Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan


SAC Faculty Book Release and Signing Event Coming to Literati Bookstore

Thursday, September 17
Literati Bookstore, 124 E. Washington
7:00 p.m. 

Join Professor Caryl Flinn (BFI Film Classics: The Sound of Music), Professor Markus Nornes (Staging Memories: Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness), Professor Yeidy Rivero (Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960), Associate Professor Giorgio Bertellini (Emir Kusturica)Associate Professor Matthew Solomon (BFI Film Classics: The Gold Rush), and Assistant Professor Colin Gunckel (Mexico on Main Street: Transnational Film Culture in Los Angeles Before World War II) as they introduce, celebrate, and sign their most recent publications at this evening event. 


2015 UM Contemporary Chinese Film Series 

Tuesdays in September and October
Michigan and State Theaters
7:00 p.m. -- Free Admission 

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's Professor Markus Nornes helped curate the festival, which begins on September 22nd at the Michigan Theater with the screening of The Golden Era, Ann Hui's epic feature recounting her short life -- from her childhood in the Heilongjiang Province to her final days in Hong Kong's Repulse Bay. 



Two SAC 423 Films Screened at Traverse City Film Festival; Phil Hallman Contributes to Robert Altman Panel at City Opera House

Two SAC films, All at Once, written by Julia Mogerman and directed by Samantha Gioia, and Love Assassin, written by Julia Vis and directed by Anthony Kalil, screened to a full house at the Traverse City Film Festival this summer. Both films are a result of SAC 423: Practicum for the Screenwriter, taught by Jim Burnstein and Robert Rayher.  This university-wide, interdisciplinary class focuses on filmmaking as "The Art of Collaboration" by bringing together the following groups: two of the top screenwriters from SAC's screenwriting program and some of SAC's most advanced production students -- including directors, cinematographers, editors, and producers; actors from both theater and musical theater; art and costume designers from the School of Art & Design; composers and sound designers from the School of Music; producers from the Ross School of Business; and public relations and marketing students from Communication Studies. This is the seventh year that SAC 423 students have participated in the festival. Sac 423 is offered every winter term. 

Phil Hallman  (pictured far right below) also played a role in the festival this year as he moderated the Robert Altman: American Maverick panel at the City Opera House. Consisting of (pictured from left to right) director Rob Mann, Altman's wife Kathryn, producer Ira Deutchman, and actors Michael Murphy and Geraldine Chaplin, the panel paid tribute to the "spiritual father" of American indie filmmaking as they discussed his art, his style, and his incomparable body of work. 

Terri Sarris Curates and Presents Experimental Screendance Works at "The Mini MIcrocinema" in Cincinnati and Continues Work with Super 8 and 16mm Film. 

The Mini Microcinema, created by SAC alum Jacqueline Wood with funding from a People's Liberty Lab Globe Grant, is dedicated to showcasing experimental film/video/media produced outside of Holllywood's mainstream, challenging conventional standards of form and content. In July, Sarris curated and presented a program of experimental Screendance works entitled "Screendance from the Fly-over Zone" at the Mini; her 16 mm film Ziegler was also included in the Mini's opening screening on July 2nd, entitled "This is What We are Doing." Sarris has continued working with Super 8 and 16 mm film during the summer months: her recent works include Last Hurrah, a meditation on family, nostalgia, and loss; Drive In, a collaboration with SAC's Joel Rakowski shot at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In Theater; Circular, an adaptation of a Jorge Luis Borges story; and Evidence (for Irena), an experimental screendance short about the Czech animator Irena Dodal.  

Tony "Master T" Young Visits Morrison's SAC 366

Tony "Master T" Young, along with his wife Paula Johnson, appeared as visiting artists in Josh Morrison's summer SAC 366: "I Want My MTV: Critical Perspective on the Music Video." Master T is a Canadian television and radio personality and urban music promoter; he worked as a VJ for MuchMusic and a host for Rap City and Da Mix throughout the '90s. Tony and his wife Paula, editor and co-writer of their production company, are currently producing and promoting a series of hip hop and reggae recordings. 

Little Bang Theory Performs at Theatre Gigante in Wisconsin 

Frank Pahl, Terri Sarris, and Doug Shimmin of Little Bang Theory performed live music entirely on children's instruments and toys, ingeniously providing the soundtrack for Ladislaw Starewicz's surreal puppet animation films from the 1920s and 1930s. Starewicz began making 3-D stop animation films in 1910 and continued creating them until his death in 1965: his films are technologically astonishing and include a cast of grotesque characters, insects, intricate puppet movement, and rear-projected real people. During their innovative performance, the members of the band sat around a table covered with brightly colored hand bells, crank-operated music boxes, toy pianos, and xylophones. Kat Bawden of the Michigan Daily commented on the performance: "The result could have been the soundtrack to a Dr. Seuss story. Between these three imaginative minstrels there was more soul than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra mashed up with the whole of the Disney repertoire." 




