At left, Caryl Flinn and Mark Clague engage their audience in a pre-concert talk about the role of music as a storytelling device. The talk, entitled "Music in Character and as Character: Bernstein's Musical Score to On the Waterfront," preceded the New York Philharmonic's live performance of the score during the screening of the film. 
   --   photo courtesy of Mary Lou Chlipala                                  

2015 UM Contemporary Chinese Film Series  
Tuesdays in September and October 
State Theater
7:00 p.m. -- Free Admission 
Still from Let's Get Married  咱们结婚吧  (2015) , directed by Liu Jiang. 
Sponsored by the Confucius Institute and Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at UM, Electric Shadows: 2015 Contemporary Chinese Film Series will feature six exciting Chinese films released in 2014 and 2015.  SAC Professor Markus Nornes helped curate the festival, which continues today, October 20, at the State Theater with the screening of Let's Get Married  (2015). A romantic comedy directed by Liu Jiang and based on the hugely popular Chinese TV series, the film tells a story of four couples finding love.
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  

The Lusophone Film Festival showcases the contemporary cinema of the Portuguese-speaking world. It is the second event of its kind in Ann Arbor and at the University of Michigan. The primary objectives of this event are to provide high visibility to the Portuguese language and its cultures at the University of Michigan and throughout the region, while contributing to program-building efforts currently underway in Portuguese.

This week, on Saturday, October 24, at noon at the Michigan Theater, see Elena, directed by Petra Costa (Brazil, 2012) and Obra (at 2:00 p.m.), directed by Gregorio Graziosi (Brazil 2014). 

In Elena, a young Brazilian woman travels to New York with dreams of becoming an actress. She leaves behind a childhood spent in hiding during the military dictatorship, and she leaves behind Petra, her seven-year old sister. Two decades later, Petra goes to New York to pursue acting... and in search of Elena. But the film (and the filmmaker) cannot escape the similarities between Petra and Elena’s stories, and as they overlap, they begin to blur. In the spirit of “Tarnation," Elena obliterates the line between documentary, diary, and fever dream, and is at once captivating and devastating. 

Elena with an introduction by Professor Tori Langland: Saturday, October 24, Michigan Theater, noon.

In Obra, João Carlos Ribeiro de Almeida Neto (Irandhir Santos) is beginning to feel the weight of his sizable name as he embarks on a major architectural project. Awaiting the birth of his first son, the young architect is going through a time of intense change — which is exacerbated by the discovery of some unexpected skeletons in his ancestral past. During the project's excavation, a clandestine cemetery is unearthed on a plot belonging to his family, leaving João grappling with some difficult questions about the means by which his inherited wealth and standing were accrued.

Obra with an introduction by Silvina Yi: Saturday, October 24, Michigan Theater, 2:00 p.m. 
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.
The Border Collective, Colin Gunckel, and the Ypsilanti District Library Invite You to Celebrate El Dia de los Muertos with Visiting Artist Daniel Gonzalez
Artist Exhibition and Art Workshops 
October 26 - October 31
Ypsilanti District Library 
Times Vary; Please See Specific Schedule for Details 
All Events Are Free and Open to the Public 
Throughout Mexico and Latin America, the Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, on November 1 and 2 celebrates and commemorates those who have passed away with vibrant costumes and celebrations. Local residents can participate in the celebration this year with a week of art exhibitions and workshops led by Daniel Gonzalez, a printmaker and graphic artist based in Los Angeles. Among exhibiting his own prints, Gonzalez will also offer free art workshops for youth and teens to create paper flowers and sugar skulls (to add to the community ofrenda, if they wish), as well as an adult art workshop in relief printmaking. 
Artist Talk with Daniel Gonzalez - In Conversation with Colin Gunckel
Thursday, October 29
3512 Haven Hall
5:00 p.m. 
Daniel Gonzalez will speak about the process of being in Michigan and working in the community, his own work, and the relationship between the arts and community Day of the Dead  celebrations. 
“I feel that it is my responsibility as an artist to be a vehicle for culture, to inspire a sensibility of the creative, to pierce the fence we have built to keep ourselves apart and to remind people of the common experience we share in life." 
        -- Artist Daniel Gonzalez 
The Day of the Dead celebration is presented with support from the University of Michigan Departments of American Culture, Romance Languages and Literatures, the Latina/o Studies Program, the Museum Studies Program; and the Ypsilanti District Library.
SAC Alumnus A. Brad Schwartz Presents Broadcast Hysteria at the Detroit Film Theater 
Thursday, October 29
Detroit Film Theater Auditorium
7:00 p.m. -- Free Admission 

On Halloween Eve, 1938, Orson Welles's brilliant radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds caused unprecedented mass hysteria --
or did it? 

