Tuesday, January 6
Presented by: Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center.
USA, Afghanistan (2007) Dir: Sedika Mojadidi.
When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, hopes were high that democracy would bring progress in health and education for its women. But as of 2006, adequate health care has not been met. Set against the backdrop of a land in turmoil and transition, this inspiring film reveals the devastating stories behind a reproductive health crisis. English. DVD. 73 mins. Partially funded by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center.
Shun Li and the Poet
Presented by: Letizia Modena, Associate Professor of Italian
Italy, France (2011) Dir: Andrea Segre. A
single mother from China who works as a barmaid in a waterfront tavern meets an
exile from Eastern Europe who has a fondness for poetry and also pens doggerel
verse. Their meeting is a poetic escape from loneliness, a silent dialogue
between different cultures. Italian and Mandarin with English subtitles. 35mm.
100 mins. Partially funded by the Department of Italian.
Death of a Japanese Salesman
Presented by: Bryan Lowe, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Asian Studies.
Japan (2011) Dir: Mami Sunada. A look at the last months in the life of
the filmmaker’s father Tomoaki Sunada who worked for over 40 years for the same
company. This documentary is based on the diary his father wrote after being
diagnosed with incurable cancer. Japanese with English subtitles. Blu-Ray. 90
mins. (c) 2011 “Death of a Japanese Salesman” Production Committee. Funded
by the Program in Asian Studies.
Presented by: Emily Nacol, Assistant Professor of Political Science.
USA, UAE (2011) Dir: Steven Soderbergh. Follows the rapid progress of an airborne virus that kills within days. As the epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart. English, Mandarin, and Cantonese with English subtitles. 35mm. 107 mins. Partially funded by the Department of Political Science.
Presented by: Lynn Ramey, Associate Professor of French and Nicolas Kline, Class of 2016.
France, Switzerland (1986) Dir: Leos Carax. A mysterious new disease is killing young people who make love without emotional involvement. While a serum has been formulated, it’s locked away and most of those suffering can’t get it. An electric mixture of French New Wave elasticity and the Coen Brothers’ stark staging. 128 mins. French with English subtitles. DVD.
Presented by: Petey Peterson, Program Coordinator of LGBTQI Life and Frank Dobson, Director of The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center.
USA (2012) Dir: Lisa Biagiotti. Beneath layers of history, poverty and soaring HIV infections, four Americans redefine traditional Southern values in this documentary about the new American South and the people who inhabit its most quiet corners. English. DVD. 72 mins. Re scheduled from last semester in celebration of World AIDS Day (December 1). Partial funding provided by the Black Cultural Center and Office of LGBTQI Life.
Presented by: Haerin Shin, Assistant Professor of English.
South Korea, Czech Republic, USA, France (2013) Dir: Joon-ho Bong. In this sci-fi epic from director of The Host and Mother, a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet. The final survivors board the SNOWPIERCER, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. When cryptic messages incite the passengers to revolt, the train thrusts full-throttle towards disaster. English, Korean, Japanese, and French with English subtitles. Blu-Ray. 126 mins. Partially funded by both the Department of Cinema and Media Arts and the Program in Asian Studies.
Presented by Laura Carpenter, Associate Professor of Sociology and Dr. Christy Halbert, U.S. Olympic Boxing Coach.
Austria/USA (2014) Dir: Ruth Kaaserer. Boxingis a brutal sport. A man’s world. Is there a difference when women box? This documentary shows three women who live on the edge of society, making a living from odd jobs. As boxers, they do something that is considered male par excellence: being aggressive. Always on the lookout for a challenge – in the ring and in life – it’s a daily struggle and a soul search. English. Blu-Ray. 80 mins.
Presented by: Jane Miller Wanninger, Lecturer of English and Anand Taneja, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies.
India (2003) Dir: Vishal Bhardwaj. Based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth with the Mumbai underworld as its backdrop, the story follows the right-hand man of the most powerful ganglord. With great visuals, it is a haunting operatic tragedy. Urdu and Hindi with English subtitles. Blu-Ray. 134 mins. Partial funding provided by the Department of English.
