Queer China Onscreen 15 October 2012

Pomona College and the Pomona College Media Guild are delighted to welcome pioneering underground film director Cui Zi’en to campus for a special screening. As part of the China Onscreen Biennial that is happening in the Los Angeles region, Cui joins us for a world premiere screening of his latest film Last Days.

Political and poetic, “Queer China Onscreen” presents two films, one by female documentarian and film festival organizer Yang Yang, the other by longtime Chinese queer film director Cui Zi’en. Yang’s film, made in collaboration with the Beijing Queer Film Festival Organization Committee, follows the peregrination of the Festival, unable across a decade to find a regular venue due to the homophobic cultural and political climate of the contemporary PRC. A winding atlas of Beijing alternative screening venues and a biography of the radicals who persist in that geography, Our Story is at once a document of the relentless pathologizing of sexual minorities in the contemporary PRC and a testament to the queer community’s adroit maneuvering against apathy and the dominant power … Boys, girls, queer desires, and fantastic topographies: the Chinese queer film pioneer, Cui Zi’en returns to his narrative and lyrical roots in Last Days. Cui weaves a surreal tale from the materiality of low-budget filmmaking, never forgetting film’s ability to visualize desire in ways both alluring and provocative. Li Jian’s lyrical camera provides strong support for Cui’s allegories of love, lust, and, transformation. Desire here is a meandering movement between person, body, and gender that also coalesces into bonding and community. Together, Yang and Cui suggest the diversity of approach in alternative Chinese queer filmmaking today.

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Sonali Kolhatkar Presents Probing Annual Pinkel Lecture on “Globalism, Social Justice and the Media”


 On April 24 at 4:30 pm in Rose Hills Theater, Sonali Kolhatkar, host and executive producer of “Uprising” on KPFK-FM and co-founder of the Afghan Women’s Mission, presented this year’s Pinkel Lecture in Media Studies, in which she conducted a probing analysis of the ways in which new online media are transforming local, national and international political movements.  Those of you who missed the talk can hear it on an upcoming broadcast of KSPC’s Sunday “Public Affairs” program (tentatively scheduled for May 6).

The Anne Abel-Pinkel and Benjamin Pinkel Media Studies Lecture Fund was established by Sheila Pinkel, Professor of Art at Pomona College, in honor of her parents.  It supports an annual lecture on a topic of import by a leading theorist or practitioner in the field. The goal of the series is to promote critical awareness and discussion of contemporary media related topics.  In addition, a reception or dinner following the lecutre is inteneded to afford students, faculty and the general public the opportunity to continue a dialogue with the speaker in a more informal setting.

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Screening of Peter Bo Rappmund’s Psychohydrography, 7:30 PM, 11 April 2012

Screening of Peter Bo Rappmund, Psychohydorgraphy, 2010, 63 mins.

What does our region look like? What does it sound like? Young digital filmmaker Peter Bo Rappmund will join the newly formed Pomona Media Guild in Rose Hills Theatre at 7:30 on Wednesday 11 April for a screening and discussion of his acclaimed 2010 time-lapse film Psychohydrography. Described by esteemed LA filmmaker Thom Anderson as “electronic Rothko,” the film traces the Los Angeles River from its stunning Sierra Nevada origins to its desultory arrival at Long Beach’s sea. Village Voice critic Nick Pinkerton describes the film this way: “The images are all still frames, ruffled only by blurred traffic, stirring wind, and the rush of water, often rendered icy by stop-motion effects. Rappmund reveals wavering alternate universes within reflections, lapidary glitter and spectrogram patterns on viscous water, arid landscapes striated by California haze, and the lurid colors of industry by night.” Mr. Rappmund will also describe his new project, Tectonics, which traces the US -Mexico border from the Caribbean to El Paso. Supported by the Department of Media Studies, the Pomona Media Guild, and a Pomona College Wig Curricular Development Grant.

