Tag Archives: film

Event: Ladyfest Philly Film Series, May 2013

Ladyfest Philadelphia Film Series!


Wednesday, May 1

16mm Short Film Screening

at AUX (319 N. 11th Street, 3rd floor)

8:00 PM; Free (donations welcome)


The first screening in the series consists of short 16mm films by women made before 1980. These classics include the first film by an openly lesbian filmmaker (Barbara Hammer’s Dyketactics), innovative computer animation techniques pioneered by Bell Labs artist-in-residence Lillian Schwartz and the sarcastic Pop Art shorts of Gunvor Nelson. The films will be projected in their original 16mm format.

Friday, May 10

Ladies and Gentlemen… The Fabulous Stains

at International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut Street)

8:00 PM; $9 general admission, $7 students/seniors, Free for IHP membersBuy tickets

Directed by Lou Adler, US, 1982, 35mm, 87 minutes — rare 35mm archival print!

With an introduction by rock critic Sara Sherr


The original riot grrl film, Ladies and Gentlemen… The Fabulous Stains was tepidly made and not-actually-released by Paramount in the early 1980s. A tumultuous production and disastrous preview showings led the film to be shelved. When it later ended up on late-night TV and in repertory theaters it became a cult hit, inspiring rockers like Tobi Vail of Bikini Kill and Courtney Love to pick up their instruments.

Recently orphaned Corrine “Third Degree” Burns (a 14-year-old Diane Lane) enlists her cousin (Laura Dern) and sister to launch a punk rock band, The Stains. Three rehearsals later, the band scores the opening slot on a cross-country tour with aging metal act The Metal Corpses and British punk rockers The Looters. The Stains meteoric rise—and equally lightening-quick fall—owes more to TV exposure than to talent. Featuring real-life punks (Paul Simenon of The Clash, Steve Jones and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols), outrageous fashions and The Stains’ post-punk hits “Waste of Time” and “Join the Professionals,”Ladies and Gentlemen…The Fabulous Stains is a sarcastic and hilarious look at the early 1980s punk scene.

Sara Sherr is a Philadelphia-based rock critic and host of Sugar Town, a 12-year-old monthly music series for female and female-identified musicians, performers, and DJ’s. She co-ran independent booking agency Plain Parade from 2002-2006 and is an organizer for the Phreak N Queer Arts & Music Festival and Ladyfest Philadelphia.

Friday, May 17

The Watermelon Woman

at AUX (319 N. 11th Street, 3rd floor)

8:00 PM; Free (donations welcome)

Directed by Cheryl Dunye, US, 1997, DVD, 85 min.


Cheryl Dunye’s debut feature is as controversial as it is sexy and funny. Cheryl is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an obscure black actress from the 1930’s. Cheryl is surprised to discover that Richards (known popularly as “the Watermelon Woman”) had a white lesbian lover. At the same time, Cheryl falls in love with a very cute white customer at the video store (Guinevere Turner from Go Fish).

Such are the complexities of race and sex in this startlingly fresh debut, which has been attacked by conservative Congressmen for having been funded by the NEA and lavishingly praised in the editorial pages for being charming and courageous.

Thursday, May 23

Women’s Cinema in the 21st Century

at AUX (319 N. 11th Street, 3rd floor)

8:00 PM; Free (donations welcome)

The final evening in the Ladyfest Film Series, this program highlights recent perspectives on gender oppression, liberation and contemporary cinema. Multiple experiences are represented in the selection of short films by directors from Eastern Europe, France and the US. All made in the 21st century.






Event: Ladyfest Philadelphia! June 7-9

Ladyfest Philadelphia

When: June 7-9, 2013

Where: The Rotunda and locations around West Philadelphia

Website: www.ladyfestphilly.com

Ladyfest Philly is an activism, music, and arts festival happening in Philly from June 7-9, 2013.

Ladyfest Philadelphia is a grassroots event dedicated to the artistic, organizational, and political work of women, trans, genderqueer, intersex, and queer people, and their allies. Ladyfest combats substantive, cultural, and structural inequalities by building upon the existing Philadelphia community of artists, musicians, and activists.  It aims to foster a more inclusive and safe environment through performances, workshops, panels, opportunities for collaboration, and more.

Ladyfest Philadelphia will take place June 7-9, 2013 at The Rotunda and other spaces in West Philadelphia.