Marissa Spada and Vincent Longo Join SAC's Graduate Program

Marissa Spada completed her undergraduate degree in dramatic arts at York University, specializing in feminist theater, literature, and criticism. She also completed her MA at York, this time, in cinema and media studies where her interest in performance evolved into a study of web-based media fandoms and participatory cultures. Building upon feminist and media theory, Marissa's work considers contemporary modes of experiencing narrative, identity, and desire in online spaces. Her topics of study span across film and television genres, as well as popular culture; however, she does have a particular affinity for "love stories," melodramas, and at times, monsters. 

A Michigan native, Vincent Longo graduated with a BA in SAC with highest honors. His research focuses on the historical and aesthetic relationships between American theater and film during the mid-twentieth century (most recently, he has written about Orson Welles's theater/film hybrids). Vincent enjoys an array of archival research and has experience in entertainment-related, criminal, and genealogical records. He also holds a certificate in film directing from the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan and uses his training to benefit scholarship by creating visual essays, visualizations of missing films and forgotten plays, and other digital humanities projects. 

A warm welcome to both of you!

Professor Yeidy Rivero Presents Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-60 at University of Miami 

Professor Rivero engaged the audience gathered in the Cuban Heritage Collection's Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion in a discussion about the birth of commercial television in Cuba during a period of political and economic upheaval, as she discussed her book, Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-60 last week at the University of Miami. Rivero credits the research she did at the Cuban Heritage Collection for igniting her passion for the project: "When I began my research, I had no idea what I would find," Rivero states. 

Assistant Professor Colin Gunckel Quoted in The Kernal 

Colin Gunckel was recently quoted in the British publication, The Kernel, The Daily Dot's digital Sunday magazine that tackles the Internet's defining issues and the people behind them. In the article, entitled, "Inside the Gold-Plated World of Instagram's Narcoculture," author Stephanie Stark explores Instagram's relationship to Narcoculture, the popular and intensely romanticized view of cartel life. Gunckel offers his opinion on the subject, citing both social media's anonymity and the embrace of the narcoculture aesthetic as a way to flout the US and Mexican governments, despite the violent and risky implications of the lifestyle it implies. Read the entire article here. 

Grad StudenKaty Peplin Presents Paper at the 25th Annual Screen Studies Conference in Scotland 

The theme of this year's conference, organized by the journal Screen and programmed by Screen editor Karen Lury, was Screening Animals and the Inhuman. The conference welcomed papers that addressed questions, representations, and the performativity of the animal and of the "inhuman" on and with screen-based media. Peplin presented her paper entitled, "Studio magic, animal secrets: archival perspectives on the AHA's Hollywood office" as a part of the Animal Advocacy panel. 

Professor Emeritus Frank Beaver Publishes "Mother of Invention" in Michigan Today 

Frank Beaver recently published "Mother of Invention," an article in which he traces the history of the University's film classes from their inception in 1965 to the diverse programs now offered in SAC. Fondly reflecting upon the facility, the equipment, the "teaching fundamentals" of the time, the production process -- and throwing in a few mishaps for good measure -- Beaver reflects on his career, SAC's development, and the dedication of those initial students: "They were [...] enthusiastic, clever, and, above all, anxious to prove themselves as aspiring artists." Read the entire article to share in a wonderful tribute to our department's legacy and accomplishments. 

Professor Emeritus Richard Abel Accepts Invitation to Serve on Artistic Committee of the Cinema Ritrovato 

The Cinema Ritrovato, a week-long festival in Bologna, Italy, is devoted to rediscovered and restored films. Abel served on the newly established artistic committee this past summer and has posed several ideas of future festivals: a series of programs on Marie Epstein, on Triangle films from 1916 and 1917, on the silent films of Blanche Sweet, and a restoration of the Durborough War Pictures (1917) by the National Archives. 

Recent SAC Alum Julia Mogerman Wins Peter and Barbara Benedek Award for Best Screenplay of 2015 

Julia won this award for her screenplay  Everything All at Once, a story about high school senior Skylar Faye who, after a suspicious attack on her best friend's life, must prove her own innocence by entering the dark underworld of their small town and uncovering the secrets her friend had been keeping. The Peter and Barbara Benedek Award for Best Screenplay is a highly competitive award for full-length, original screenplays and is open to any student who has completed a SAC screenwriting course. 

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