17th annual massachusetts multicultural film festival: CINEMATIC CITIES - UMass Amehrst Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies
now showing...

wednesday 28 april

THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS

(Les Plages d’Agnès)

(dir Agnès Varda, France, 2008, 110 min, in French w/English subtitles)

In this whimsical cocktail of film clips, eulogies, photographs, thank-you’s and reconstructions that is by turns insightful, elegiac, anecdotal, critical and nostalgic, the legendary pioneer of the French New Wave revisits—in her own inimitable style—her past in Belgium, California, the South of France and her own neighborhood, the 14th arrondissement of Paris. Official selection, documentary feature category, 81st Academy Awards. [Suggested Readings]

Introduction by Don Maddox, French & Francophone Studies/LLC, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]

THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS   (Les Plages d’Agnès)

Agnès Varda, the legendary pioneer of the French New Wave revisits her past in Belgium, California, the South of France and her Paris neighborhood in The Beaches of Agnes / Les Plages d’Agnès (2008).


film festival schedule

35 Shots of Rum / 35 Rhums
[official site | IMDb]

wednesday 3 february

35 SHOTS OF RUM

(35 Rhums)

(dir Claire Denis, France, 2008, 100 min, in French w/English subtitle)

Inspired by Yasujiro Ozu’s city narrative, Late Spring (Banshun, 1949), 35 Rhums foregrounds the loving relationship between Lionel, a widowed commuter- train driver, and his daughter Joséphine. Set in a Caribbean community in Paris, with a soundtrack by the Tindersticks, Denis’ film highlights the love of family, friendship, and new beginnings.

Introduction by Patrick Mensah, French & Francophone Studies/ LLC, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]

 


Once Upon a Time in Rio / Era uma vez[IMDb]

wednesday 10 february

ONCE UPON A TIME IN RIO

(Era Uma Vez)

(dir Breno Silveira, Brazil, 2008, 117 min, in Portuguese w/English subtitles)

In a city divided by wealth, class and hope, Dé, a hot dog vender from a favela in the hills high above renowned Ipanema Beach, woos Nina, daughter of a wealthy lawyer. Their Romeo and Juliet romance confronts the invisibility of poverty in a rapidly changing society.

Introduction by Daphne Patai, Spanish & Portuguese/ LLC, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]


Of Time and the City
[official site | IMDb]


Listen to Britain[IMDb]

wednesday 17 february

OF TIME AND THE CITY

(dir Terence Davies, U.K., 2008, 74 min)

Davies’ ode to post-war Liverpool where he grew up Catholic, working-class and gay illustrates cinema’s capacity to regain the past and make it one with the present. Commissioned to celebrate Liverpool as the 2008 European Capital of Culture, this critically-acclaimed documentary combines penetrating social commentary, lyrical style, and an acerbic wit. Best Non-Fiction Film, New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

with

LISTEN TO BRITAIN

(dir Humphrey Jennings, Stuart McAllister, U.K., 1942, 19 min)

The classic wartime documentary that inspired Of Time and the City, with an introduction by Terence Davies. Nominee, inaugural Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

Introduction by Michael Walsh, Cinema, University of Hartford.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]


 

Lights from Afar / Lichter aus dem Hintergrund
[IMDb]

 

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany - Boston

wednesday 24 february

LIGHTS FROM AFAR

(Lichter aus dem Hintergrund)

(dir Helga Reidemeister, Germany, 1998, 96 min, in German w/ English subtitles)

The “creative destruction” of Berlin into a showcase of governmental power and architectural modernism provides the setting for this documentary portrait of photographer Robert Paris and his more famous mother, Helga Paris. Their stills, combined with Lars Barthel’s cinematography and “Conny” Bauer’s score, offer a haunting commentary on the post- Berlin Wall era.

Introduction by Barton Byg, DEFA Film Library and German & Scandinavian Studies/ LLC, UMass Amherst. With a special live performance by the film’s composer: jazz trombonist Konrad “Conny” Bauer.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]

* Bauer performs with William Parker and Hamid Drake in the Magic Triangle Jazz Series, 8pm 25 February, Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass Amherst.


