Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan


Orson Welles: Beyond the Canon and into the Archives

Exhibition Runs April 29 - September 16 
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library
Gallery (Room 100) & Audubon Room 

This student-researched exhibit, a project done in Matthew Solomon's SAC 330 course, marks the centenary of Orson Welles -- one of America's greatest directors of film, theater, radio, and television -- and highlights letters, photographs, scripts, and production materials culled from the University of Michigan's extensive Orson Welles archives. Visitors may begin their exploration of Orson Welles by perusing the library lobby, wherein they will "meet the students" via the reflections they have penned detailing their varied experiences working within the archives; next, visitors enter the exhibition space, wherein they will be taken on a captivating visual and audial journey through the diverse professional achievements of Welles  coupled with the personal life stories that include his relationships with the people most significant to him; finally, visitors enter the gallery space, wherein they will conclude their tour by examining a unique collection of objects from the archives specifically selected by the students to showcase. The exhibition, as a whole, provides insight not often revealed -- and is a must for any Orson Welles fan. 


German Film Institute 2015 Presents
"The Futures of the Past: German Cinema and its Media" 

May 31 - June 6
Times and Locations Vary -- Please Click Link Below for More Information 

This series, curated to accompany the 14th German Film Institute, spotlights the role of media in the history of German cinema. Outlining a cinematic "media archaeology," the series reveals how films from Germany have incorporated, represented, remediated, and otherwise intersected with a variety of media -- from writing and print to telephony, the phonograph, radio, television, and digital media. With screenings drawn from the full history of German cinema, the program showcases the multimedial dimensions of early "screen practice," the give and take among visual and sound technologies with the advent of the sound film, the remediation of writing and print media in films (from the Autorenfilm of the 1910s through the graphic uses of writing in silent cinema to collaborations between writers and filmmakers and experimental cinema), the intersecting of film television, and the place of video in the essay film. 

For a complete schedule of films, locations, times, and information on English subtitling, please click here

Wellespring: A Centenary Celebration of the Inexhaustible Inspiration of Orson Welles

Too Much Johnson, a Play Reading with Original Film Footage 

Sunday, June 7
Detroit Film Theater, Detroit Institute of Arts

1:00 p.m.

The recent rediscovery of the film Orson Welles shot in 1938 for his stage production of Too Much Johnson was widely reported -- and generated considerable international enthusiasm. What was lost in the excitement of seeing Welles's "first" professionally produced film seventy-five years later, however, was the fact that this footage did not exactly constitute a film; rather, it was made to serve as a single component of a multimedia theatrical production. This event aims to return a part of this footage to resemble its original context by presenting it as Welles intended it -- as a screened prologue for a stage play accompanied by music. To approximate this experience, the screening of the film footage that Welles himself shot for the prologue will be accompanied by narrated excerpts of the script and the music of U-M alumnus Frank Pahl and the Little Bang Theory -- featuring SAC's Terri Sarris.  Recent SAC alumnus and incoming PhD student Vincent Longo, who "rediscovered" Welles's original script, will be the narrator of the event and provide a brief historical introduction while several SAC students will participate in the reading of the script: Anne Marie Barry, Anna Baumgarten, Ava (Emma) Burnham, Avery DiUbaldo, Michael Lopetrone, Nick Sheehan, and Riley Taggart

This event is generously supported by the sponsors of the symposium; please see the full list under the symposium event description.

Wellespring: A Centenary Celebration of the Inexhaustible Inspiration of Orson Welles  -- Screenings 

Sunday, June 7 through Wednesday, June 10
Detroit Film Theater, Detroit Institute of Arts; Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

Times Vary -- Please See Schedule Below 

Screenings are a part of the Cinetopia International Film Festival; tickets are required. For a brief summary of the films listed below, please click here. 