Ivan and Ivana
Presented by: Jennifer Fay, Director of Cinema and Media Arts and Jeff Daniel Silva(filmmaker).
USA (2011) Dir: Jeff Daniel Silva. After the Kosovo war devastates a young couple’s homeland and their dreams, they set out to rebuild their lives anew in America. Arriving in California amidst the peak of a housing boom that would soon burst, the film reveals an unorthodox depiction of the American immigrant experience. 80 mins. The director of this film will lead the post-screening discussion. Funding provided by Cinema and Media Arts.
Presented by: Yoshikuni Igarashi, Associate Professor of History.
Japan (2004) Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda. Four siblings live with their mother in a small apartment in Tokyo. One day, the mother leaves behind a little money and a note, charging her oldest boy to look after the others. And so begins the children’s odyssey. Though engulfed by the cruel fate of abandonment, the four children do their best to survive in their own little world. Japanese with English subtitles. 35mm. 140 mins. Funding provided by Cinema & Media Arts.
Tuesday, February 17
Presented by Yoshikuni Igarashi, Associate Professor of History.
Japan (2008) Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda. A family drama about grown children visiting their elderly parents unfolds over one summer day when their son and daughter return for a rare family reunion, bringing their own families with them. They have gathered to commemorate the death of the eldest son, who drowned in an accident fifteen years ago. Although the house is as comforting and unchanging as the mother’s homemade feast, everyone in the family has subtly changed. Japanese with English subtitles. 35mm. 114 mins. Funding provided by Cinema & Media Arts.
The New Black
Presented by: Dr. Frank Dobson, Director of the Black Cultural Center, and Petey Peterson,
Program Coordinator in the Office of LGBTQI Life.
USA (2013) Dir: Yoruba Richen. A documentary that shows activists,
families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and
examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar – the black
church. It reveals the Christian right’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon
to pursue an anti-gay political agenda. English. Blu-Ray. 74 mins. Funding
provided by the Office of LGBTQI Life and the Black Cultural Center.
Life without Principle
Tuesday, February 24
Presented by: Jennifer Fay, Director of Cinema & Media
Studies and Thomas McGrath, Class of 2016.
Hong Kong (2011) Dir: Johnnie To. Three people – a criminal, a bank officer and a cop – end up in a catastrophic situation in the midst of a global economical crisis and are forced to betray any morals and principles to solve their financial problems. Cantonese with English subtitles. DVD. 107 mins. Funding provided by Cinema & Media Arts.
Not My Life
Presented by: Katharine Barcy, UNICEF Community Engagement Fellow for Nashville.
Ghana, Senegal, India, Romania, Italy, U.S., Nepal, Guatemala,
Uganda, & Sudan (2011) Dir: Robert Bilheimer. The first film to depict the cruel
and dehumanizing practices of human trafficking and modern slavery on a global
scale. It reveals a world where millions of children are exploited through an
astonishing array of practices including forced labor, domestic servitude,
begging, sex tourism, sexual violence, and child soldiering. English. DVD. 64
Juan of the Dead
The Other Son
Presented by: Joshua Barton, Assistant Director, Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life.
France (2012) Dir: Loraine Levy. The moving and provocative tale of two young men – one Israeli, the other Palestinian – who discover they were accidentally switched at birth, and the complex repercussions facing them and their respective families. French, English, Arabic, and Hebrew with English subtitles. 35mm. 105 mins. Partial funding provided by Vanderbilt Hillel.
Hell and Back Again
Presented by: Kenneth MacLeish, Assistant Professor, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society.
USA, UK, Afghanistan (2011) Dir: Danfung Dennis. Follows 25-year-old Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris on his most difficult mission: coming home after being seriously wounded in Afghanistan. Embedded with Harris’s unit during their assault on a Taliban stronghold, Dennis toggles between the intense experience of war and the challenges of re-adjusting to civilian life. English. DVD. 88 mins. Funding provided by Mayfield Lodge Battle Scars: Visible and Invisible.
Presented by Sam Girgus, Professor of English.