In honor of Welles's centennial year and of the broadcast's 77th anniversary, join A. Brad Schwartz as he re-examines this landmark moment in history in his presentation of Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News.  Although Welles's live dramatization of The War of the Worlds did not cause mass panic, Schwartz will show that the broadcast was nothing less than history's first viral media phenomenon -- a dire warning for the age of Twitter and 24-hour news. 
This event is sponsored by Friends of the Detroit Film Theater. 
Chronopolis: Time and Urban Space, 2015 Graduate Student Conference  
October 30 - October 31
Rackham East Conference Room 
Times Vary: Please See Conference Schedule 
for Details 
Although cities are generally understood as spatial phenomena, this conference suggests that urban space cannot be thought independent of its temporal dimensions.  Thinking about the ways time intertwines with urban space illuminates the material and representative dimensions of the city as a dynamic space of experience and practice, systems and conflicts, culture and history.
This conference, hosted by Germanic Languages and Literatures, is generously supported by Rackham Graduate School, International Institute, LSA, Institute for the Humanities, the Departments of Screen Arts & Cultures, History, History of Art, Museum Studies, Anthropology, and the European History Workshop. 
SAC Graduate Student Ben Strassfeld Kicks Off 3rd Thursday Speaker Series (on Friday!)
Friday, October 30 
SAC Conference Room, North Quad
1:00 p.m. 
Third Thursdays is a forum for talks and similar events hosted by the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures.  This series showcases the best SAC scholarship and brings in friends of SAC to share their expertise, providing experiences of the wide range of intellectual and creative work happening in the Department, the University, and beyond.
Ben Strassfeld kicks off this year's series with his paper, entitled, "'The Blight of Indecency': Antiporn Politics and the Urban Crisis in Early 1970s Detroit."
In this paper, Strassfeld tells the story of the efforts of the Detroit neighborhood of Redford to shutter an adult business that had opened in its midst in the summer of 1972. Not long after the Adult World Bookstore set up shop in Redford, neighborhood residents mounted a campaign aimed at stamping out the adult businesses, inundating the offices of the mayor and city councilmen with hundreds of letters calling for the city to take action. Stassfeld's paper aims to situate local antiporn activism within the context of the urban crisis of the early 1970s, as Detroit and cities across the country struggled to cope with the effects of white flight, deindustrialization, and racial conflict. Utilizing archival sources, including the handwritten letters sent by residents to city officials, he argues that Redford's antiporn activists drew much of their rhetoric and tactics from white racial politics of the day.
Tom Benedek's SAC 308, Screenwriting for Non-Majors, discuss "mirror moments" in their script projects. Pictured from left to right are Nicole Skehan, Jayson Toweh, Kevin Colish, Tanaz Ahmed,and Tara Lewis. 
Guest Speaker Warren Lieberfarb Visits Dan Herbert's SAC 455
Last week, Warren Lieberfarb gave a guest lecture in Dan Herbert's SAC 455 Contemporary Film Industry course. Lieberfarb was the head of Warner Home Video from 1982-2002 and was instrumental in the invention and industry-wide adoption of DVD.
SAC Faculty Spotlight 
Professor Markus Nornes 
Markus Nornes was just in Japan for the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, which he has worked on in a variety of roles over the last 25 years. He participated in an onstage dialogue about Kore-dea Kazuhiro's 1993 documentary When Cinema Reflects the Times: Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edward Yang. Professor Nornes also sat on a symposium (pictured below) reflecting on 25 years of independent documentary in mainland China, along with directors Feng Yan (middle), Du Haibin (second from left), and scholar Akiyama Tamako (far right). 
The main theme of the discussion was the key role the Yamagata festival played in the development of documentary on the mainland. Thanks to the support of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, director Du and Professor Nornes Skyped into this semester's seminar on Documentary back in Ann Arbor. Students studied a unit on Chinese documentary the week before and had watched Du's 1428 on the 2008 Szechuan earthquake.
Rackham Features Ph.D. Candidate Dimitrios Pavlounis in Student Spotlight
Rackham Development Generalist Sheila Waterhouse wrote an informative and engaging piece for the Rackham Student Spotlight for Predoctoral Fellowship Scholars this month, tracing the origin of Pavlounis's dissertation idea through his current research process. Studying the anxieties around sound recordings from the 1910s, post-WWII, the Watergate period, and the present, Pavlounis describes, "The challenge is hitting major historical moments of anxiety and debate to make the overall argument that this history is recursive. Each of these time periods can be their own study."  
"There is little of people saying 'no' here when you come up with [new] ideas, especially when you're a grad student."
Understandably focused primarily  on his writing this year, Dimitri adds that he truly enjoys his time engaging with the students he is teaching -- and participating in the Digital Studies Rackham Inter-disciplinary Workshop, a program he helped to initiate. Read more about Dimitri's work, interests, and future plans here
SAC 2015-16 Honors Cohort
Spotlight on Kristen Batko
Kristen Batko has enjoyed storytelling since she was young girl and has been specifically interested in unusual characters and their development. After being told her novel writing was particularly visual, Batko explored screenwriting and fell in love with the medium. An additional obsession with serialized television led Batko to decide that she wants to be a TV writer -- and eventually a showrunner. 
Also an advocate for mental health awareness, Batko decided to research the institutionalization of people with mental illness and other marginalized groups in the late 1940s. Her project for the 2015-2016 academic year is to write a show bible surrounding this issue and time period as well as to write two drafts of the first three episodes. She hopes the darkly comedic tone will entertain the reader while he/she is informed about one of America's great atrocities.