematic experience. Academy Award–nominated director Sam Green offers live narration that cues a stirring pastiche of still and moving images as musician Dave Cerf mixes a live soundtrack of samples and loops. Brooklyn-based band the Quavers performs a lyrical score live. “Utopia represents a celebration of big dreams as well as an homage to cinema as collective experience and event... embodying hope, fashioning new possibilities from old dreams” San Francisco International Film Festival

Abraham Inc. to perform cross-cultural, cross-genre concert Jan. 31

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Funk, jazz and hip hop will collide in a Grinnell College performance by Abraham Inc.—an eclectic group of klezmer, clarinet, and trombone—on Mon., Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel.

Featuring klezmer artist and clarinetist David Krakauer; funk trombonist Fred Wesley; and hip hop architect Socalled, Abraham Inc. creates a new musical space, “a cross-cultural, cross-genre development.” The group’s debut release “Tweet Tweet” topped Billboard’s charts as #1 in funk, #1 in Jewish and Yiddish music, and #7 in jazz, plus #35 in music sales on Amazon.

“This is a not-to-miss performance,” said Rachel Bly, director of conference operations and events at Grinnell. “This concert is all about collaboration, mutual respect and breaking down boundaries. There is something for everyone with this fun, upbeat music created by world-class musicians.”

Tickets are required for this free public performance and may be obtained at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts box office, beginning Wed., Jan. 26, noon-5 p.m. Limited tickets are also available from the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell. For ticket questions, call 641-269-3101 or go to http://www.grinnell.edu/car/confops/publicevents/.

Abraham, Inc.’s appearance at Grinnell is sponsored by the college’s Public Events Committee. Herrick Chapel is located at 1128 Park St. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If accommodations are needed, please contact the event’s sponsoring organization as soon as possible to make a request.

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