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Film Review: Roma

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma begins quietly and thoughtfully with the character, Cleo, played beautifully by Yalitza Aparicio, who serves a well-to-do family in their home in a suburb of Mexico City.  Her life, seeming so insular and placid, will expand to engulf the film’s universe.  Every action and word of hers has a hidden meaning, and minor gestures seen early in the movie will be echoed by more serious and violent actions later.  

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Bernardo Bertolucci: 1941 – 2018

Bernardo Bertolucci’s recent death left us with an unsolvable problem.  Over the course of a fifty-year career, he wrestled with ideas both grand and small, from the tragically human to the sublimely divine.  His focuses were on sex and growing old, politics and youth, and the ways in which we define ourselves and how systems inevitably try to break those selves. He examined relationships – those between men and women, people and politics, parents and children, and the seemingly unbridgeable gap of class. As is the tendency with art, especially when it’s at its best, it’s never quite clear how we’re supposed to interpret Bertolucci, how we’re supposed to “figure it all out.”  His films were critical of oppressive regimes and systems, and yet those regimes and systems were filled with people who were beautifully, messily, sympathetically human. His style was maximalist and loud, and he reveled in the visceral and the glorious and the taboo. His work screamed from the screen even when his characters whispered.  His films were always beautiful, even when their subjects weren’t.

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How the News Got Made: A Rare Look at SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm and a Conversation With the People Who Created It

Learn how the news was captured and shared, and gain a new appreciation for the hard work and ingenuity that went into making the WFAA nightly news throughout the 1960s and ’70s. A panel of notable WFAA staff, including on-screen personalities and behind the scenes personnel, will present clips from SMU’s Jones Film and Video Collection and share stories of their experiences together while making the news. Click here for ticketing information.

Saturday, October 22, 2016  5:15-6:45 pm       

Angelika Film Center and Cafe – 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas 75026

Jeff Gordon on his collection of film posters at Hamon

Film historian and collector, Jeff Gordon, has collaborated with Hamon staff on a fall 2016 installation of seven movie posters from his collection. These stunning and brightly-hued posters join an earlier loan of Dorothy Lamour’s Beyond the Blue Horizon poster also on view on the first floor of the Library. In addition to this installation, Mr. Gordon also agreed to the Blog’s invitation to write comments about his early and sustained interest in movies and memorabilia, and the unique context of each poster in the history of mid-20th century American film.
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Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Kino Lorber recently released Pioneers of African-American Cinema, a five DVD set with extensive film notes.  An announcement of the collection’s release appeared in The New York Times (August 10, 2016), in which the film critic, J. Hoberman, stated that “there has never been a more significant video release” in cinema history.  This set includes films discovered and collected by the late SMU professor G. William Jones, which are part of the Tyler, Texas “race films” in the collection. It includes approximately 20 hours of feature films, shorts, interviews, trailers, and fragments.  Many of these films have only been circulated and seen in 16mm versions of inferior quality or have never been available for home video.  Each film has been digitally restored and reflects a wide-range of subject matter and styles.  Accompanying the set is an 80-page booklet with contributions from scholars.

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Eva Hesse: review of the documentary

While travelling recently, I had a chance to attend a screening of the documentary film Eva Hesse, directed by Marcie Begleiter.  The film draws from the large collection of diary entries and letters written by Hesse, now housed at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio, and makes generous use of archival photographs and footage of Hesse and her circle of New York City artists and writers during the 1960s.  Featured in this film are Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), with whom Hesse maintained a close friendship, Robert Mangold and Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Paul Thek, Lucy Lippard, her former husband, Tom Doyle, and her older sister, Helen Hesse Charash, among others.   The actress Selma Blair is the voice-over for the selected passages from the diaries and letters.  Most of the still photography is black-and-white, and a few of the photographs are manipulated very subtly so that they appear to be slightly moving, creating a haunting effect.  Hesse’s artwork presented in the film is beautiful, poignant, and profoundly personal.

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We made you a playlist

 

Just in time for finals, the Libraries staff have released a playlist to help you focus while meeting your deadlines. A variety of musical styles are represented, including The Smiths, Leon Bridges, and W.A. Mozart (Rock me, Amadeus was an honorable mention). Here are some highlights, and you can experience the full playlist on Spotify. Continue reading “We made you a playlist”

Collection Spotlight: Greer Garson Collection

Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson (1904 – 1996) was one of the most honored actresses in the history of film, receiving seven nominations from the Motion Picture Academy for “Best Actress” (six in the 1940s) and winning the award in 1942. This collection includes correspondence, photographs, slides, film and theater scripts, newspaper and magazine articles, and programs, awards, and scrapbooks. These materials chronicle Greer Garson’s acting career from London’s West End through her Hollywood years and her many philanthropic activities and comprise the most extensive gathering of primary materials documenting her life and career. Continue reading “Collection Spotlight: Greer Garson Collection”

Making the write moves: Grant writing workshop April 5

This workshop presents organizational steps to help you begin your research for funding sources and craft clear and compelling proposals. Presented by Beverly Mitchell, Art and Dance Librarian. Continue reading “Making the write moves: Grant writing workshop April 5”

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