 

Afghan Star
[official site | IMDb]

 



John Baily

wednesday 3 march

AFGHAN STAR

(dir Havana Marking, Afghanistan/UK, 2009, 88 min, in English, Dari & Pashto w/ English subtitles)

After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, music has returned to Afghanistan. This fascinating documentary follows four finalists competing to become the nation’s favorite singer in the new television talent show “Afghan Star.” Popular and controversial, the show has provoked death threats from those who think its Western-style pop frivolity and the inclusion of female performers are an affront to Islamic law. World Cinema Directing and Audience Awards, 2009 Sundance Film Festival. [Suggested Readings]

Introduction by Shawn Shimpach, Communication, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]

preceded by

MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP IN AFGHANISTAN, 1973-2003

You are invited to a lecture by John Baily, Emeritus Professor of Ethnomusicology and co-founder/director, Afghanistan Music Unit, Goldsmiths College, University of London and Spring 2010 Five College Ethnomusicologist in Residence. Using clips from his documentaries shot in Afghanistan, Dr. Baily will discuss the Taliban’s prohibition of live music and the resulting cultural and political implications.

4:00pm UMass Amherst
108 South College [Maps/Directions]


Los Angeles Plays Itself
[IMDb]

Bunker Hill 1956

wednesday 10 march

LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF

(dir Thom Andersen, USA, 2003, 169 min)

Andersen celebrates his city’s evolving neighborhoods and complex multicultural population in this masterful essay with some 200 excerpts from movies set in the City of Angels. Visually exploring the intricate links between Hollywood and Los Angeles, Andersen, a professor at California Institute for the Arts, extracts the city’s rich, eccentric urban history from its Tinseltown context. [Suggested Readings]

screened with

BUNKER HILL-1956

(dir Kent MacKenzie, USA, 1956, 18 min)

While a student at USC, Mackenzie made this short film documenting the vibrant low-income neighborhood of Bunker Hill before it was bulldozed in one of the most notorious urban redevelopment schemes in L.A. history.

Introduction by Catherine Portuges, Film Studies and Comparative Literature/LLC, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]


Ajami
[IMDb]

wednesday 24 march

AJAMI

(dir Scandar Copti & Yaron Shani, Israel/Germany, 2009, 120 min, in Arabic & Hebrew w/English sub titles)

A visceral thriller set in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, featuring a cross-section of Jews, Muslims and Christians played by local non-professionals, this first feature was co-written and directed by two Israelis: one Arab and one Jewish. Winner of 5 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars), including Best Picture; Official selection, Best Foreign Film, 81st Academy Awards. Closing Night Presentation of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.

Introduction by Olga Gershenson, Judaic & Near Eastern Studies, UMass Amherst.

7:00pm Amherst Cinema Center
28 Amity Street, Amherst [Maps/Directions]


ECCENTRICITIES OF A BLOND HAIR GIRL /Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura
[IMDb]

wednesday 31 march

ECCENTRICITIES OF A BLOND HAIR GIRL

(Singularidades de uma Rapariga Loura)

(dir Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/Spain/France, 2009, 64 min, in Portuguese w/English subtitles)

At 101, Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira delivers his latest film—an urban love story of a bookeeper and a sultry young lady he spies through the window. Playfully viewed through Oliveira’s wry, worldly lens, this gem illustrates the juxtaposition of high culture and daily life. [Suggested Readings]

Introduction by Jose Ornelas, Spanish & Portuguese/LLC, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]


Playing Away
[IMDb]

wednesday 7 april

PLAYING AWAY

(dir Horace Ove, U.K., 1986, 100 min)

Cultures clash when a West Indian cricket team from inner-city Brixton are invited to the English village of Sneddington for “Third World Week”. A weekend in the country produces unexpected results and challenges racial stereotypes, both on and off the cricket field. Newly re-released by the British Film Institute, with a screenplay by Caryl Phillips. [Suggested Readings]

In collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Humanities and Fine Arts (ISHA), host of the Caryl Phillips residency, “Writing/Migration”, 5-9 April 2010.