Get in touch with ideas, questions and suggestions: ladyfestphilly@gmail.com

Event: Awesome Fest! June 14-Aug 19

The Awesome Fest

When: June 14-August 19
Where: Various locations
Cost: Varies
More info: www.theawesomefest.com

Awesome Fest is set to bring the ’80s back to Philadelphia this summer with a 10-week film and music festival featuring performances and outdoor movie screenings at parks across the city.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 1.10.18 PM

The festival kicks off with a performance by The Psychedelic Furs at the Trocadero Theatre on June 14 at 8 p.m.

In the following weeks, more than 50 outdoor movie screenings, live music performances and special anniversary events will occur.

The outdoor movie screenings are all free (!!!) and located in parks across the city.

University City’s Drexel Park will host movies on Thursday nights, Liberty Lands Park in Northern Liberties will host films on Friday nights and Parx Casino will host double features every Saturday night. The Trocadero Theatre will host (indoor) Monday night movies.

Movie screening highlights include an assortment of ’80s classics — E.T.Revenge of the NerdsBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and 10 of John Hughes’ biggest films because what ’80s film festival would be complete without John Hughes?

Other festival highlights include an ’80s prom at Parx Casino, a screening of Rewind This! a film about the impact of VHS on society that made its debut at SXSW and a 25th anniversary screening of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Directors, filmmakers and producers from a number of the films will be in attendance. Cool!

The full schedule of events will be released in the coming weeks, stay tuned for more on the summer festival.

Bonus: Catch an exclusive peek at Awesome Fest’s happenings at a special event. Check out a screening of ’80s hit movie Weekend at Bernie’s at Wizard World/Comic Con on May 31. The film’s star, Andrew McCarthy, will even be in attendance to answer questions from fans.

Above text taken from: http://www.uwishunu.com/2013/04/awesome-fest-set-to-return-this-summer-with-more-than-50-free-outdoor-movie-screenings-across-the-city-june-14-august-19/

Event: Filmmaker Rodrigo García


Kelly Writers House Fellows Program

April 22, 2013. 6:30 PM in the Arts Cafe

rsvp: seating strictly limited; please rsvp to whfellow@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-573-9749

Funded by a grant from Paul Kelly, the Kelly Writers House Fellows program enables us to realize two unusual goals. We want to make it possible for the youngest writers and writer-critics to have sustained contact with authors of great accomplishment in an informal atmosphere. We also want to resist the time-honored distinction — more honored in practice than in theory — between working with eminent writers on the one hand and studying literature on the other.

Rodrigo García was born in 1959 in Bogotá, Colombia, and was raised in Mexico. García, whom the Washington Post referred to affectionately as “the man who loves women” in a 2010 profile, is a director and writer for both TV and film, celebrated for his intimate, emotional and invested portrayals of his characters. He directed several independent movies which attracted critical acclaim, such as Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her (2000), Nine Lives (2005), and Albert Nobbs (2011). His greatest work to date has been the HBO series In Treatment, which ran from 2008 through the end of 2010, and which he created, wrote, and directed. García made fascinating use of the genre of the television series, where each season featured week-long stretches with one episode per night for five nights in a row, and then four in the third season, simulating the psychotherapist’s work week, each episode focusing on a session with a different patient.

While García’s father, writer Gabriel García Márquez, is best known for his works of magical realism, García has spent the better half of his career emphasizing the un-magical, and his style is an everyday realism. But such a style does not mean that touches of the mystical and the uncertain are absent from his work. There is a beautiful spirituality within both his directing and writing work. Contemporaneous with a TV era of American viewers who were obsessively watching, in real time, to find out whether or not 24’s Jack Bauer was going to explode into millions of pieces, García has used the concept of “real time” in TV to gain emotional depth and to connect with his audience, convincing them to care as much for the people he created as he genuinely did. As he quotes to the Washington Post, “Anybody can blow up cars. A director who can really get into the mysteries and complexity of women is very special.”

Event: Lisa Henderson on queer film, love, and money

Love and Money:

A Reading by Lisa Henderson

When: Monday April 22, 2013. 5 pm

Where: Giovanni’s Room Bookstore (345 S. 12th Street, Center City)

NOTE: In this book, Henderson has a wonderful reading of By Hook or By Crook!


Love and Money argues that we can’t understand contemporary queer cultures without looking through the lens of social class. Resisting old divisions between culture and economy, identity and privilege, left and queer, recognition and redistribution, Love and Money offers supple approaches to capturing class experience and class form in and around queerness. Contrary to familiar dismissals, not every queer television or movie character is like Will Truman on Will and Grace–rich, white, healthy, professional, detached from politics, community, and sex. Through ethnographic encounters with readers and cultural producers and such texts as Boys Don’t Cry, Brokeback Mountain, By Hook or By Crook, and wedding announcements in the New York TimesLove and Money sees both queerness and class across a range of idioms and practices in everyday life. How, it asks, do readers of Dorothy Allison’s novels use her work to find a queer class voice? How do gender and race broker queer class fantasy? How do independent filmmakers cross back and forth between industry and queer sectors, changing both places as they go and challenging queer ideas about bad commerce and bad taste? With an eye to the nuances and harms of class difference in queerness and a wish to use culture to forge queer and class affinities, Love and Money returns class and its politics to the study of queer life.

Lisa Henderson is the author of Love and Money: Queers, Class, and Cultural Production (NYU, $23 pb).

Event: End of Cinema & Future of Cinema Studies Conference

The End of Cinema and the Future of Cinema Studies

When: Friday, April 12, 2013 – 9:30am – 5:30 pm

The First Annual Dick Wolf Penn Cinema Studies Conference

In a day long conference on the future of cinema studies, Penn Cinema Studies Program will bring together scholars, film critics, and film industry practitioners who have stood at the cutting edge of the critical and scholarly debates about the technological and institutional transformations in film and media. On the one hand, the disappearance of the celluloid, the redefinition of the image by the digital technology, and the transformation of theatrical viewing onto heterogeneous spaces and devices has put at stake the very existence of the field’s object of study, and has resulted in a kind of cultural pessimism and an obsessive discourse on the mortality of cinema. On the other hand, these developments were accompanied by a renewed and unprecedented vitality and vigor in cinema, the cinema’s widening sphere of influence, and the rebirth of cinephilia. The disciplinary shifts brought a new understanding of the nature of the moving image, its relationship with the real, as well as a new understanding of the history of the medium. Through a dialogue between acclaimed film scholars, critics, and practitioners, we want to think about the significance of film and media studies today and address the ways in which the convergence that defines the landscape of film and media also coincides with a convergence that is institutional and disciplinary.


Participants include:

  • Keynote Francesco Casetti is Professor at Yale University in the Humanities and in the Film Program. He is the author of Inside the Gaze. The Fiction Film and its Spectator (Indiana University Press, 1999), Theories of Cinema, 1945-1995 (U Texas Press, 1999), and Eye of the Century. Film, Experience, Modernity (Columbia University Press, 2008). Visiting professor at University of Paris 3, Iowa, and Berkeley. Co-founder (with Jane Gaines) of the Permanent Seminar On Histories of Film Theories. General Editor of the series “Spettacolo e comunicazione” for the publishing house Bompiani, Milano. Prior to his arrival at Yale, he taught for thirty years in Italy, where he served as President of the Society for Film and Media Studies.
  • Dudley Andrew is the R. Selden Rose Professor of Film and Comparative Literature at Yale. He began his career with three books commenting on film theory, including the biography of André Bazin, whose thought he continues to explore in the recent What Cinema Is! and the edited volume, Opening Bazin. His interest in aesthetics and hermeneutics led to Film in the Aura of Art (1984), and his fascination with French film and culture resulted in Mists of Regret (1995) Popular Front Paris (2005), and the co-edited Companion to Francois Truffaut.
  • John Belton is Professor of English and Film at Rutgers University. He is the author of five books, including Widescreen Cinema (Harvard, 1992), winner of the 1993 Kraszna Krausz prize for books on the moving image, and American Cinema/American Culture (McGraw Hill, 1994, 2004, 2008, 2013), a textbook written to accompany the PBS series American Cinema. He has edited three books and edits a series of books on film and culture for Columbia University Press. In 2005-2006, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to research a book on digital cinema. In 2008, he received an Academy Fellows grant to research a book on motion picture color.
  • Mark Betz is a Reader in Film Studies at King’s College, University of London, UK. He is the author of Beyond the Subtitle: Remapping European Art Cinema(Minnesota University Press, 2009) as well as several articles and book chapters on postwar art cinema and film culture, the history of film studies, and the problems (and pleasures) of film categories and concepts.
  • Francesca Coppa is Professor of English and film studies at Muhlenberg College and the Visiting Wolf Professor of Television Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a founding member of the Organization For Transformative Works, a nonprofit advocacy organization established by fans to provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and culture. She recently co-edited the Fan/Remix Video issue of Transformative Works and Cultures and is currently writing a history of fan vidding for the University of Iowa press.
  • Geoff Gilmore is a world expert of independent filmmaking and distribution. He began his career as head of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s and served as director of the Sundance Film Festival for nineteen years. Geoffrey is currently Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, responsible for the overall direction of the Tribeca Film Festival as well as Tribeca Film, Tribeca’s distribution platform which last year distributed 28 films to 50 million homes across an array of platforms including theatrical, VOD and digital.
  • Barbara Klinger is President-Elect of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and Interim Chair and Professor in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University in Bloomington. She teaches and writes on cinema and new media, fan and reception studies, and film and media history and historiography. She is author of Melodrama and Meaning: History, Culture, and the Films of Douglas Sirk (Indiana University Press, 1994) and Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home (University of California Press, 2006). She has published numerous book chapters and articles in journals, including Film Quarterly,Screen, and Cinema Journal.
  • Lev Manovich is the author of Software Takes Command (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (The MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) which is described as “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” Manovich is a Professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, a Director of the Software Studies Initiative, and a Visiting Professor at European Graduate School (EGS).
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum is the author or coauthor of a dozen books, the most recent of which is Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia (Chicago, 2010). He maintains a blog and web site at jonathanrosenbaum.com
  • Lynn Spigel is the Frances E. Willard Professor of Screen Cultures at Northwestern University. Her books and anthologies include TV By Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television (University of Chicago Press, 2009); Television after TV: Essays On a Medium in Transition (Duke University Press, 2004, co-edited with Jan Olsson); and Make Room for TV: TV and the Family Ideal in Postwar America (University of Chicago Press, 1992). She is currently a John Simon Guggenheim fellow.