USA (2013) Dir: Julie Sharbutt. Filmed in one take, MOVED is a dark breakup comedy about a woman seeking closure as she moves out of a shared apartment. A beautiful, funny, sad and sweaty film about sexy young people moving on and figuring out what they owe the people they love. Funded via Kickstarter.com and premiered at the 2013 Big Apple Film Festival. English. DVD. 86 mins. Director, Julie Sharbutt, a Vanderbilt Alumni (2003), will be present and will lead the post-screening discussion.
Presented by: Gerald Figal, Professor, Department of History and Asian Studies.
Japan (2013) Dir: Yasuhiro Yoshiura. Inventive and heartwarming anime fantasy, Patema lives in an underground world of tunnels, the abandoned ruins of a giant industrial complex. While exploring in a forbidden zone, she tumbles headlong into a place with reversed physics, where if she let go she would “fall up” into the sky and be lost forever. A perspective-twisting sci-fi adventure about two kids separated by opposite gravities. Japanese with English subtitles. Blu-Ray. 99 mins. Partially funded by the Department of History.
The Chess Players
Presented by: Samira Sheikh, Associate Professor of History, Asian Studies and Islamic Studies.
India (1977) Dir: Satyajit Ray. Based on a story by Munshi Premchand, this satirical film is set in colonial India in 1856. The British Resident of the East India Company has observed that the monarch of Lucknow seems to be completely uninterested in government. Embroiled in a long-running chess rivalry, two local noblemen cannot be bothered with such minor issues as who is governing whom. Meanwhile, conditions in the kingdom go from bad to worse. An incisive dissection of culture shock and class privilege. Urdu, English, and Hindi with English subtitles. DVD. 129 mins. Partially funded by the Department of History.
Presented by: Kristin Michelitch, Assistant Professor of Political Science.
France, Belgium, Germany, Haiti (2000) Dir: Raoul Peck. The true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Using newly discovered historical evidence, Lumumba emerges as the heroic sacrificial lamb dubiously portrayed by the international media and led to slaughter by commercial and political interest; a tale of political intrigue and murder. French, Lingala and English with English subtitles. DVD. 115 mins. Partial funding provided by African Student Union student organization and The Department of Political Science.
Searching for Sugar Man
Presented by: Gregory Barz, Associate Professor of Musicology (Ethnomusicology), and Faculty Head of North House.
Sweden, UK (2012) Dir: Malik Bendjelloul. Though he faded into obscurity in the U.S., an early 70s musician known as Rodriguez became a huge hit in South Africa and was widely rumored to have died. Two obsessed fans set out to learn the man’s true fate. English. DVD. 86 mins. Partial funding provided North House, The Commons.
Presented by: VU LAMBDA Student Organization.
USA (2014) Dir: Patrik-Ian Polk. Adapted from a book by Larry Duplechan of the same title, Blackbird tells the coming-of-age story of a gay black teen grappling with his sexuality while submerged in one of the most conservative environments imaginable — a religious family in the deep South. The film sings of the conflict between religion and sexuality. English. Blu-Ray. 102 mins. Partial funding provided by LAMBDA student organization.
Presented by: Jason Strudler, Lecturer, Department of German and Slavic Languages.
Russia (2010) Dir: Aleksey Fedorchenko. This mystical masterpiece about a lonely man who helps a widower perform last rites for his wife is a haunting and beautiful road-trip. A meditation on death and sex, it’s a melancholy and touchingly profound folk tale. Russian with English subtitles. 35mm. 78 mins. Partially funded by the Department of German and Slavic Languages and the Russian, East European, and Central Asian Club (REECA).
Presented by: Vanderbilt Psychological Counseling Center (PCC).
USA, China, France, India, South Africa (2013) Dir: Delaney Ruston. Ruston experienced the silence that surrounds mental illness from her own family experience. Learning that 450 million people globally have a mental health condition, she realizes their plight is the most hidden of all. Her journey uncovers stories in India, South Africa, China, France, and the US where powerful narratives involving bipolar illness, depression, schizophrenia and anxiety show the universality of our seemingly different worlds. English. DVD. 60 mins. Funding by PCC.