IU Cinema President's Choice series celebrates new School of Art and Design, architecture program

In this year's President's Choice series at Indiana University Cinema, viewers can join IU President Michael A. McRobbie in celebrating the new School of Art and Design, its Master of Architecture degree and the school's recent move into Kirkwood Hall.

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Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie speaks at event at IU Cinema in 2015. Photo by James Brosher, IU Communications

"The four films chosen for the President's Choice series reflect the innovation, ingenuity and inquiry that are at the center of the creative visual arts culture of our new School of Art and Design," McRobbie said. "The themes of architecture, beauty and design present in the films also celebrate IU's recently established architecture degree program, which will prepare students to be the inventors, designers and architects of the future and contribute to economic development in the state, nation and world. The new school and degree also further IU's efforts to foster a culture of building and making."

The School of Art and Design, which has recently moved into the newly renovated Kirkwood Hall, was established in 2016 and welcomed its first students last year. The school will offer a new Master of Architecture degree program with classes taught in Bloomington and Columbus starting in the fall of 2018.

"The faculty and staff of the School of Art and Design are excited to have such an impressive series highlighted in our honor," said Peg Faimon, founding dean of the School of Art and Design. "These four innovative films demonstrate the beauty and transformational impact of art, design and architecture in our daily lives. We are thankful to the president and the IU Cinema for making these films accessible to our university community."

Jon Vickers, founding director of IU Cinema, is excited about the opportunity to honor IU's most recently established school as well as share McRobbie's appreciation for international and foreign-language films with this year's series. In particular, Vickers is most looking forward to "Berlin: Symphony of a Great City," not only because of the innovative film's look at the design of one of Germany's great cities, but also because the evening will truly be an IU event.

"We're showing a film print from IU Libraries Moving Image Archive and having the score performed by Craig Davis, a doctoral student in the IU Jacobs School of Music," Vickers said. "So, it is very much an IU-based program. It will be a unique experience."

The silent, semidocumentary film presents one day in the life of Berlin as a city, capturing the rhythm of the time through visual and abstract impressions.

"It's one of the early city-symphony films, and it became an influential model for better-know montage films like 'Man With a Movie Camera,'" Vickers said.

"Berlin: Symphony of a Great City" is a good example of the president's taste and extensive knowledge of cinema.

"He has a pretty broad knowledge of film history, which sometimes embarrassingly points to gaps in my own," Vickers said.

It's McRobbie's love of film that inspired the start of the President's Choice series in the first year of IU Cinema's existence in 2011.

"The series is here to honor his commitment to the arts and IU Cinema and honor his deep love of film," Vickers said. "It's also easy for us to commit to this series because we have complete trust in his tastes."

This semester's series is supported in part by the Grafton Trout Fund, an IU Cinema programming endowment created by Laura C. Trout in honor of her husband.

Films in the Fall 2017 President’s Choice series are:

  • "The Fountainhead," 7 p.m. Aug. 21 -- The film is based on the iconic novel by Ayn Rand, a controversial 20th-century writer and philosopher of "objectivism."
  • "Berlin: Symphony of a Great City," 3 p.m. Oct. 8 -- The silent film will feature live piano accompaniment by Craig Davis, a doctoral student in the IU Jacobs School of Music.
  • "Russian Ark," 7 p.m. Oct. 16 -- In Russian and Persian with English subtitles.
  • "Last Year at Marienbad," 7 p.m. Dec. 4 -- In French with English subtitles.