Introduction by Stephen Clingman, English, UMass Amherst. The screenwriter will be present for discussion.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]


The Musketeers of Pig Alley
[IMDb]

Dead End
[IMDb]

wednesday 14 april

SUNSHINE AND SHADOW: NYC IN EARLY FILM

Early New York City films recycled and reinvented imagery from city guidebooks, vaudeville routines, urban melodrama, and sensational newspaper stories focusing on the city’s underside. The Musketeers of Pig Alley (dir D.W. Griffith & Anita Loos, 1912, 17 min) stars Lillian Gish as a young wife in a NYC tenement. Dead End (dir William Wyler, screenplay by Lillian Hellman, 1937, 93 min) stars Humphrey Bogart as a notorious gangster returning to the mean streets of the Lower East Side. [Suggested Readings]

Curated and presented by Daniel Czitrom, Mount Holyoke College, author of Rediscovering Jacob Riis: Exposure Journalism and Photography in Turn of the Century New York (2008).

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management  [Maps/Directions]


MID AUGUST LUNCH  /Pranzo di Ferragosto
[official site | IMDb]

wednesday 21 april

MID AUGUST LUNCH

(Pranzo di Ferragosto)

(dir Gianni Di Gregorio, Italy, 2008, 75 min, in Italian w/ English subtitles)

This charming low-budget comedy about a genial Roman who finds himself stuck in the city looking after four elderly ladies in the dog days of August conceals a serious social message behind its delicate treatment of family obligations and aging. Luigi De Laurentiis prize for Best First Film,Venice. [Suggested Readings]

Introduction by Roberto Ludovico, Italian Studies/ LLC, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]


THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS / Les Plages d’Agnès
[official site | IMDb]

wednesday 28 april

THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS

(Les Plages d’Agnès)

(dir Agnès Varda, France, 2008, 110 min, in French w/English subtitles)

In this whimsical cocktail of film clips, eulogies, photographs, thank-you’s and reconstructions that is by turns insightful, elegiac, anecdotal, critical and nostalgic, the legendary pioneer of the French New Wave revisits—in her own inimitable style—her past in Belgium, California, the South of France and her own neighborhood, the 14th arrondissement of Paris. Official selection, documentary feature category, 81st Academy Awards. [Suggested Readings]

Introduction by Don Maddox, French & Francophone Studies/LLC, UMass Amherst.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management [Maps/Directions]


about the festival

“cinematic cities”

The 17th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival explores the dynamic, reciprocal connections between cinema and cities, showcasing newly restored silent and documentary films, international co-productions and the latest award-winning feature films from France, Brazil, the U.K., Germany, Afghanistan, Israel, Jamaica, Portugal, Italy and the U.S. In thirteen events, from February 3 to May 5, this season’s films invite us to consider how urban culture, architecture, and the moving image open new spaces for transnational connections, cultural development and debate.

All events are free and open to the public.

Curated by the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Catherine Portuges, Curator, and Nancy Inouye, Assistant Curator. 129 Herter Annex, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003, tel. (413) 545-3659, email: film@hfa.umass.edu

Festival screenings at UMass Amherst are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, all screenings are held in the Isenberg School of Management Flavin Family Auditorium (137 SOM) at 7:30pm on Wednesday evenings. Screenings subject to cancellation due to severe weather.  See the UMass Ameherst Weather Closing Status web page for information on campus closings.

A one-credit colloquium (COMM 296F) is available to undergraduate students. UMass Amherst students may enroll through SPIRE. For information or Five College enrollment, please contact colloquium faculty supervisor Prof. Anne Ciecko, Communication, UMass Amherst, tel. (413) 545-6348, email: ciecko@comm.umass.edu

We Wish to Thank...

This festival is made possible by the generous support of many departments, programs, colleges, and individuals at UMass Amherst, the Five Colleges, and beyond.

Major Sponsors:

UMass Amherst: the College of Humanities & Fine Arts; the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences; the Graduate School; the Office of the Provost.

With additional support from:

Comparative Literature/LLC; German & Scandinavian Studies/LLC; French Studies/LLC; Spanish & Portuguese/ LLC; Communication; English; Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Humanities and Fine Arts (ISHA); the Arts Council; the DEFA Film Library. Five Colleges: The Five College Film Council; History, Mount Holyoke College. The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.


Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies