MMFF 2014: The Mill and the Cross
Wednesday 4/23 at 7:30pm
Meet the director, Lech Majewski! The 21st Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, “Reality Narratives,” presents Lech Majewski's The Mill and the Cross (2011). Starring Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling and Michael York, the film is inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “The Procession to Calvary,” focusing on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in the 1564 painting, set against a backdrop of religious persecution in Flanders. Introduction by Barbara Bolibok, UMass. The director will be present for discussion and Q&A. [More...]
“The Hidden Language of Symbols in Art”: A Lecture by Lech Majewski
Thursday 4/24 at 4:00pm
Lech Majewski is a Polish filmmaker, poet, painter and composer. In addition to his works in various art forms, Mr. Majewski has made a number of original films that have earned him international recognition. As a trained painter, he brings to the film image a painters appreciation of perspective, color and stillness that is unusual in the art of moving pictures. A practitioner of the arts, Mr. Majewski is also an astute critic of contemporary art and culture. In his lecture, he will explore symbolic language in film, painting and architecture.
Mr. Majewski's visit to UMass campus is part of his participation in the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival and is supported by the Amesbury Endowment for Polish Studies, the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, the Amherst College Russian Department and Hampshire College. [Event poster]
New Books by Barbara Zecchi: Desenfocadas and Gynocine
Barbara Zecchi, Film Faculty and Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, has published two new books in the last year on women in cinema in Spain:
Desenfocadas, Cineastas españolas y discursos de género (Icaria, 2014) and Gynocine: Teoría de género, filmología y praxis cinematográfica (Zaragoza: Publicaciones Universidad Zaragoza, 2013). Barbara Zecchi directs Gynocine: History of Spanish Women's Cinema in the University of Massachusetts Digital Humanities Initiative. [See Barbara Zecchi's website]
NESN Student Film Contest
Wednesday 4/2 at 10:00am
NESN is developing a new television series that offers New England film students the chance at cash, prizes, exposure and bragging rights. The NESN Filmmaking Contest involves teams of undergraduate student filmmakers producing short, sports-themed documentary films in the Fall of 2014. These films will air on NESN and will be judged by industry professionals throughout the competition.
The winning filmmakers will be awarded $20,000 cash.
A Woman Filmmaker Tells Her Story
Tues 4/1, 4:30-6:30pm
UMass Grad Film Certificate Colloquium with independent film pioneer, Liane Brandon. Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Emeritus. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the early Women's Movement. During that time, she was also a member of Newsreel film collective and of Bread and Roses, one of the first women's liberation groups in Boston. She was also a founding member of FilmWomen of Boston and Boston Film/Video Foundation. In 1971, she co-founded New Day Films with Julia Reichert, Jim Klein and Amalie Rothschild.
Her classic films Anything You Want To Be (1971) and Betty Tells Her Story (1972) were among the earliest and most frequently used consciousness raising tools of the Women's Movement. Her films, which also include: Once Upon A Choice, How To Prevent A Nuclear War and Fine Print have won numerous national and international awards, and have been featured on HBO, The Learning Channel, USA Cable and Cinemax. They have twice received Blue Ribbons at the American Film Festival, and have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Chicago Art Institute. Betty Tells Her Story was nominated for inclusion in the National Film Registry and Anything You Want To Be was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011.
Co-sponsored by the Comm Department CSC lecture series and the Interdepartmental Film Studies Program.
The 2014 MMFF “Reality Narratives” explores the blurred boundaries between documentary and fiction that have been present since the birth of cinema and that constitute a major conceptual force in contemporary filmmaking. Hosting nine filmmakers who will be present for discussion, our festival program observes the hybrid, amalgamated spaces between these genres, juxtaposing methodologies and narratives that blend the “factual” with the “fictional.” In so doing, the festival raises ethical questions about the “truth claims” and “reality principles” of a wide-ranging, eclectic body of international cinema, recasting conventional definitions and distinctions in a variety of works and styles. All events are free and open to the public. [More...]
Catalan Film Festival 2014
02/25 El bosc (Óscar Aibar)
Student Filmmaker talk and Q&A
Wednesday 2/26 at 3:30pm
How does a new filmmaker get discovered? Films and filmmakers can be selected for prestigious film festivals. They might be funded and distributed by big studios or television companies. Alternatives to these traditional channels are developing on the internet and through social media.
Meet Konstantin Rubchinsky of DigiPops, a new platform taking film and filmmaker discovery to the next level. Konstantin will speak and answer questions about the future of how great films and filmmakers will be discovered. [Event poster]
Jewish Pasts, German Fictions
Forthcoming in February from Stanford University Press, a new book by UMass Assistant Professor of German Studies Jonathan Skolnik, Jewish Pasts, German Fictions History: Memory, and Minority Culture in Germany, 1824-1955.
