Sunday, March 18, 2012

David Laderman on the European road movie

David Laderman
"Arresting Mobility: Crossing Borders and Going Nowhere in the Films of the Dardenne Brothers"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
401 Fisher-Bennett Hall
University of Pennsylvania

This talk will explore some of the distinctive road movie elements found in selected films by the Dardenne brothers. Beginning with their breakout film of 1996, La Promesse, we will situate their work in the broader context of contemporary European road movie trends. We will consider how and why urban mobility becomes a pressing motif throughout much of their oeuvre, where bodies forced into frenetic motion become circumscribed by various socio-economic conditions. Usually revealed through a fragile yet insistent mobile camera, the desperate instincts driving many Dardenne characters articulate the moral quagmires around human trafficking. Their tightly focused documentary style captures the fits and starts of the Belgian underclass, which in turn speaks to and for some of the darker features of transnational, neo-liberal Europe.

David Laderman is a Professor of Film Studies at the College of San Mateo. He also teaches for the Film and Media Studies program at Stanford University. He is the author of Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie (University of Texas Press) and Punk Slash! Musicals: Tracking Slip-Sync on Film (University of Texas Press).

This program is made possible thanks to the support of University of Pennsylvania's Cinema Studies Program and Department of French Studies, and Temple University's Department of Film and Media Arts.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday (3/16): Patrick Keating on Film Noir Lighting

This Friday is the next talk in the PCMS series:

Patrick Keating (Trinity University)
“Illuminated Space: Electricity, Modernity, and Film Noir”

March 16, 2012
5:00 PM
Temple University Center City (TUCC), 1515 Market Street
Room 420

Although film noir is famous for its shadows, the style offers a remarkably wide range of lighting effects. In some noirs, the flatly lit office building is just as important as the dimly lit alley, and the warm glow of the living room can be just as fateful as the darkened hallway. This talk reconsiders noir lighting in films such as Call Northside 777, The Asphalt Jungle, and The Sweet Smell of Success. In particular, Keating proposes that an important context for noir lighting is the increasing industrialization of electric light during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Just as the electricity industry was developing a narrative of progress to both explain and promote the expansion of light over these years, the film noir was using a combination of lights and shadows to describe and criticize that expansion.

Patrick Keating is an assistant professor of Communication at Trinity University in San Antonio, where he teaches courses in film studies and video production. He is the author of Hollywood Lighting From the Silent Era to Film Noir, published by Columbia University Press, which was selected by the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) as the Best First Book in 2011. Recently, he was awarded an Academy Film Scholars grant to support his research on the relationship between camera movement and the representation of modern spaces in Hollywood cinema.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Syrian Film Screenings

Cross-posted with Philadelphia Repertory Film Blog

In collaboration with the DOX BOX Documentary Film Festival in Syria,
the Temple Middle East North Africa Group

2 Evenings of Syrian Cinema

Wednesday, March 15
A Flood in Baath County,
Omar Amiralay, Syria/France 2003
Rami Farah, Syria, 2006

Thursday, March 15
Six Ordinary Stories,
Meyar Al Roumi, France/Syria 2007
Before Vanishing,
Joude Gorani, France/Syria 2005
+ a special, surprise film about current events

All screenings run from 5:30-7:30 in Tuttleman 101 on Temple University's main campus and are free and open to the public.