Twyla Tharp Dance and Film Collaborations

Twyla Tharp, leading innovator and cultural icon, transformed dance. Her choreography for the films Hair (1979) and White Nights (1985) showcase elements of a current collaboration between Tharp and Indiana University: a groundbreaking new IU course, Twyla Tharp Fundamentals in Movement and Creativity. The Hollywood Reporter wrote of her choreography, “Formalism clashing with the chaos of nature is at the root of much of what Tharp does.” The Tharp fundamentals class is offered for students from any major with no prior dance experience—students will learn to think and move like a creative genius and apply what they learn to any field of study. This partnership is supported through IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations program.

This series is sponsored by the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance; the Office of the
Provost and Executive Vice President; and IU Cinema.

Visible Evidence XXV

Visible Evidence is a collection of scholars and practitioners engaged in research and debates on historical and contemporary documentary practice and nonfiction media culture.  Work presented at the annual conference focuses on the role of film, video, and other media as record, witness, and voice of social reality, exploring a wide range of cultural, political, social, historical, ethnographic, aesthetic, and pedagogical questions and perspectives from fields such as film studies, communication studies, anthropology, architecture, art history, ethnic studies, queer studies, history, journalism, law, medicine, political science, geography, sociology, urban studies, and gender studies.

Visit the Center for Documentary Research and Practice website for information on additional Visible Evidence XXV screenings taking place in the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive Screening Room in the Herman B Wells Library, as well as for all symposium details.

2018 Filmmaker to Filmmaker: Hal Hartley and Paul Shoulberg

The 2018 Filmmaker to Filmmaker: Conversations from the Director’s Chair events will feature two honored independent filmmakers, Hal Hartley and Paul Shoulberg. The conversation will be a rare opportunity to hear Hartley speak in the Midwest with a filmmaker whose career and writing he has influenced, while celebrating the work of an emerging voice in independent film.

This annual program pairs two complementary film directors on stage together, discussing their artistic vision, process, and bodies of work, surrounded by screenings of their films.

The program is endowed through a generous gift from Roberta and Jim Sherman, with an Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign Match.

Hal Hartley

Hal Hartley studied filmmaking at the State University of New York at Purchase from 1980 to 1984, where he met many of his future collaborators like Edie Falco, Parker Posey, Karen Sillas, Robert John Burke, and Bill Sage.

He was born and raised in the working class suburb of Lindenhurst, Long Island, 33 miles from New York City. His father, uncles, and brothers were union structural steel ironworkers—setting the steel for many skyscrapers in Manhattan from the 1950s through the 1980s. Hartley paid for his college education largely working as an apprentice on some of these job sites during summer and winter breaks from college.

Graduating from SUNY Purchase in 1984, Hartley moved to New York City and found production assistant jobs on television commercials and films. By 1986, he became the all-around production assistant in the offices of Action Productions, a company owned and operated by Jerry Brownstein. During this time, Hartley wrote his first feature film screenplays and made a handful of short films. In 1988, Brownstein financed the production of Hartley’s first feature film, The Unbelievable Truth. The success of this film provided the foundation for Hartley’s own company, True Fiction Pictures, later Possible Films.

The 1990s were very busy and Hartley made many films before deciding to slow down in 1998 after completing Henry Fool (winner Best Screenplay, Cannes 1998). He turned his attention towards smaller, more experimental work such as The New Math(s) made for the BBC; Kimono, made for German television; and his play Soon, commissioned by the Salzburger Festpiele in Austria.

Hartley was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des lettres of the Republic of France in 1996. He taught filmmaking at Harvard University from 2001 through 2004. Having been awarded a fellowship by the American Academy in Berlin, Hartley arrived in that city in September 2004. In the years to follow, he shot the second film in his Henry Fool trilogy, Fay Grim (2006), in Berlin, Paris, and Istanbul. In 2009, Hartley returned to New York City and, in 2010, began work on Meanwhile, which was featured in the 2012 Viennale. Most recently, Hartley directed episodes of the Amazon series Red Oaks (2015–17).

Paul Shoulberg

Paul Shoulberg is a writer and director whose directorial debut, The Good Catholic, starring Danny Glover and John C. McGinley, won the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema at the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Best Screenplay at the 2017 Milan International Film Festival.

