UC Irvine's Film and Video Center was late in releasing details of its fall program because the FVC's tiny and tireless staff was unsure whether there would even be a program. (Thank you, UC system across-the-board budget cuts!)
Not only will the show go on, it will feature an impressive lineup of new, classic and experimental fare. Included are a 41st anniversary screening of the late, great Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Orange County premiere of The Yes Men Save the World, a brief residency by Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa, an appearance by the leading exponent of Taiwanese Second Wave cinema Tsai Ming-Liang and a documentary on closeted gay politicians introduced by its Oscar-nominated writer-director, Kirby Dick.
Best of all, in these budget-crunched times, it's cheap! Admission to Dick's Outrage and afternoon seminar-screenings with Costa are free, while per-screening tickets to the other evening shorts and features range from a measly $3 to $6. Series passes to all nine evenings are only $15-$25. Full details on the program, tickets and locations follow after the jump . . .
Break of Dawn
Thursday, Oct. 22: reception 6:30 p.m.; screening. 7 p.m.
UCI Humanities Instructional Building 100 (HIB 100)
This independent feature film from 1988, produced during what has come to be known as the "Hispanic Decade," dramatizes the true story of Pedro J. González, the first Spanish-language radio host and recording star of 1930s Los Angeles. He was later framed by the District Attorney's office and sent to San Quentin. Oscar Chávez, María Rojo, Tony Plana and Pepe Serna star in Isaac Artenstein's film, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1988. Presented in association with UCI Law School and co-sponsored by UCI's Chicano/Latino Studies, Film & Media Studies and Spanish & Portuguese departments as part of the Cosecha Latina series, Break of Dawn will be shown in Spanish and English with English subtitles. Artenstein will be on hand to take audience questions immediately following.
Restoring the Los Angeles Avant-Garde: Films From the 60s & 70s
Thursday, Oct. 29: reception, 6:30 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m.
Presented by UCI Humanities Center and the Film & Media Studies Department and the UCI Humanities Center in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, this From the Archives series presentation is curated and introduced by Academy preservationist Mark Toscano. The Academy resorted prints of films, which will be shown in 16mm format, by 12 artists. The 91-minute program includes:
--- ------- (Thom Andersen & Malcolm Brodwick, 1967, color, sound, 12 min.)
Throbs (Fred Worden, 1972, color, sound, 7 min.)
Bondage Girl (Chris Langdon, 1973, color, sound, 6 min.)
Pasadena Freeway Stills (Gary Beydler, 1974, color, silent, 6 min.)
unc. (Bruce Lane, 1966, color, sound, 3 min.)
Stasis (David Wilson, 1976, color, sound, 8 min.)
Rose For Red (Diana Wilson, 1980, color, sound, 3 min.)
Mirror People (Kathy Rose, 1974, color, sound, 5 min.)
Future Perfect (Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren, 1978, color, sound, 11 min.)
Venice Pier (Gary Beydler, 1976, color, sound, 16 min.)
7362 (Pat O'Neill, 1967, color, sound, 11 min.)
Picasso (Chris Langdon, 1973, b/w, sound, 3 min.)
Film & Media Studies professor Edward Dimendberg hosts the post-screening Q&A.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Thursday, Nov. 5: screening 7 p.m.
Made on a budget of $10 million, Kubrick's 1968 head trip has been described as the world's most expensive experimental film, and Hollywood's most cryptic foray into science fiction. The plot sounds conventional: a computer (the ever courteous HAL) plots to murder its human handlers, and space explorers encounter extraterrestrial beings. And yet, the visually stunning rumination on the interrelationship between humankind and technology is unlike any other science fiction film--even 41 years later. Film & Media Studies professor Kristen Hatch introduces the Oscar-winner for Best Visual Effects, and this Cinephilia 101 series screening is co-sponsored by her department.
Monday, Nov. 9: screening 4 p.m.
UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom C (FREE admission!)
This special event--presented in association with the UCI Center in Law, Society and Culture and its Nov. 9-10 Covering the Law: Documenting Justice in Picture, Performance and Press conference--features a Q&A immediately after the screening with Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Dick (Twist of Faith), who is introduced by Film & Media Studies professor Lucas Hilderbrand. Outrage is described as a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians with appalling gay rights voting records who actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to. The documentary boldly dares to reveal the hidden lives of some of the United States' most powerful policymakers and the harm they've inflicted on millions of Americans. But the media is also outed for being complicit in hidding the truth.
Où gît votre sourire enfoui? (Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?)
Thursday, Nov. 12: seminar-screening, 2:30 p.m.
UCI Student Center, Emerald Bay A (FREE admission!)
