Motherland – 11/28

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Taking us into the heart of the planet’s busiest maternity hospital, the viewer is dropped like an unseen outsider into the hospital’s stream of activity. At first, the people are strangers. As the film continues, it’s absorbingly intimate, rendering the women at the heart of the story increasingly familiar. Discussion moderated by Visual Media Arts professor Maria Agui Carter with alumna director Romana S. Diaz to follow. Documentary, 94 minutes, USA/ Philippines, 2017.

Weird Healing: The Animation of Opertura – 11/30

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Opertura is the collaborative artist unit formed by Aya Yamasaki and Jason Brown. They create hand-drawn animation, illustration, comics, installation and more, drawing inspiration from the natural and magical world, the humorous and tragic, and folk storytelling traditions. Their work has screened and been presented domestically and abroad. Discussion with artists to follow.

Stumped – 12/5

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When filmmaker Will Lautzenheiser’s limbs are amputated, his life is derailed and he turns to stand-up comedy as therapy. Meanwhile, a world-famous medical team is performing transplants that restore bodies to unprecedented levels. Despite grave risks, Will agrees to undergo an experimental double-arm transplant in the hope of reclaiming his independence. Discussion with director Robin Berghaus and subject, Will Lautenheiser to follow. Documentary, 72 minutes, USA, 2017.

Tom of Finland – 12/7

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Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual and men around him even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions. His work made famous by his signature ‘Tom of Finland’ – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution. Discussion led by faculty member and The New York Times Magazine Writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis to follow. Directed by Dome Karukoski, Drama, 115 minutes, Finland, 2017

The Beguiled – 12/12

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Cpl. John McBurney is an injured Union soldier who finds himself on the run as a deserter during the Civil War. He seeks refuge at an all-female Southern boarding school where the teachers and students seem more than willing to help. Soon, sexual tensions lead to dangerous rivalries as the women tend to his wounded leg while offering him comfort and companionship. Discussion led by professor Miranda Banks to follow. Directed by Sofia Coppola, drama, 93 minutes, USA, 2017.

Get Out – 9/19

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It’s time for a young African American to meet with his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare. Discussion led by professor Erika Williams to follow. Directed by Jordan Peele, horror/suspense, 104 minutes, USA, 2017

Risk – 9/21

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Laura Poitras, Academy Award winning director of CITIZENFOUR, returns with her most personal and intimate film to date. Filmed over six years, RISK is a complex and volatile character study that collides with a high stakes election year and its controversial aftermath. Cornered in a tiny building for half a decade, Julian Assange is undeterred even as the legal jeopardy he faces threatens to undermine the organization he leads and fracture the movement he inspired. In a new world order where a single keystroke can alter history, Risk is a portrait of power, betrayal, truth, and sacrifice. Discussion led by professor Russell Newman to follow. Directed by Laura Poitras, documentary, 92 minutes, USA, 2017.

Wander Wonder Wilderness – 9/26

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Wander, Wonder, Wilderness is a documentary project that explores the urban wilds and parks of Greater Boston. This hour long essay film chronicles the filmmaker’s engagement with green spaces in an urban environment and explores the complex notions that they reveal about human ecology. Discussion with director and professor Paul Turano to follow. Documentary, 58 minutes, USA, 2015.

Forager, a short documentary piece by Elaine Sheldon, will screen before the feature presentation (co-presented by The Non-Fiction Cartel)

Chavela – 9/28

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Through its lyrical structure, Chavela will take viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela Vargas. Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her – as well as those she spread about herself – the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being. Discussion with directors to follow. Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, documentary, 90 minutes, USA, 2017.

I am Not Your Negro – 10/3

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In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. Panel discussion led by professor Kimberly McLarin to follow. Directed by Raoul Peck, documentary, 93 minutes, USA, 2017.

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Fall 2017 Trailer

Trailer edited by Casey Shatraw

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