Shoulberg also wrote the feature film Walter, starring Academy Award-nominated actors William H. Macy and Virginia Madsen, as well as Justin Kirk, Neve Campbell, and Jim Gaffigan. He is currently in post-production on his next film, Ms. White Light, starring Judith Light, John Ortiz, and Roberta Colindrez. In 2006, his play REEL won the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for best student comedy.

Shoulberg is a 2007 graduate of the MFA playwriting program at Indiana University and earned his BA in Theatre and Film from the University of Kansas in 2004.

Vincent Price: Master of Menace, Lover of Life

Following in her father’s footsteps, Victoria Price has become a popular speaker on inspirational topics ranging from the daily practice of joy, how finding your magic word can change your life, living your legacy of yes, wildflowering your way back whole, making peace with our past stories to expand our creative futures, the role of the arts in society, as well as the life of her famous father, Vincent Price, and a range of topics on interior & industrial design.

In 2012, Victoria was invited to be a TedX speaker, giving the talk, Tell Me What Do You Have in the House. Over the past 15 years, Victoria has spoken around the world to audiences, who have enjoyed her ease, erudition, and inspiration in sharing her enthusiasm for living a joy-filled life.

In this series, we will honor the cinematic legacy of Vincent Price by screening two of his most celebrated films, The Masque of the Red Death and The Abominable Dr. Phibes. In a specia lecture presentation, Victoria will reminisce about her famous father’s life, films, passions, and friendships. Her lecture will be followed by a book signing of Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography (1999/2014, St Martin’s Press/Open Road Media) and The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self (2018,Ixia Press/Dover Publications).

Read more about Vincent Price’s connection to Indiana University and the Eskenazi Art Museum in Nan Brewer’s Art From All Angles blog post “Vincent Price as Art Collector.”

Race Swap

Unearthing early roots of Jordan Peele’s political horror film Get Out (2017), Race Swap presents three cult films which similarly explore and exploit racial ideology. Combination science fiction, horror, and exploitation comedy films, they play on the supposedly irreducible fact of racial groups and the disgust/desire to get inside the body of the other. And yet in some ways, they picture a proposed new race relations in post-civil rights America that is imperfect and unsettling, but united nonetheless. Post-film discussions will follow all screenings. This partnership is supported through IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations program.

This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, Cinema and Media Studies, and IU Cinema.

Cheryl Dunye: Blurring Distinctions 

Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the New Queer Cinema movement of young film and video makers in the 1990s. Dunye’s work is defined by her distinctive narrative voice. Often set within a personal or domestic context, her stories foreground issues of race, sexuality, and identity. Dunye’s narratives are peppered with deconstructive elements with characters directly addressing the camera and making ironic references to the production itself. The effect of these devices, and of Dunye’s appearance in her films and tapes as herself, is to blur the distinctions between fiction and real life. Dunye has made over 15 films including Mommy is Coming, The Owls, My Baby’s Daddy, and HBO’s Stranger Inside, which garnered her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for best director. Her debut film, The Watermelon Woman, was awarded the Teddy at the Berlinale in 1996 and was recently restored by Outfest’s UCLA Legacy Project for the film’s 20th anniversary. Dunye has received numerous awards and honors for her work including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Presently, Dunye is a professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University, and her most recent directorial work includes episodes of Queen Sugar, The Fosters, and Claws. She is currently at work on her next film, Black is Blue, a feature-length adaptation of her 2014 short film.

This series is sponsored by IU Cinema, Black Film Center/Archive, and Bloomington PRIDE.

BFC/A logo

Bloomington Pride

5x Robert Altman: From the Margins to the Center

Since opening in January 2011, IU Cinema has hosted dozens of eminent and celebrated filmmakers.But many seminal titans of the moving picture are no longer with us. IU Cinema’s 5X series aims at offering a peek into the canon of the celluloid legends who may not be able to join us in person, but whose influence is felt every time our screen lights up.

