BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – From cult classic gems to contemporary awards buzz films to the U.S. premiere of a new release, IU Cinema’s spring schedule includes mesmerizing and absorbing cinematic experiences combined with select virtual screenings for those hunkering down at home.
Spring programming kicks off Jan. 13 with the five-film International Art House Series, with stories from Thailand, Iceland and several points – and time periods – in between. The series includes indie superstar studio A24’s newest festival hit “Lamb” and the powerhouse combination of Joel Coen, Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”
“Art house films can be challenging, uncomfortable, dense and difficult,” IU Cinema Director Alicia Kozma said in a recent post on IU Cinema’s A Place for Film blog. “They can also be high-gloss crowd pleasers, fun, inspiring and raucous. What matters is that an art house film makes you feel, makes it impossible to turn away, and leaves you talking about – and even puzzling through – what you just saw long after the screening ends. The films in this semester’s International Art House Series will do exactly that.”
For those who want that “midnight movie” experience without the lack of sleep, the genre-pushing, mind-bending, shape-shifting Not-Quite Midnights series – at 10 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 14 to Feb. 11 – will feature such films as feminist cult classic “Jennifer’s Body” and contemporary awards buzz feature “Titane.”
European art house and Hollywood’s heartstrings
The President’s Choice film series returns to IU Cinema, bringing some European art house classics with both in-person and virtual events. Funded by a group of IU faculty and staff, the President’s Choice series honors President Emeritus Michael A. McRobbie’s enduring leadership and his affinity for film. Curated by McRobbie, this semester’s series is a presentation of Michael Cacoyannis’ renowned Euripides Trilogy. McRobbie will provide an in-person introduction at the Jan. 18 series-opening screening.
The 5X Series this semester highlights Hollywood master director Douglas Sirk, whose string of 1950s melodramas for Universal Pictures have endeared his work to generations.
Throughout the 5X Douglas Sirk: Magnificently Obsessed series, audiences can catch two of Sirk’s most renowned melodramas, two noirs and one comedy. The noir film “Sleep, My Love” will be presented in partnership with The Media School’s City Lights Film Series.
Art and science collide
Creatively pairing screenings of classic, cult and documentary films with introductions and conversations by notable experts from the fields of science, technology and medicine, the Science on Screen series returns to IU Cinema thanks to a grant from the Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
This year’s programs explore three pressing issues:
- The impact of censorship in Silicon Valley, as traced in the acclaimed documentary “The Cleaners” with Sarah Roberts, assistant professor of information studies at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and co-founder of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry.
- The cultural science of conspiracy theories with “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and Susan Lepselter, associate professor of American studies and anthropology at IU Bloomington.
- The impact of human behavior on biological environments with a Korean monster classic, “The Host,” and Joseph Shaw, associate professor and associate dean for research at the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington.
Working at the intersection of musical composition, film technology and cognition, composer Graham Reynolds will appear at IU Cinema on March 30 for a conversation following a screening of the feature film “A Scanner Darkly,” preceded by the short film “The Sound of Science: The Brain.” Reynolds is known for his compositions and performances in film and theater, having collaborated with Richard Linklater, Jack Black, Jeffrey Zeigler and previous IU Cinema guest DJ Spooky.
Reynolds’ campus visit is part of a series of events surrounding the March 31 performance of “Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance,” a bilingual cross-border opera about the life and death of the Mexican Revolution icon, which takes place at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington. The series of events is collaboratively organized by the Latino Studies Program, the Latin American Music Center and the Music Theory Department at the Jacobs School of Music, IU Cinema and the Department of Theater, Drama and Contemporary Dance.
The world on film
Film demands exploration, and that is exactly what several partnered series bring this semester.
”Paulin Vieyra, Pioneer of African Cinema: Filmmaker, Producer, and Historian” celebrates the 2021 donation of Vieyra’s papers to the IU Black Film Center/Archive, which is partnering with IU Cinema to present the series. The series honoring Vieyra, a pioneer of African cinema during the decolonization era of the 1960s, opens Feb. 4 with a virtual shorts program followed by a shorts program at IU Cinema, and concluding with A Conversation on Paulin Vieyra, a virtual conversation with former BFCA Director Terri Francis and IU associate professor of Francophone studies Vincent Bouchard, moderated by Kozma.
As part of the 2022 Day of Remembrance activities Feb. 18, IU Cinema, the Asian Culture Center and the Asian American Studies Program will present a virtual screening of “And Then They Came for Us.” The film will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Abby Ginzberg and survivor Satsuki Ina, who is featured in the documentary that details the history of Japanese American internment during World War II.
Continuing to shine a spotlight on human rights is the student-run InLight (Human Rights Documentary) Film Festival. The festival promotes interaction between students, scholars and practitioners, who all share an investment in the struggles for human rights around the world. InLight will take place across Bloomington, with three screenings scheduled for IU Cinema. Guest filmmakers and scholars will be present at each screening for a post-film discussion.
Coalescing these threads of art, identity and creativity is the documentary “Henry Glassie: Field Work,” which will have its U.S. premiere at IU Cinema on April 21. Writers Glassie, a renowned American folklorist and IU emeritus professor, and Pravina Shukla, an IU Provost Professor, are scheduled to be present. Inspired by the writings and ideas of Glassie, the immersive and meditative documentary is set among the rituals and rhythms of working artists across Brazil, Turkey, North Carolina and Ireland.
Tickets are available for spring 2022 IU Cinema events starting Jan. 10. For more information on these and additional IU Cinema spring screenings and events, as well as ticket information, visit the IU Cinema website.