Sunday, June 7: Detroit Film Theater; DIA 

4:00 p.m. -- Chimes at Midnight (a.k.a Falstaff, 1965)

Monday, June 8: Michigan Theater
4:00 p.m. -- The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
7:00 p.m. -- The Unknown Orson Welles, Program 1 (a collection of excerpts from some of Welles's unfinished films) 
9:40 p.m. -- Mr. Arkadin (a.k.a. Confidential Report, 1955)

Tuesday, June 9: Michigan Theater

4:00 p.m. -- Othello (1952)

7:00 p.m. -- The Unknown Orson Welles, Program 2 (a second collection of unfinished or little-known work by Welles along with a presentation by Stefan Droessler, curator of the Munich Film Museum). 
9:30 p.m. -- Touch of Evil (1958)

Wednesday, June 10: Michigan Theater 

4:00 p.m. -- It's All True (Welles, Wilson, Krohn, Meisel, 1993)
7:00 p.m. -- Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (Chuck Workman, 2014)
9:30 p.m. -- F for Fake (1973) 


The Department of Screen Arts & Cultures, The University of Michigan Library, and the Michigan Theater Present ...

Wellespring: A Centenary Celebration ofthe Inexhaustible Inspiration of Orson Welles -- Symposium 

Monday, June 8 - Tuesday, June 9
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery (Room 100)
Times Vary -- Please See Schedule Below 

Maverick filmmaker and actor Orson Welles, director of what many consider the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane, is the subject of this symposium in celebration of his centenary. Family members and colleagues, scholars, archivists, and students come together to discuss his lasting impact and showcase the five Welles archive collections housed at U-M Library in Special Collections. All symposium sessions are free and open to the public. 

Monday, June 8
1:00 p.m. --Introductory an Opening Remarks 

Introductory remarks by SAC Associate Professor Matthew Solomon, whose direction of the students in SAC 330 culminated in the Orson Welles: Beyond the Canon and into the Archives exhibit. Opening remarks by Catherine Benamou, Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at University of California, Irvine, who was instrumental in the acquisition of various Welles materials by U-M Library.

1:30 p.m. -- Donors & the Archive: Christopher Wilson
Christopher Wilson, who donated his father's, Richard Wilson's, papers to U-M, will discuss his father's longtime friendship and professional relationship with Welles and his own relationship with his father. SAC alumni A. Brad Schwartz and Vince Longo will moderate this session. 

3:00 p.m. -- Donors & the Archive: Oja Kodar 
Oja Kodar shares her memories of her life with Orson Welles and the importance of creating an archive dedicated to his work. Eliot Wilhelm, curator of film and video at the Detroit Institute of Arts, will moderate this session. 

4:30 p.m. -- Rededication Ceremony 
A celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Orson Welles-Oja Kodar Collection and the Richard Wilson-Orson Welles Collection.

Tuesday, June 9
10:00 a.m. -- Scholarship & the Archive

This panel, consisting of two generations of scholars, presents work that originated from research done within the various Welles collections at U-M Library. SAC Associate Professor Matthew Solomon will moderate this session. For a complete list of panelists, click here

2:30 p.m. -- Legacy & the Archive
This panel discusses how the legacy of Orson Welles has been shaped in various media thirty years after his death. U of M Professor of English Language and Literature Lawrence Goldstein will moderate this session. For a complete list of panelists, click here

Thank you to the following groups for your generous support of this event: the SAC Screenwriting Program, the College of LS&A, the Department of American Culture, the Institute for the Humanities, Rackham Graduate School, the University of Michigan Office of Research, and the Dept. of English Language and Literature.

SAC Alumnus, Historian, and Author A. Brad Schwartz Publishes Broadcast Hysteria and Participates in Upcoming "Scholarship & the Archive" Panel in Wellespring Symposium

In Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News, (published on May 5, 2015 by Hill and Wang), A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind Welles's famed radio play and its impact, posing the question, "Did it really spawn a 'wave of mass hysteria' as the New York Times reported?" Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent to Orson Welles himself in the days after the broadcast -- an investigation he began in the University of Michigan Special Collections Library for his honors thesis in the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures -- and his findings challenged conventional wisdom. Few listeners believed an attack was under way; but even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast became a major scandal, prompting a different kind of mass panic as Americans debated the bewitching power of radio and the country's vulnerability in a time of crisis. When the debate was over, American broadcasting had changed for good -- but not for the better. Schwartz's original research, gifted storytelling, and thoughtful analysis make Broadcast Hysteria a groundbreaking new look at a crucial but little-understood episode in American history; they also make us examine the present day popularity of "fake news" and the role of mass media in our lives. 