Conference Schedule | Friday, April 12

9:30-10:00am | Opening Remarks | Meta Mazaj 

10:00-11:30am | Deaths and Re-Births of Cinema | Moderated by Karen Beckman

Barbara KlingerCinema and Immortality

  • Countering the ideas that cinema is ‘dead’ and the field in peril, this paper explores the multiple means by which film as a medium continues to thrive in circumstances that appear to challenge its very existence and the nature of its study. In my view, cinema has historically been resurrected and reincarnated through definitive affiliations with other media, from radio and television to the digital. The contemporary climate of convergence, transmedia, and the ‘digital revolution’ has simply made this state of affairs especially visible. Film’s fellow media have long acted as its life support systems and agents of active dissemination (e.g., the TV rerun), while also transforming the experience of the medium itself (e.g., through different delivery systems and different screening locales). Focusing on Hollywood film, I will examine both the protean nature of cinema, given its constant reformulations by other media, and its endurance through these reformulations, developing a notion of cinema and film studies that is less ‘pure’ and more encompassing.

Mark BetzRecalling the Active Spectator

  • This paper will examine, in historical as well as practical terms, the construct of the active spectator as it has been manifest in academic film studies. The active spectator makes its first appearance in the 1970s: particular narrative formal strategies (countercinema) were privileged as enabling such a viewing subject , and being an active spectator was considered an essential component of (and in some instances equivalent to) political activism. Active spectatorship underwent considerable rethinking, refraction, and revision in the wake of the cognitive turn of the 1990s, which in certain respects democratized the construct by making it a feature of all film viewing (and thinking) as a conscious and routine activity of the brain. But in relating the film experience to everyday routines of mental processing, the activity of such a spectator can be argued to be a conventionalizing and thus normalizing one. Other types of spectators (emancipated, pensive) have more recently been formulated in the work of Jacques Rancière and Laura Mulvey as well as in the “slow cinema” movement and its adherents. But to what degree have these developments led to the privileging of a cinema of inaction and of a cellularization of the viewing experience? Can recalling the active spectator of the past lead to the instantiation of a different kind of one in the present, one who may answer the call of being an actor in the world outside the film and the cinema?

Jonathan RosenbaumThe Future of Cinema and the End of Cinema Studies

  • How do we define and discriminate between ends, continuations, and transformations? And how much is cinema studies dependent on or independent from cinema itself? I’ll be discussing diverse practices, institutions, ideals, developments, and hopes. 

11:30am-1:00pm | The Expansion of Cinema | Moderated by Peter Decherney

Lev ManovichVisualizing Cinema

  • I will present visualization analysis of the two films by Dziga Vertov: The Eleventh Year (1928) and Man with a Movie Camera (1929). This project is a part of a larger research program to develop techniques for the exploration of massive image and video collections by Software Studies Initiative, the lab which I established in 2007. In this project, I explore how new “media visualization” techniques help us see films in new ways, adding to already well-developed methods and tools in film and media studies.