"Visiting Director" Costa presents his documentary meditation from 2001 on the aesthetics and ethics of the "cut," starring politically dedicated and aesthetically inspired filmmakers Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub at work on their rustic 1999 drama Sicilia! Costa, who actually co-directed this with film with Thierry Lounas, inscribes his own audio/visual poetics while inviting viewers to participate in the merging, divergence, and collision of creative minds during the process of film editing. French, Italian and Sicilian dialect are spoken in the film, so thank God for those English subtitles. This Film for Thought series presentation was curated in association with the American Film Institute (AFI) Film Festival, and Costa's appearances are made possible by UCI's Humanities Center and Spanish & Portuguese departments.
Le streghe, femmes entre elles (Witches, Women Among Women)
Thursday, Nov. 12: reception, 6:30 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m.
Directed by Straub, this new, 21-minute Italian film shown with English subtitles adapts Cesare Pavese's Dialogues with Leuco in the same form as Straub's Le genou d'Artemide (2008). Here, Circe recounts her love affair with Ulysses, speculates on what makes mortals laugh, and the sun breaks in and out above them. Straub mounted the production as a stage play in Italy, then filmed it with a coda that could only be done in film. It screens with . . .
Costa's 1997 drama, which is presented in Portuguese with English subtitles, was shot on location in Portugal's Lisbon district of Fontainha and has been stylistically compared with the films of Yasujiro Ozu, Robert Bresson and VIttorio de Sica. It concerns young people grappling with the burdens and hopes of parenthood in destitute circumstances. The "anti-telenovela," which takes visual storytelling and non-professional screen performance to new heights, was nominated for the Golden Lion prize at the Venice International Film Festival in 1997. Costa leads the audience Q&A immediately after both films.
Juventude em marcha (Colossal Youth)
Friday, Nov. 13: seminar-screening, 2:30 p.m.
HIB135 (FREE admission!)
Weaving documentary with fictional narrative, Costa's tale of rehabilitation and familial reconstruction in Lisbon's Cape Verdean community in the aftermath of the "Carnation Revolution" weaves documentary and fictional narrative. It was shot on direct video in the district of Fontainhas. Presented in Portuguese and Creole with English subtitles, this 155-minute film and seminar with Costa is subtitled "New Ethico-aesthetics of filmmaking in postcolonial Portugal."
The Yes Men Fix the World
Thursday, Nov. 19: screening 7 p.m.
In this documentary making its Orange County premiere, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno (who also directed with Kurt Engfe) are two guys who just can't take "no" for an answer. Once again, they don thrift-store suits and lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate targets in ever more extreme ways. Anything to wake up their audiences to the danger of letting greed run our world. This Screen Activism series film is presented in association with the UCI Humanities Center.
Qing shaonien ne zha (Rebels of the Neon God)
Friday, Nov. 20: reception, 6:30 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m.
HG 1070 McCormick Film Screening Room
In this first major opus by Tsai, a leading exponent of Taiwanese Second Wave cinema, the lives of alienated youth from two sectors of Taipei society converge in a criminal act, leading to revenge. Documentary strategies are brought to bear on this "no holds barred" depiction of urban Taiwan in the nineties. The multiple-award-winning film of 1992 is presented in Mandarin with English subtitles. And it is preceded by the 10-minute segment Aquarium Tsai directed in Leon Cakoff's 2004 omnibus film Bem vindo a São Paulo, which celebrated the 450th anniversary of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Tsai participates in an audience Q&A after the films, which are presented as part of the Cinema Across Borders series in association with the UCI Humanities Center and the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles.
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Thursday, Dec. 3: screening, 7 p.m.
HG 1070, McCormick Film Screening Room
Gender relations and the struggles of daily middle-class life are foregrounded in Abbas Kiarostami's video-film shot almost entirely inside an automobile during rush-hour traffic in the city of Tehran. A mixed cast of untrained and seasoned professional actors adds to the film's aesthetic tensions and moments of surprise. Steeped in Persian poetic traditions, the 2002 Cannes Golden Palm nominee offers a new, authorial vista on Iranian modernity and its global reach. Presented in Farsi with English subtitles, Ten is introduced by professor Nasrin Rahimieh, director of the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, which co-sponsors this Cinema Across Borders screening. Rahimieh also sticks around for the post-screening Q&A with the audience.
Expect where free admission is indicated, tickets are: $3 for students with an ID; $4 for UCI staff; $5 for seniors and $6 general admission. Series passes are: $25 general; $20 UCI staff and seniors; $15 students. Other than the passes, there are no advance ticket sales. Tickets are available in front of the designated venue a half hour prior to the screening. Parking ($5) is available in the Pereira/Student Center Parking Structure.
For locations, see the UCI campus map.