Description: Jewish Pasts, German Fictions is the first comprehensive study of how German-Jewish writers used images from the Spanish-Jewish past to define their place in German culture and society. Jonathan Skolnik argues that Jewish historical fiction was a form of cultural memory that functioned as a parallel to the modern, demythologizing project of secular Jewish history writing. What did it imply for a minority to imagine its history in the majority language? Skolnik makes the case that the answer lies in the creation of a German-Jewish minority culture in which historical fiction played a central role. After Hitler's rise to power in 1933, Jewish writers and artists, both in Nazi Germany and in exile, employed images from the Sephardic past to grapple with the nature of fascism, the predicament of exile, and the destruction of European Jewry in the Holocaust. The book goes on to show that this past not only helped Jews to make sense of the nonsense, but served also as a window into the hopes for integration and fears about assimilation that preoccupied German-Jewish writers throughout most of the nineteenth century. Ultimately, Skolink positions the Jewish embrace of German culture not as an act of assimilation but rather a reinvention of Jewish identity and historical memory. [More...]
The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe Film Series
The Film Series at the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies together with Olga Gershenson's new book The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe. See the article in the journal Tablet on Olga Gershenson's book. Olga Gershenson is a film scholar and Assistant Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at UMass. [More...]
Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer Talk
Thursday 10/17 at 4:30pm
The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is pleased to present "School Pictures in Liquid Time: Assimilation, Exclusion, Resistance," a presentation by Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer
Free and Open to the Public. Reception to Follow. [More...]
German Film Series Spring 2014
Thursdays 4:00pm & 7:30pm
The Spring 2014 German Film Series from 2/13 through 4/24.
February 13: Bandits (Katja von Garnier, 1997; 109 min.)
February 27: Hannah Arendt (Margarethe von Trotta, 2012; 113 min.)
March 13: Die Welle (The Wave, Dennis Gansel, 2008; 107 min.)
April 3: Ende der Schonzeit (Closed Season, Franziska Schlotterer, 2012; 104 min.)
April 24: Drei Zimmer/Küche/Bad (Move, Dietrich Brüggemann , 2012 111 min.)
Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival 2014
The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival presents 2 weeks of award-winning films from around the world, plus speakers and special events. Through collaborations with educational and cultural organizations as well as businesses, the Festival provides audiences a multifaceted exploration of contemporary Jewish culture, secular and religious life, history and politics. See this year's festival schedule at pvjff.org.
Amherst Cinema's Italian Film Series 2014
Revel in the stunning visuals and colorful stories of Italian cinema, at Amherst Cinema's Italian Film Series Introduced by Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Professor Emerita, UMass Amherst (Sunday screenings only). This series made possible through the generous financial support of Fred and Edith Byron. [More...]
MacArthur Grant Goes to Alumna Pamela Yates and Skylight Pictures
January 15, 2014: The MacArthur Foundation has announced a $225,000 grant to Pamela Yates and Skylight Pictures for production of 500 Years, a documentary film on the 2013 genocide trial of former Guatemalan president Efraín Ríos Montt, and its aftermath. Ríos Montt stood trial for the killing of 1,700 Maya Ixil people from 1982-1983—the first trial in the history of the Americas for the genocide of indigenous people. When Ríos Montt is found guilty, a higher Guatemalan court vacates the verdict, and 500 Years captures the reactions and responses of Guatemalans from all levels of Guatemalan society.
The 2013 Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at the University of Massachusetts Amherst welcomed UMass alumna Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis as visiting artists in residence with a festival screening of their film DISRUPTION (Punto de quiebre, 2013). The 2012 MMFF featured an evening with Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis with a screening and discussion of their film GRANITO (2011).
Film Studies and the MMFF extend congratulations to Pamela, Paco de Onis and Peter Kinoy, and wish them every success with the production of 500 years. (Photo credits: Dana Lixenberg and Daniel Hernandez-Salazar) [More...]
Film Studies Alumn Jed Winer wins Audience Award at NoHoIFF
Congratulations to Jed Winer, honors student and Film Certificate alumnus ('13). Jed took home the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2013 Northampton International Film Festival for his film Cheetah Conservation Fund: Change for the Cheetah's Future on the work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. [NoHoIFF | Multimedia]
A Companion to the Historical Film
Broad in scope, this interdisciplinary collection of original scholarship on historical film, edited by Robert A. Rosenstone nad Constantin Parvulescu, features essays that explore the many facets of this expanding field and provide a platform for promising avenues of research.
Look for the chapter "Colonial Legacies in Contemporary French Cinema: Jews and Muslims on Screen" by Catherine Portuges.
Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989
Edited by Catherine Portuges and Peter Hames, this collection of essays focuses on cinema in Eastern Europe in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. As Professors Portuges and Hames argue in their introduction, in spite of Eastern Europe's rich cinematic tradition, films from this region are often marginalized. The contributors in this collection seek to fix this by offering textual analyses of films from each country from the former Soviet bloc. In addition, the essays also offer a sustained focus on structural questions of cinematic production. The collective effect of the volume is to offer a picture of Eastern European cinema at a critical historic era and its connection to the emerging world of transnational media. [More...]