Lynn SpigelEames TV: Media Convergence at Midcentury

  • This paper recovers the visual field of media convergence in the 1950s-1960s, focusing on the case of Charles and Ray Eames’ productions for television. While media convergence has largely been considered as a recent trend involving TV, digital media, and “post-cinema” there was a flurry of interest in the intermedial and multimedia possibilities of commercial TV in its first decades. The Eames were among the pioneers in this regard, merging TV with experiments in film montage, slide presentations, graphic design, animation, and video tape. While their films and multimedia exhibitions are now well documented, their work in TV is virtually unknown. I look at their TV productions for CBS and other broadcast venues, and I place their work in the larger context of midcentury visual environments for business displays, advertising, and eventually more countercultural ideals of expanded cinema and video art. I consider the digital logic of their approach to analog media, a logic that was in line with their interest in computers. And I consider their experiments with regard to larger midcentury ideas about perception, attention, persuasion, and new ways of seeing made possible by the (then) new media. 

Francesca Coppa“It’s Life, Jim, But Not As We Know It”: Monstrous and Alien Life

  • This talk will look at cinematic forms emerging from within fan subcultures and social networks, with particular emphasis on those developed by women, including filmic mashups, fanvids, fan films, and .gif sets. 

2:30-4:00pm | Screens, Digital Histories, Future Trajectories | Moderated by Timothy Corrigan

Dudley AndrewCinema Studies in Three Dimensions: Pi in the Sky

  • If cinema is dying, we can take solace and wisdom from its death and transfiguration around 1929 and again around 1953.  André Bazin was public witness to this latter ordeal.  Never apocalyptic, his reactions to TV, 3D, Scope, and Cinerama brought the kind of clarity to this “new media” landscape that we should emulate as we think about the cinema’s past and future from the space of some new dimension we may have entered.

Geoff GilmoreThe Transformed Landscape of Media and the Future of Film and Film Festivals

  • The transformation of media from a corporate dominated universe to a one in which a great proliferation of possibilities, choices and opportunities now exist. Geoff will also touch upon the future of film and film festivals. 

John BeltonBigger than Life: the Future of the Cinema in an Era of Small-Screen

  • If motion pictures began as tiny, 1 1/2 inch images on the screen of a peep-show device (the Kinetoscope) that accommodated one viewer at a time, the cinema began when those same images were projected “life-size” on a screen for a mass audience. What does it mean that contemporary motion pictures are now regularly consumed privately or semi-privately on small video screens ranging from domestic television sets to hand-held mobile devices? From the perspective of Rick Altman’s “‘crisis historiographythe cinema'” identity is always in crisis; it must continually redefine itself in an ever-changing landscape of new imaging technologies.  But does it not then run the risk of continually redefine itself out of existence?  Should there be a point where one must acknowledge that this or that particular platform of motion picture consumption is no longer cinema? The cinema is more than just an object; it is the experience of an object. This paper argues that the experience of a motion picture is different on different size screens and that we must begin to explore the difference among those experiences. The cinema is projection on a screen, life size‚Äîor bigger than life size–images and an audience; everything else is movies.

4:00-5:30pm | Keynote | Francesco CasettiCinema, beyond

  • The so called “death of cinema” is a contradictory process. If on the one hand the dark theatre no longer represents the main venue for enjoying cinema, on the other hand the film experience is very often re-enacted in new spaces, thanks to new devices. Cinema relocates itself in a larger territory. The paper will discuss the ways in which film tries to keep its identity safe, and at the same time it faces the inevitability of change. Through a re-reading of Youngblood, MacLuhan and Rancière, the paper will unfold cinema’s strategies in the digital landscape.


This conference is made possible thanks to the generous support of Mr. Dick Wolf to the Cinema Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. We also acknowledge the collaboration of Slought Foundation.

Organized by Meta Mazaj, with Peter Decherney and Nicola M. Gentili.

Extra Credit Opportunity: Philadelphia Queer Media Activism Series

Announcing an opportunity to earn some extra credit points to boost your course grade while participating in a great Philadelphia community arts project: the Philadelphia Queer Media Activism Series.

To earn 2 percentage points added to your course grade:

  • Attend ONE of the four events in the Philadelphia Queer Media Activism series
  • Sign in at the event to let me know you were there
  • Write a 600-word (min.) analysis of the event, connecting it to AT LEAST ONE of our course readings or films.
  • Post your analysis to our course blog by April 23 (11 pm).

To earn additional points:

  • For every additional event you attend, you can earn 1 percentage point
  • Sign in at the event to let me know you were there
  • Incorporate your observations of the additional events into your analysis

Encourage your friends, colleagues, professors, neighbors, classmates, and anyone else to attend the events! They are all free and open to the public. You can find out more information about the series here:

PQMAS 2013