SAC production is alive and well! At left, Robert Rayher's SAC 300 student Amanda Swoger sets up the Black Magic camera in preparation for a shot while Karen Brownman assists; at right, Rayher observes his SAC 400 students James Reslier-Wells (front) racking focus while Erica Gavan (far right)  acts as 2nd AC and Claudia Fuentes (middle) frames the shot. 
photos courtesy of Al Young
Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien
Fall 2015 Chinese Film Festival 

November 3-11
Michigan Theater: See schedule for specific times 
Free and Open to the Public 
This film series trailer was prepared for the touring retrospective when it screened last fall at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
An international retrospective organized by Richard I. Suchenski (Dir. Center for Moving Image Arts, Bard College) in collaboration with the Taipei Cultural Center, the Taiwan Film Institute, and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China, the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies presents the Also Like Life Film Series, which will feature the following films: Dust in the WindA Time to Live and a Time to Die; Flowers of ShanghaiGood Men, Good Women; and Millennium Mambo
Professor Markus Nornes comments on the retrospective: Hou Hsiao-hsien is one of the greatest filmmakers working today, and if you haven't seen his work, this is your chance. The Taiwanese government struck brand new prints, which have been circulating around the world to venues like MOMA, BFI, Eastman House, the Academy, and everywhere else. The Michigan Theater just made a test run, and the projectionist told me he was shocked at the quality of these pristine archival prints. It's a rare treat to see these films on the big screen. I hope to see you there! 
For more on Hou Hsiao-hsien's work, read "Taiwan's Master Timekeeper." 
Gasland: A Multimedia Presentation on Fracking by Josh Fox  
Wednesday, November 11
Rackham Auditorium
5:00 p.m. -- Free and Open to the Public 

Goldring Family Foundation Distinguished Speaker Josh Fox, the creator of Gasland I and II, will feature clips and comments from his documentaries in order to showcase environmental issues and their possible solutions.

This event is hosted by Program in the Environment (PitE) and co-sponsored by Screen Arts & Cultures, Environmental Law & Policy Program, Department of English Language and Literature, Department of American Culture, and the Institute for the Humanities.
3rd Thursday Speaker Series Features SAC Doctoral Candidate Feroz Hassan
Thursday, November 12
SAC Conference Room, North Quad
11:30 a.m.

Feroz Hassan continues this year's series with a presentation of his paper, "Total War, Total History, Total Cinema: Bazin and the Propaganda Film"
Of all the criticisms of André Bazin’s defense of cinematic realism, one the most damning had been the claim that he did not account for its role in normalizing ideological and political interests. This talk seeks to demonstrate that, on the contrary, he asserted a deep connection between the emergence of the medium and the political pressures of the age. What emerges through close readings of his essays on Stalinist cinema, the newsreel, Italian neo-realism, as well as the original version of the “The myth of total cinema,” is a Bazinian account of cinematic realism’s ideological complicity with its age. It is only against this background of critique that we can start to restore the alternate political role with which Bazin invests his realist aesthetic.
Lusophone Film Festival 
Festival Runs Through Early December
Films Screened at State Theater, Michigan Theater, and UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium; See Schedule for Specific Times and Locations 
Free Admission  
Still from White Out: Black In, directed by Adirley Queiros, Brazil (2014).
On Thursday, November 12th, at 7:30 pm. at the Michigan Theater, see White Out: Black In  with an introduction by Professor Paulina Alberto . The film is an acclaimed documentary combining elements of reality and science fiction that zeroes in on the complex realities of race in Brazil. The film —centering on the working-class suburb of Ceilândia, outside the capital city of Brasília—, portrays a generation of black men that is metaphorically and literally amputated. On March 5, 1986, in a run-down disco on the outskirts of Brasília, a group of cops used a drug raid as an excuse to severely beat everyone present in the dive; all of those beaten were black. The policemen were heard shouting: ‘White out, black in.’ Marquim and Sartana, two victims of the event, remember that terrible day; the former lost a leg and the latter remains paralyzed. Remembrance, however, is not all they want.
Unfolding like a hushed, chiaroscuro fever dream, Horse Money pushes Costa's astonishing visual style and formal rigor to new heights with its Caravaggesque tableaux composed of high-contrast light and shadow, and others recalling Rembrandt with their velvety textures and ashen, sepia hues. (Andrea Picard, TIFF)

On Saturday, November 14th at 12:00 p.m. at the State Theater, see Horse Money, directed by Pedro Costa (Portugal/Cape Verde, 2014) with an introduction by Professor Fernando Arenas.  In the film, Ventura — the sad-eyed Cape Verdean lead of “Colossal Youth” — is lost in startlingly abstracted and stunningly rendered indeterminacy as revolution takes place in the streets. A product of the failed promises of Portugal's 1974 Carnation Revolution — where the fight for democracy after decades of dictatorship neglected the African immigrant population of his generation — Ventura is increasingly held captive by his madness and the "nervous disease" that causes his constant trembling, the results of a lifetime's worth of back-breaking manual labor and extreme poverty. Recuperating in a mysterious, vaulted infirmary with a network of subterranean passages, Ventura wanders in and out of the various rooms — which, through ambiguous and startling slippages of time and place, lead him to hidden or suppressed areas of his mind.

