This past Monday night, you might have thought about attending one of those club meetings scattered around campus, going to a club sports practice or maybe even tackling that growing pile of homework.
But how about a free, public, on campus screening of an award-winning, critically acclaimed French film in Griffith? That crossed your mind too, right?
Monday nights—correction—most weeknights at Duke just became more intriguing. Screen/Society is a comprehensive film exhibition open to the general public, screening nine different thematic film series at various locations on campus almost every weeknight. Each film series is sponsored by an academic department or institution at Duke; Le Havre was screened this past Monday as part of Screen/Society’s Tourneés French Film Series, a collaboration with the Center for French and Francophone Studies. The nine-film series running this semester cover a diverse set of topics, including a Feminism & Freedom film series featuring Italian and South Korean films, an East Asian film series of documentaries about a Chinese famine and a Middle Eastern film series showcasing Iranian and Israeli films.
Guo-Juin Hong, director of the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI) program, sees the various series as a way to increase interest in the AMI department, noting a new feature of the semester’s programming, AMI Showcase.
“We hope to increase the Certificate Program’s visibility on campus and promote AMI as the center of moving image studies and practices at Duke,” he said.
Recent screenings in the AMI Showcase have featured cinematography by Duke alum Robert Yeoman. He is most famous for his work with some of Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed films, such as The Royal Tenenbaums, which is also the most recent installment of AMI Showcase. Films in AMI Showcase screen every Tuesday night.
In addition to the breadth of topics in the film series this semester, Hank Okazaki, coordinator of Screen/Society and AMI exhibition programmer, believes there is a critical reason why Screen/Society should be in your schedule. Most of the series include special events that bring filmmakers to campus to introduce the film and hold a Q&A afterwards.
“Cultural education is at the core of Screen/Society’s mission,” Okazaki said. “The program is not about showing the most recent blockbusters.”
The diversity of the film series aims to make it an accessible academic opportunity for anyone in the Triangle. For example, students and residents can gain exposure to U.S. immigration policy after watching Two Americans on October 5th, a film in the Latin American series, when the filmmaker, Dan De Vivo, will hold a discussion after the screening.
In the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel film series running this October, visiting documentarian Laura Poitras will be screening her films in their original 35 mm format and will have an interview with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel at the Nasher Museum of Art on October 24. This is a unique opportunity for students to gain perspective on documentary film production and about Laura Poitras’ exposés on the War on Terror and gentrification in the U.S. Another event in Screen/Society’s schedule is a documentary about world-renowned South Indian classical dancer Alarmel Valli, who will appear in person for a Q&A after the film on October 31.
“We hope that more students will get interested and take advantage of the opportunity to see thought-provoking works from all over the world for free—things they would not get to see otherwise,” said Okazaki.
Visit the Screen/Society section of the AMI webpage (ami.duke.edu) for a complete listing. Screenings are held at various locations on campus and are free to everyone.