Introduction to Film/Media Studies Spring 2015

This class introduces students to the field of Film/Media Studies, focusing on cinema’s formal elements and teaching students how to do close analysis. Professor: Eric Faden. Screenings are free and open to the public.

Monday, January 19 at 7pm

Rembrandt’s J’Accuse

Directed by Peter Greenaway (Netherlands 2008) 86 min. 35MM. With Martin Freeman, Eva Birthistle, Jodhi May.
Is “The Night Watch,” Rembrandt’s 1641 masterpiece—and one of the most famous paintings in the world—a scrupulous “indictment of guilt in paint?” Such is cine-provocateur Peter Greenaway’s claim, a contention he scrupulously argues in this unprecedented cinematic investigation into a work of art that the filmmaker reveals to be a revelation of murder. Examining the evidence—dozens of clues hidden throughout the Dutch master’s commissioned group portrait—Greenaway unveils the event, the motive, the conspirators, the murderers and also the outcome for Rembrandt’s career (the artist’s precipitous downfall from wealthy celebrity to discredited pauper).

“Peering beneath the painted surface and searching in the shadows, tracking that which was cut from the canvas and mapping the network of glances that remain, the filmmaker uncovers a foul, lurid, corrupt, and perversely compelling conspiracy—which is to say, he successfully turns ‘The Night Watch’ into a Peter Greenaway film.” — J. Hoberman, The Village Voice


Monday, January 26 at 7pm


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Directed by Wes Anderson (U.S. 2014) 100 min. DCP. With Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Adrian Brody, Tom Wilkinson, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum.
Admired for his meticulously designed cinematic confections, Wes Anderson is among a small handful of contemporary American Hollywood directors whose name is known and esteemed by the 18-49 demographic. His latest creation, for which he assembled an all-star cast, depicts the adventures of a legendary concierge working at a famous European hotel between the wars, and the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.


Monday, February 2 at 7pm

The Limey

Directed by Steven Soderbergh (U.S. 1999) 89 min. DCP. With Terence Stamp, Luis Guzman, Lesley Ann Warren.
Soderbergh’s complex crime thriller cuts back and forth between the present day and a backstory constructed with footage from Ken Loach’s Poor Cow, a 1967 film starring Terence Stamp as a thief named Wilson who goes to jail and has a daughter. In The Limey, an older Stamp, playing an ex-con named Wilson, travels to Los Angeles to investigate the death of his estranged daughter. The trail leads to the girl’s former boyfriend (Peter Fonda), a record producer/drug dealer who responds by sending a hit man after his pursuer.

“Like Pablo Picasso thrillingly exploding old notions of how we perceive faces and wine bottles, director Steven Soderbergh thrillingly splinters time and action in The Limey, a small cubist masterpiece about crime and punishment set in that most split-level of environments, Los Angeles.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly


Monday, February 9 at 7pm


Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (U.S. 2013) 91 min. DCP. With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney.
Cuarón’s minimalist space thriller employs silence, stillness, a cast of two, C.G.I., computer animation and a variety of new lighting and photography techniques to Academy award winning effect (the film won 7 Oscars in the 2014 ceremony). Tethered to the survivor of a space mission gone very wrong, Gravity drifts and then rockets between humor and terror, ultimately seeking gravitas from the horror of solitude and death.


Monday, February 23 at 7pm

The Maltese Falcon

Directed by John Huston (U.S. 1941) 100 min. 35MM. With Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre.
The rules of the game keep changing in this proto film noir. Screenwriter-turned-director John Huston helmed the third adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel, a screen version whose ensemble acting plays no small part in its iconic stature. Bogart’s Sam Spade established the private detective persona in the genre of the same name, Mary Astor is luminously intelligent and Peter Lorre’s cosmopolitan crook is at once menacing and comic. Preservation print from the original negative by the Library of Congress.


Monday, March 2 at 7pm


Directed by Steve McQueen (UK 2008) 96 min. 35MM. With Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham.
Turner Prize-winning visual artist Steve McQueen segued into feature length filmmaking with this searingly
uncompromising depiction of the 1981 hunger strike in Northern Ireland’s notorious Maze Prison. Winner of the 2008 Cannes Camera d’Or, Hunger was co-written by acclaimed Irish playwright Enda Walsh, and was the first of three intrepid collaborations between McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender, the most widely praised of which was 2013’s 12 Years A SlaveIntroduced by Bucknell Professor of Geography Adrian Mulligan.


Monday, March 16 at 7pm

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (U.S. 2014) 99 min. DCP. With Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh. Farsi with English subtitles
The first vampire Western ever made in the Farsi language, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. Dressed in hijab, a female vampire cruises the ghost town of Bad City on a skateboard, seeking her next victim in this joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, whose prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave.


Monday, March 30 at 7pm

Hoop Dreams

Directed by Steve James (U.S. 1994) 172 min. 20th Anniversary Restoration DCP.
The Sundance Institute, UCLA Film & Television Archive, Academy Film Archive and Kartemquin Films collaborated to restore one of the great works of late 20th century American documentary. An epic chronicle of hope and faith filmed over a five-year period, Hoop Dreams follows young Arthur Agee and William Gates, two kids who dare to reach for the stars and beyond the intense pressures of life in inner city Chicago. The dream is professional basketball glory – and a college education; the obstacles to those dreams, and the inspiring determination required to realize them, reveal
tears in the cultural and moral fabric of a country under the spell of celebrity and wealth. Rereleased by Janus Films.


Monday, April 13 at 7pm

Through the Olive Trees

Directed by Abbas Kiarostami (Iran/France 1994) 103 min. 35MM. With Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Farhad Kheradmand, Zarifeh Shiva. Farsi with English subtitles.
A tale of life, love, and cinema, Through the Olive Trees is a narrative puzzle that pushes Kiarostami’s penchant for narrative puzzles to its extreme. The third film in the “Koker Trilogy,” it’s a fictionalized account of a previous film, 1991’s And Life Goes On (which is itself a fictionalized story linked to the actor in an earlier film, 1987’s Where is the Friend’s House). The film-within-a-film is set among the ruins of Koker’s earthquake-ravaged landscape, where a local stonemason-turned-actor falls in love with the lead actress. The stunning
last shot provides the film’s title, and must be seen on the big screen to be seen at all.


Monday, April 20 at 7pm

Bus 174

Directed by José Padilha and Felipe Lacerda (Brazil 2002) 122 min. 35MM. Portuguese with English subtitles.
Padilha’s detailed account of a Rio bus holdup in 2000, an event whose triangulated negotiations between hijacker, hostages and police were broadcast live on Brazilian TV networks, is one of the country’s most widely acclaimed documentaries. Padilha’s telling of the story embraces the tension of a remarkable true crime story while also looking at the hijacker’s childhood and some of the deep challenges to law and order in Rio – from soaring urban crime to police abuse.


Monday, April 27 at 7pm

Student Showcase 2015

Please join us for Bucknell’s end-of-semester student film screening. Students
enrolled in “Introduction to Film/Media Production” will be sharing their final films with the Lewisburg
and Bucknell community. A range of approaches and topics will be explored in these short form videos.