The Lusophone Film Festival is sponsored by the Brazil Initiative/Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, LSA, International Institute African Studies Center, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Institute for the Humanities, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Sheldon Cohn Fund/Department of Screen Arts & Cultures, Center for European Studies, and Rackham Graduate School.
Friday, November 13
Studio A, 1440 North Quad 
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. 
Power and the Mediterranean Conference
November 13-15
East Conference Room, Rackham Building
Various Speakers and Times
The Meditopos Conference is a biennial symposium for graduate students and junior faculty working in Mediterranean Studies.
To view the full schedule of conference speakers and titles, click here
Keynote address: "The Power of a 'View from Land and Sea' for the Mediterranean World" 
Julia Clancy-Smith, University of Arizona
Friday, November 13, 6:00 p.m. 
The third biennial Meditopos conference is presented with generous cosponsorship from the departments of Classics, History of Art and Architecture, Comparative Literature, English, and Screen Arts & Cultures, as well as the program in Modern Greek, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the Institute for the Humanities, and the college of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Institute for the Humanities Living Room Series Presents 
The Lovely and the Wretched

Thursday, November 19
Kerrytown Concert House
8:00 p.m. 
Frank Pahl, photo courtesy of Doug Shimmin
The Lovely and the Wretched is a seven-piece ensemble consisting of Abby Alwin, Clem Fortuna, Tim Holmes, Frank Pahl, Mary Riccardi, Terri Sarris, and Doug Shimmin. Originally formed to accompany recent Nick Cave performances, the current lineup will perform original music written by Frank Pahl on a combination of symphonic instruments and original instruments built by Frank. 
Artist Daniel González and Assistant Professor Colin Gunckel in the process of installing an exhibition of González's intricate printmaking work at the Ypsilanti District Library, which will remain on display until the end of the month. Among other activities, González visited Gunckel's SAC 441 (Mexican Cinema) class and SAC 381 (Latina/os and the Media) to discuss the transnational travel of the Day of the Dead through media and its relationship to broader issues of media representation, cultural appropriation, and conceptions of authenticity. 
Senior Lecturer Terri Sarris and SAC Alums J.B. Armstrong and Josh Gibert Selected for Sundance Institute's Detroit Screenwriters Intensive
With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Sundance Institute hosted its inaugural Screenwriters Intensive in Detroit this past Saturday, November 7, 2015. This one-day workshop supported 10-12 local screenwriters who are currently developing a narrative feature-length screenplay. Veteran screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury (Nashville, Thieves Like Us) led Designed Obstacles, a working session that provided each writer with tools to delve deeply into his/her characters and make vital discoveries to enrich his/her story.
SAC Graduate Student Spotlight: Doctoral Candidate Josh Morrison
Doodle: Michelle Sheng, ink on notebook, 2015
Josh Morrison is in the process of writing his dissertation prospectus. His project, currently titled Labours of Love: Valourizing Futurity Through Queer Cultural Capital, brings together materialist theories of value and labour with queer media studies to explore the ways that minoritized subjects create alternative and generative networks of cultural value and capital outside of dominant flows of power. His project spans bear porn, queers who kill, gaypocalypses, the Spice Girls, and Eisenstein's cine-fist to explore the ways which queers rework key terms in materialist analysis including labour, valourization, exploitation, and value. When not teaching or writing, Josh spends his time at the park with his dog Liza Martini, feeding his cranky lizards, or dusting his starships collection. 
Professor Emeritus Richard Abel Publishes "House Organs and the Detroit Weekly Film News in the 1910s" in Film History 27.3 (2015)
Film History publishes original research on the international history of cinema, broadly and inclusively understood.
ABSTRACT: Motion-picture house organs, or theater programs, were notoriously ephemeral in the silent period. Among the rare few that survive are the Weekly Film News, published by J. H. Kunsky Theatrical Enterprises in Detroit and given out to patrons of Kunsky's circuit of downtown and neighborhood theaters. The fifty or more issues extant, from May 1916 to April 1919, offer a unique opportunity to deepen our knowledge of early cinema history. This unique ephemera illuminates the weekly programming of a major theater circuit in an unexamined metropolis, what that circuit assumed its patrons wanted to read and why, and perhaps even who those patrons were. 
The last 20 pages of Abel's article reprint one full issue of the Weekly Film News (3 September 1916).
SAC Affiliate (January 2016) Amanda Lotz Travels to Europe to Give a Series of Talks on her Current Work
Professor Amanda Lotz will be giving a series of talks in Europe in the next few weeks based on her current project tracing the extraordinary change in U.S. television in the last twenty years (Being Wired: How Cable Transformed Television and the Internet Revolutionized It All). She'll present invited talks at Stockholm University and the University of Copenhagen about the struggles encountered in the production of the first original, scripted cable series in the late 1990s. She is also presenting a version of this work at the Changing Media Landscapes Conference in Manchester, England, and then speaking at the University of Leeds on "Rethinking Television: The Logics of the Publishing Model and U.S. Scripted TV."
Attention Undergrads! Check Out the Updated Casting Call on the SAC Website!
Are you interested in acting in a SAC production? Check out the new casting call for Buyer Beware (Logline: The wealthy Lockwood couple commissions an inspection on a house they're considering -- a house that is not only haunted, but hostile). Details are posted on the SAC website here.