IU’s Center for Documentary Research and Practice hosts seminar on legacy of colonialism

Post courtesy of IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Documentary media and historical transformations will be the focus of the first Sawyer Seminar hosted by Indiana University’s Center for Documentary Research and Practice.

Intended as part of a five-part series, the two-day event will be led by Joshua Malitsky, director of the center and an associate professor in The Media School, and Marissa Moorman, an associate professor in the Department of History.

The seminar “Documentary and the Legacies of Colonialism: Images, Institutions, and Economies” will include films screenings, lecture and a round-table discussion Sept.15 and 16 at IU Cinema.


“Afrique, Je’Te Plumerai (Africa, I Will Fleece You)” will be screened at IU Cinema Thursday, Sept. 15, as part of the Sawyer Seminars. Director Jean-Marie Téno will answer questions after the film.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a selection of Indian colonial and post-colonial films will be screened and curated by Priya Jaikumar, an associate professor of cinema and media studies from the University of Southern California.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, IU Cinema will host a screening of director Jean-Marie Téno’s “Afrique, Je’Te Plumerai (Africa, I Will Fleece You).” A question-and-answer session with the director will take place after the screening.

At 9 a.m. Friday, Lee Grieveson will deliver the lecture “Documentary and the Long 20th Century.” Grieveson is the director of the graduate program in film studies at University College London. His lecture will focus on the formation of documentary as a genre and how it can be used as a tool.

Jaikumar will also host a lecture at 11 a.m. Friday, “Film Space and State Space in Documentary Cinema.”

The second major film screening, “Mueda, Memória E Massacre (Mueda, Memory and Massacre)” will follow Jaikumar’s lecture at 1:30 p.m. After the film, Chicago-based anti-apartheid/Southern African activist Prexy Nesbitt will host a question-and-answer session.

The final major seminar event will be a round-table discussion on nonfiction cinema and colonialism at 4 p.m. Malitsky is scheduled to participate along with Gregory Waller, Provost Professor of cinema and media studies in The Media School; Michael S. Dodson, director of the Dhar India Studies Program; Michael Martin, director of the Black Film Center/Archive; and Susan Seizer, associate professor of anthropology.

This series is sponsored by Center for Documentary Research and Practice, The Media School, the Institute for Advanced Studies, the Mellon Foundation and IU Cinema.

Nationwide 20th anniversary tour of ‘Rent’ begins at Indiana University Auditorium

Post courtesy of IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

A young Skyler Volpe first heard the music of “Rent” when she was about 5 years old. Her parents had seen the show and fell in love with the music.

“I came into ‘Rent’ when I was very young, maybe too young,” she said.

At that same young age, Volpe was already singing, dancing and performing on stage.

Now Volpe is starring as Mimi Marquez in the 20th anniversary tour of “Rent.”

The touring production will premiere tonight at Indiana University Auditorium in Bloomington and continues with two more performances Sept. 13 and 14 before traveling to nearly 70 cities across the United States through next summer.

Volpe, Skyler

Skyler Volpe will portray Mimi Marquez in “Rent.”

Volpe said it’s a dream come true.

“This is my biggest role so far,” she said.

Along with her personal connection to the musical, Volpe said she feels she is carrying a relevant message to audiences even three decades after the AIDS crisis hit New York.

It’s more than a story about AIDS, she said. It’s about living your life generously and full of love, an important message even now.

“We are definitely carrying on a legacy in a way I’ve never felt responsible for in the past,” Volpe said. Read more…

‘Framing Beauty’ trains its lens on aesthetics and cultural notions with exhibition, events

Michael Baldwin, Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ 2007

The exhibition”Framing Beauty: Intimate Visions” includes Bill Gaskins’ photograph “Michael Baldwin, Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ,” 2007. Gaskins also will participate in several public events as part of the accompanying symposium. Image courtesy of the artist.

Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences is digging deep beyond the surface meanings of “Beauty” this fall in its eighth annual Themester.

One signature event of Themester 2016 will be the “Framing Beauty” symposium taking place today and Friday in the Fine Arts Building on the Bloomington campus.

The symposium’s free lectures, panel discussions and other events are related to the exhibition “Framing Beauty: Intimate Visions,” which will remain on display at the Grunwald Gallery through Oct. 6.