Born in Kansas City, Mo. in 1925, filmmaker Robert Altman was older than the ‘Movie Brats’ (e.g., Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas) with whom he defined American cinema in the 1970s. He also brought a markedly different, idiosyncratic perspective to his work. Altman’s life experiences included distinguished service as a bomber pilot who flew more than 50 missions during World War II. His ‘film school’ was directing industrial documentaries in his hometown after the war, followed by years of toiling in Hollywood on episodes of television shows like Combat! and Bonanza.

Altman’s fortunes changed when he scored an unexpected box-office success with the original 1970 feature-film version of M*A*S*H. That movie set the tone for his dark-humored, antiestablishment, politically engaged body of work. His innovative technical achievements included a multilayered sound design that emphasized overlapping dialogue and a panning, zooming visual sensibility that focused on characters along the margins of the frame as much as those at the center. Up to his death in 2006, Altman applied his singular style to a variety of genres over an astonishingly prolific career. He was an original whose movies are like no other. Special thanks to Craig Simpson.

Alex Ross Perry: Willing to Risk Everything

Cahiers du Cinéma critic Stéphane Delorme wrote that filmmaker, actor, and writer Alex Ross Perry’s films “remind us of a New York independent cinema that we loved […] and that seemed to no longer exist.” Recalling cinema of the past but always reaching for new possibilities of the art form, Perry’s work belies emulation through experimentation and a sense of ‘working through’ psychological fears, anxieties of self and interpersonal relationships, while being relentlessly honest in considering the follies of humanity, big or small. Cynical, quick-witted, boastfully funny, attentive to the machinations of cinema, self-propelled, and willing to risk it all to get closer to some form of truth, Perry’s oeuvre stands outside the typical indie-fare and is among the most exciting work in American 21st-century narrative filmmaking.

The Brooklyn-based independent filmmaker has been working since his directorial debut in 2009, completing five feature films, acting in numerous independent projects, and writing scripts for others, including the upcoming live-action Disney adaptation of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. He is an alumnus of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where he teaches directing in the graduate film program, and worked at the legendary Kim’s Video in Manhattan.

Mira Nair: Living Between Worlds

Mira Nair is a filmmaker completely grounded within the world she lives. Her films often explore the conflicts inherent with families of recent immigration and ways to bridge the gap between cultures, races, and genders. They challenge stereotypes and generational assumptions, while remaining grounded in the values she holds close.

Born in India and educated at Delhi University and Harvard, her debut feature film, Salaam Bombay! (1988) was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film after winning the Camera D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Her next film, Mississippi Masala (1991), premiered at the Venice Film Festival. In 2001, Monsoon Wedding won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and went on to receive a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. With 12 feature films to her credit, her work continues to push boundaries and explore the human spirit.

Ever sensitive to social issues, Mira Nair shares her energies between filmmaking and the two non-profit organizations she founded. In 1988, with the proceeds from the film Salaam Bombay!, she established the Salaam Baalak Trust, which offers a safe and welcoming environment to thousands of street children every year. In 2005, Nair founded Maisha, a center in East Africa providing film labs and workshops for aspiring screenwriters, directors, actors, technicians, and documentary makers coming from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda.

Mira Nair’s visit is sponsored by the Indiana University Arts and Humanities Council as part of India Remixed: Global Arts and Humanities Festival, The Media School, and IU Cinema. Special thanks to Ed Comentale and Provost Lauren Robel. Events are also part of Movement: Asian/Pacific America.

India Remixed

The Wide, Wide West

Established in 1889, the standard format of 35mm film with an image aspect ratio of 1.33:1 was not seriously challenged until Twentieth Century Fox’s invention of CinemaScope (initially 2.55:1, later 2.35:1) in the early 1950s. As with previous widescreen processes (e.g., Fox’s Grandeur process two decades earlier), Fox and other studios deemed the panoramic expanse of widescreen formats especially well-suited to Westerns. Their emphasis on widescreen formats in the 1950s undoubtedly contributed to a renaissance of the Western genre.

Widescreen cinema was novel. Like other cinematic novelties, not all filmmakers used widescreen aspect ratios to artistic effect. This series presents four splendid examples of widescreen Westerns. River of No Return is a masterclass in horizontal composition. Ride Lonesome and Ride the High Country demonstrate how effectively widescreen can be used to situate narrative in environment. Finally, Man of the West is the supreme example of The Wide, Wide West. Special thanks to Michael Trosset.