In recent years, the film scene at Duke has become one of its artistic strengths.
Coupled with a burgeoning MFA program for documentary and experimental film and the ever-increasing presence of Duke’s faculty and alumni in the filmmaking world, Screen/Society has been influential in creating a stimulating cinematic climate. Every semester Screen/Society, the umbrella organization that presents most of Duke’s film series, exhibits a wide range of works from around the globe to expand the audience’s academic and cultural conception of film. Headed by the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI) department’s Hank Okazaki, Screen/Society, in conjunction with other academic departments, works to organize series that spotlight influential films not readily available to the public.
Okazaki says that “…this semester will showcase one of our strongest programs yet, with a wide range of films that you won’t see anywhere else in the Triangle, or in even in the state or the region.”
The AMI Showcase is a series of films co-curated with other AMI faculty and focuses on the work of cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Doyle was in charge of representing virtuoso director Wong Kar-Wai’s hyper-stylized and sensual flair in Hong Kong cinema classics like Chungking Express, Ashes of Time and Happy Together. His work with the Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang on Last Life of the Universe will also be shown. In addition, a selection of short films and a tribute to the recently deceased avant-garde film essayist Chris Marker will be presented.
The 2013 Ethics Film Series in collaboration with the Kenan Institute for Ethics will focus on the theme of “love and justice.” Okazaki describes these films as “engag[ing] the tension between the demands of justice and the grace of love.” A discussion will follow each showing elaborating on the ethical, social and political issues presented. There will also be a human rights-themed series, Rights! Camera! Action!, showing films that have won awards at Durham’s Full Frame Documentary Festival.
Cine-East: East Asian Cinema is the longest running film series at Duke. In its 22nd consecutive semester, the latest installment will focus on a special series curated by Professor Nayoung Aimee Kwon entitled “Transnational North Korea.” The series will bring together a selection of films attempting to challenge and deepen our representation of North Korea and its place in both local and global spheres.
Quebéc at the Oscars, in collaboration with Canadian Studies at Duke, will present Canada’s last two submissions to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Oscars. Both films were directed and produced in the French Canadian province of Quebéc: Monsieur Lazhar and Rebelle/War Witch.
The Feminism and Freedom Film series in collaboration with the Women’s Studies Program at Duke will feature films from Argentina, Zimbabwe and Benin. The film from Benin, Si-Gueriki, will have a discussion after the showing with its director Idrissou Mora Kpai, currently a visiting instructor at Duke.
The Middle East Film Series comprises three films from Iran, a Palestinian-Israeli collaboration and two Egyptian films. The first film in the series, A Separation, won the 2012 Best Foreign Language Oscar by deftly sketching an intimate and poignant portrait of a marriage’s dissolution in contemporary Iran. One of the most intriguing and potentially controversial films shown by Screen/Society this semester is the Sundance Directing Award-winning 5 Broken Cameras. This documentary chronicles the struggle of a Palestinian farmer’s nonviolent resistance to the building of a separation barrier by the Israeli army in his village. Told through the lens of five cameras that are shattered or shot through the course of filming, the footage was edited by Israeli director Guy Davidi.
There will also be two special events, a screening by acclaimed photographer and environmental activist Chris Jordan for his work-in-progress documentary Midway and a screening of the best student films produced in Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image courses.
Screen/Society prides itself on being one of the premier programs for film and video exhibition in the Triangle region. This semester’s offerings seek to solidify its reputation and hopefully craft an even more prominent place for cinema as an academic invigorator within the Duke community.
All screenings are free and open to the public. For more information about the Spring 2013 screening schedule, visit http://ami.duke.edu/screensociety.