The show includes photographs, paintings, videos and objects from 20 major contemporary artists, including IU Bloomington photography associate professor Osamu James Nakagawa and Gordon Parks, the groundbreaking fashion photographer, filmmaker and chronicler of black America who died in 2006.

“Framing Beauty: Intimate Visions” was curated by Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School for the Arts at New York University. Read more…

New lecture series at IU’s Fine Arts Library features artists who create handmade books

Bea Nettles photos

Bea Nettles created her “Mountain Dream Tarot Cards” in the 1970s, before the advent of digital image manipulation tools such as Photoshop. Nettles will speak at IU Bloomington on Oct. 27.

The Fine Arts Library at Indiana University Bloomington is home to many one-of-a-kind objects of art. In addition to its stacks of books covering many facets of art and its making, the library hosts an extensive collection of artists’ books.

Jasmine Burns, the interim head of the Fine Arts Library, has designed a new lecture series to highlight what she describes as their magnificent, historic collection.

“The book arts are part of a wonderfully fluid artistic style that pushes all boundaries of the traditional book form,” she said. “Artists’ books can take on any material format such as flip books; tunnel and accordion books; and decks of cards, to name just a few.”

Read more…

‘No More Road Trips?’ transports its audience across U.S. through eyes of many beholders

No More Road Trips

Rick Prelinger compiled “No More Road Trips?” by combing through thousands of home movies. During today’s screening at IU Cinema, he will engage the audience in discussion.

“No More Road Trips?” ventures far from an ordinary documentary.

Archivist Rick Prelinger traverses the United States in an 80-minute voyage from New England to California and into the past along the way.

His vehicle is other people’s home movies, curated from his extensive collection of 50,000 films.

To the future

Even the future looked different in the past.

As a filmmaker, Prelinger saves extra space for the audience.

Everyone is invited to come along on the road trip and experience it in their own way. And at IU Cinema, the ride is free.

Indiana University Cinema will host a screening of “No More Road Trips?” beginning at 6:30 p.m. today as part of the launch of the First Thursdays festival of the arts and humanities.

The film event also is part of the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive Film Preservation Series at IU Cinema.

Prelinger’s curated compilation of home movies allows viewers to gaze out at the scenery through hundreds of eyes. These snippets offer glimpses into the lives of those who once traveled our highways and backroads, then recorded their journeys for posterity.

Taken together, these movies capture the country that was.

Read more…

New First Thursdays festival puts the focus on IU’s arts and humanities, food and fun

Post by Amanda N. Marino and Karen Land of the IU Newsroom: 

At IU Bloomington, Thursday will be a day of firsts.

It’s the first day of September. It’s also the first time Indiana University’s Arts Plaza will be the center of a sweeping, interactive festival celebrating the arts and humanities.

Welcome to First Thursdays.

The inaugural event is concentrated from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1, with a few events that precede and follow those hours. First Thursdays festivities will recur Oct. 6 and Nov. 3 before resuming March 2.

First Thursdays map2Ed Comentale, the associate vice provost for arts and humanities, describes the new public festival as “free-wheeling and dynamic.”

With a mix of live music, dance performances, art, crafts, readings, short talks, activities and giveaways, students and community members can sample some of what makes IU such a creative and culturally rich environment. The festival also is free.

There will be choices for every taste. And, with the help of chef David Tallent and other food vendors, there will also be tasty choices.

For early birds, The Herman B Wells Library will host a high-tech, interactive exhibit to familiarize people with art around campus. Starting at 4 p.m. the IQ-Wall in the Scholars’ Commons (East Tower) will display “Visualizing Art on Campus” at an impressive scale.

Read more…

The Fringe Experience: A first time in Edinburgh, defying normal


Amanda Marino, left, students and chaperones stand on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was mostly blocked off for Fringe foot traffic. Photo courtesy Sharon Burnison.

Post courtesy of IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Marino spent part of her summer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which is billed as the largest arts festival in the world. The Indiana University senior shared her observations with Art at IU:

When I was told the population of Edinburgh, Scotland, would literally triple for the month of August, I didn’t believe it. Then, I saw it happen.

Traveling as a chaperone for my former high school, I became a part of the American High School Theatre Festival and, in turn, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The experience was nothing short of the best kind of culture shock.

