Hello, hello! It’s good to be speaking to you all after a surprising hiatus—last week was all about the jokes—and we hope you’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty of this semester’s closing calendar. Before we get into that we want to start this week’s Cinefiles by telling you about a hugely important event taking place tonight in the Center for Film Studies. Tonight at 8 p.m. we are continuing our “Awareness 2018” series with last year’s documentary release from “Loving” director Nancy Buirski entitled “The Rape of Recy Taylor.” According to the film’s website, “Our film exposes a legacy of physical abuse of black women…. Our film tells the story of black women who spoke up when danger was greatest.” Following the screening will be a talk by Yale Professor of African-American Studies, Crystal Feimster. Make sure you factor this special event, co-sponsored by the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Center for African-American Studies, into your evening plans.
One of the most exciting programs we have initiated this calendar is our International Female Filmmakers mini-series. We hope this series will be the inaugural program in what will become an annual affair and set a precedent for more female-directed films on the series as well as more films from around the globe. This year we have featured three films, each hailing from a different continent, by three different international female filmmakers. This series is wholly comprised of contemporary features—including one recently released anime! Last week, we saw Argentinian director Lucía Puenzo’s 2007 story of an intersex teen grappling with her identity in “XXY” open the series. This week’s installment comes from France. Accomplished French screenwriter and director Céline Sciamma brings us an understated strikingly sensitive coming-of-age drama with her 2007 film “Water Lilies.” Stay tuned for next week’s screening of Naoko Yamada’s “A Silent Voice,” the triumphant finale to our first International Female Filmmakers series.
On Thursday of this week, we have a special treat for you all. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Wesley Morris will be joining his colleague, New York Times chief film critic (and sometimes, when we’re lucky, Wesleyan Distinguished Professor of Film Criticism) A.O. Scott for a conversation about criticism in contemporary America.
Oh also, we have some exciting upcoming news about changes to the film board and even possibly a new Cinefiles writer to introduce to you…. Come back to us next week to keep up with all your Wesleyan film news and meet a new friend!
2007. France. Dir: Céline Sciamma. With Pauline Acquart. Louise Blachère. Adèle Haenel. 85 min.
Wednesday, April 11. 8 p.m. Free.
“Water Lilies,” written and directed by French director Céline Sciamma, is a 2007 coming-of-age romantic drama about, among other things, what it means to belong and finding out who you want to be. “Water Lilies” explores the life of Marie, a young girl questioning her sexuality, fighting to assert herself in world where her quiet, unassuming character is not valued, and navigating a friendship with someone wildly different from herself. It feels like the most personal of Sciamma’s films to date, and it is beautiful in all kinds of ways. Additionally, the film is so lovingly photographed it warrants a viewing on the big screen. Snap up the chance to see this French fancy at the Goldsmith as part of our International Female Filmmakers mini-series!
A Conversation with Wesley Morris and A.O. Scott
Thursday, April 12. 8 p.m. Free.
Make your way to the Goldsmith this Thursday for a unique opportunity to watch two of the greatest critical minds/film aficionados of our modern day talk it out for an evening that’s guaranteed to be filled with insight, humor, and wisdom. Chief Film Critic of The New York Times and current Distinguished Professor of Criticism in the College of Film and Moving Image A.O. Scott, and The New York Times Critic-at-Large, Times Podcaster, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Wesley Morris get together to discuss the contemporary landscape of film criticism. The event is titled “How To Keep Your (Critical) Head When the World is Losing its (Political) Mind,” and we could not be more excited for the stimulating conversation it is sure to spark.
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
2000. Taiwan/Hong Kong/USA/China. Dir: Ang Lee. With Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh. 120 min.
Friday, April 13. 8 p.m. $5.
Adapted from the martial arts novel of the same title by Wang Dulu, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” takes one on a journey of ancient Chinese landscapes ranging from Xinjiang’s unbound openness to the resounding bamboo forest in the South. An accomplished swordsman from the Wudang School, a daughter of the wealthy Governor Yu who desires escaping her oppressive feudal marriage, a savvy old woman called “Jade Fox” who goes to great lengths to learn from Wudang School—this group of capable martial artists fight one another to gain the control of the famed sword “Green Destiny.” Entangled in each other’s past, their combats stimulate the expedition for seeking the truth about desires and about the ultimate realm of life.
“Design for Living”
1933. USA. Ernst Lubitsch. With Miriam Hopkins, Gary Cooper. 91 min.
Saturday, April 14. 8 p.m. Free.
At the convergence of the best years of Fredric March, Gary Cooper, and Miriam Hopkins, “Design for Living” remains a memorable work of comedy art in classic Hollywood before the dawn of Hays Code. Gilda, a free-spirited commercial artist, captures the hearts of the playwright, Tom, and the painter, George, who share a flat in Paris. Unable to decide which gets to stay with Gilda, the trio agree to live together while sex is excluded from their community life. Filled with surprises and cathartic suspense, one gets to have a complete taste of each character’s loving naughtiness. Assistant Professor of Film Studies Michael Slowik will be giving an introduction to this comedy that constructed a unique, loving relationship more progressive than most of those we see on screens nowadays.
Beatrix Herriott O’Gorman and Genyu Zhang can be reached at bherriottogo