Watch the video wherein Schwartz illuminates his investigative process here: 

Read the complete summary and reviews of the book here
Read the recent article published in Vanity Fair here


                                                                                                 photo credit - Mary Lou Chlipala

The SAC class of 2015 celebrated on May 1st this year in the Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom, where over 350 family members, faculty and staff members, and friends honored the 88 graduates who attended the reception. The 2015 graduating class included 104 SAC majors, 35 Global Media Studies minors, and 17 screenwriting sub-majors, as well as an impressive group of SAC honors students and scholarship, Hopwood, and prize winners. Department Chair Caryl Flinn opened the ceremony, Director of Screenwriting, Jim Burnstein delivered an inspirational farewell, and the SAC honors cohort -- Anna Baumgarten, Jeremy Borison, Julia Braid, Will O'Donnell, Shira Steiner, and Tricia Williams, along with FVSA Co-President Mackenzie Cendrowski -- spoke creatively and enthusiastically to their peers regarding their experiences and their fond memories of working as a team. The reception was a huge success due to the efforts of all those involved -- and a heartfelt reminder of how much we will miss the inspirational individuals who compose the Class of 2015. 




                 photo credit - Mary Lou Chlipala

FVSA Co-President Mackenzie Cendrowski and SAC Honors students Julia Braid, Jeremy Borison, Shira Steiner, Will O'Donnell, Tricia Williams, and Anna Baumgarten illustrate their dramatic flair in an "outtake" after the formalities end. 



SAC-Affiliated Feature Film Consideration Directed by Veerendra Prasad Available on May 26th

Written, produced, shot, designed, edited, and scored by recent SAC graduates, the feature film Consideration will be available for rental and purchase on Vimeo and BitTorrent on Tuesday, May 26th. The story, about a young woman drowning in law school debt who starts dating a wealthy older man, was conceived as an exercise to explore the current state of independent cinema. Direction and story idea were provided by SAC Lecturer V. Prasad as he worked with students and recent graduates to finance, produce, and distribute a "micro-budget" feature film "using whatever money [they could] raise and whatever resources and locations [they could] get for free." Information for how to view the film can be found here
Trailers and Behind the Scenes Featurettes will be posted soon. 

Congratulations to New PhD Students Vincent Longo and Marissa Spada

Vincent graduated with a BA in Screen Arts & Cultures with highest honors. His research focuses on the historical and aesthetic relationships between American theater and film during the mid-twentieth century. Marissa graduated from York University with a BA in Theater and Drama and an MA in Cinematography/Film. Her work spans television studies, film studies and digital culture to interrogate how a number of contemporary viewers actively re-author some of the media they consume in fascinating ways. 

Welcome to the department, Vince and Marissa! We are excited and honored to have you!

Seldy Gray Wins the 2015 Peter and Barbara Benedek Award for Best T.V. Script

Gray's script Aftermath follows the story of Danny Walsh, a young woman whose childhood was stolen while in the captivity of an Islamic extremist group. She's been running from her past ever since, but when the same terrorist group reemerges, and a dozen American spies go missing, the CIA pulls Danny back into the intelligence fold to help track them down. 

Congratulations, Seldy!

Colin Gunckel's Work to Appear in American Quarterly Next Month

Assistant Professor Colin Gunckel's essay "The Chicano/a Photographic: Art as a Social Practice in the Chicano Movement" will appear in American Quarterly 67.2 (June 2015). In the essay, Gunckel examines four key practices or concepts in early Chicana/o cultural production -- the alternative press, muralism, rasquachismo, and artists associated with the group Asco -- to argue that the multi-dimensionalized mobilization of photography was central to the participatory and community-based foundations of early Chicana/o art. Positing this array of practices as being simultaneously visual and social in nature, Gunckel also makes the case for reconsidering both the analysis of social movement artwork and its relationship to art historical narratives.

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