The students and I arrived in Edinburgh after a very long 10 hours inside a bus the day before the Fringe officially began. A full section of the Royal Mile, the city’s main thoroughfare, had already been partially blocked off for what was going to be one of the largest crowds I had ever had the pleasure of joining.

Read more…

‘IU Cinema Under the Stars’ partnership brings ‘E.T.’ and zombies to Starlite Drive-In

The original 1968 version of "Night of the Living Dead" will be screened Thursday, Aug. 4 at Bloomington's Starlite Drive-In. "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" begins the double feature. Photo courtesy of Image Ten / The Kobal Collection

The original 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead” will be screened Thursday, Aug. 4 at Bloomington’s Starlite Drive-In. “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” begins the double feature. Photo courtesy of Image Ten / The Kobal Collection

Drive-in movies are embedded in the American imagination.

While that shared experience has faded into history in many communities, memories of outdoor moviegoing are still being made at Bloomington’s Starlite Drive-In.

IU Cinema Under the Stars posterIndiana University Cinema will partner with the Starlite for the first time on Thursday, Aug. 4 to present two classic films in the classic setting the drive-in calls its “Auto-torium.” The double feature will begin at 9:30 p.m. with “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and end with “Night of the Living Dead.”

“We are thrilled to bring the IU Cinema experience outside of our four walls,” said associate director Brittany D. Friesner.

“Our founding director, Jon Vickers, has long envisioned programming outdoor screenings in Bloomington. Given our summer closure this year, it was the perfect time to create outdoor film experiences on campus and throughout the community.”

Read more…

IU professor Michael Adams watches our language in the new book ‘In Praise of Profanity’

Michael Adams, Provost Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington, wrote "In Praise of Profanity," which was released today by Oxford University Press.

Michael Adams, Provost Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington, wrote “In Praise of Profanity,” which was released today by Oxford University Press.

“Profanity is a stubborn fact of speech and cannot be disregarded simply because some people disapprove of it.”

Michael Adams, Provost Professor of English at Indiana University, makes this declaration well into his latest book, “In Praise of Profanity” (Oxford University Press, 2016).

“There was nobody who was looking at profanity from a current cultural perspective,” he said. “I think of what I’m doing as part linguistics, part cultural criticism and part literary criticism.”

He argues that our utterances of “the forbidden, magic words” are often not profanity at all, but rather a salty form of slang.

Adams sees the book as a continuation of “Slang: The People’s Poetry,” which came out in 2009.

In his words, slang and profanity is “poetic language that’s not sustained in a poetic project.”

“Profanity is a serious subject requiring serious inquiry,” Adams writes. His preface invites “everyone with a keen interest and sense of humor” to read the book, which is described as a celebration.

Read more…

Middle Coast Film Festival celebrates third year hosting, showcasing film in Midwest

Post courtesy of newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

The Middle Coast Film Festival has been redefining what a film festival looks and feels like for the past three years. While more traditional film festivals maintain a buffer between filmmakers and festival attendees, festival director and co-founder Jessica Levandoski said the people submitting work to the festival are easily accessible and excited to be in Bloomington.

By supporting a twofold mission of bringing the best of the best from around the world to Indiana and showcasing the arts community in the Midwest, the Middle Coast Film Festival has become a venue where IU students and alumni can become more involved in the world of film.

Middle Coast Film Fest poster

Official poster for the 2016 Middle Coast Film Fest. Photo courtesy of Claire McInerny.

This year’s festival will consist of 100 films screened at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, the Back Door, the Blockhouse and the Monroe County Public Library, Levandoski said. Tickets can be purchased on the event’s website.

“We are currently programming at the level of 15, 20, 25 year old festivals and we are only in our third year,” she said. “I believe this to be based largely on our highly curated film selection that takes a look at more than just the film itself and focuses on the filmmaker as a whole, and incubating them in our growing network by connecting them with other filmmakers or producers, actors and actresses.”

Presenting the Midwest

The Middle Coast Film Festival, July 28 to 30 at various venues throughout Bloomington, is heavily powered by IU students, faculty and alumni. Communications director Claire McInerny said that of the seven-person staff, four people have degrees from IU and three are working at the university. Five people from the group are from southern Indiana.

Levandoski said she can see the skills learned inside the classroom reflected in the work done by people like director of administration Jessica Reed, who makes use of her arts administration degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs daily.

Read more…