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Screening of Oscar Nominated Short Documentary “Saving Face” on Monday, February 27, 7 pm, Rose Hills Theater, Pomona College

The Departments of Media Studies and Religious Studies at Pomona College & the Pakistan Arts Council invite you to a screening of the Oscar nominated short documentary film by Daniel Junge and Shareem Obaid Chinoy, “Saving Face.”  The screening will be followed by a conversation with director and producer Daniel Junge and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Mohammed Ali Jawad.

Monday, February 27, 7:00 pm,  Rose Hills Theater, Smith Campus Center, Pomona College (170 E. 6th St., Claremont, CA 91711)

Free parking is available in the Pomona College parking structure on Columbia and First Street

This event is free and open to the public.

For information, please contact Shaila Andrabi andrabis@hotmail.com or Durainaz Farooqui dfarooqui@earthlink.net


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Media Madness Week, November 28-December 1, 2011


Monday, November 28, 7 pm, Smith Campus Center 208, with cast member Vince Caso and director Sean Becker of the popular web series “The Guild”.




“Preserving Visual Music: The Archives of Center for Visual Music”


Wednesday, November 30, 4-6 pm, Rose Hills Theater, Smith Campus Center

Cindy Keefer, archivist and curator, will discuss and screen work by pioneers of kinetic art and visual music from CVM’s archives. She will discuss Jordan Belson’s Vortex Concerts, the Oskar Fischinger legacy, CVM’s current preservation work, and “Raumlichtkunst,” the new nitrate to HD restoration of Fischinger’s 1920s multiple-projector cinema performances. Work presented from the archives will include Charles Dockum’s Mobilcolor Projector Performance, an early oscilloscope film by Mary Ellen Bute, plus films by Fischinger, Belson and others. CVM is an archive dedicated to visual music and abstract cinema, which preserves and promotes films by Fischinger, Belson, Dockum, Bute, Jules Engel, The Whitney Brothers and others of the visual music tradition, plus artwork and historical documentation. CVM also curates contemporary work, consults for museum exhibitions, and distributes DVD compilations.

Co-sponsored by the Pomona College Museum of Art

Image (c) Fischinger Trust, courtesy Center for Visual Music




Thursday, December 1, 4:15 pm, Rose Hills Theater, Smith Campus Center

Co-sponsored by the Pomona College Public Events Committee and Department of Theater and Dance

Script Supervisor Ana Maria Quintana (“Avatar”, “Tintin”) and actor Nicholas Gonzalez  (“Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) will discuss what the emerging technology of “motion capture” means for the entertainment industry.

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Light on Surface, Reflection on Screen

The Pomona College Department of Media Studies presents:



“LIGHT ON SURFACE, REFLECTION ON SCREEN is a survey of contemporary Japanese 8mm works, ranging from personal documentary to experimental film, showing artists’ interests in materiality, medium, and exposure to the light while exploring the aesthetic of the moving image with this small format.   This screening program features films made in the last few years by emerging and established Japanese filmmakers.”

Curated and introduced by leading Japanese experimental filmmaker Nishikawa Tomonari.

Date: 20 April 2011

Time: 7:00 pm

Place: Rose Hills Theatre, Pomona College

Location: 170 East 6th Street, Claremont, California

Admission: open eyes and/or ears

For more information: jmhall@pomona.edu

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REDCAT trip to screening of Li Hongqi’s WINTER VACATION

Li Hongqi's Winter Vacation

SCREENING: Li Hongqi’s Winter Vacation, 2010, 91 mins
Winner: Golden Leopard, 63rd Locarno Film Festival

Thursday 7 April 2011
Bus Leaving from Pomona College Museum of Art
(corners of College & Bonita)
for CALART’s REDCAT Theatre at 6:30 pm
“… Filming a half dozen (fictional) school-age kids, two toddlers, and a smattering of adults during the last days of a winter vacation in a collapsing rural town, Li not only positions each figure in stylized poses (mostly mirroring the way kids stand—slouched, hands in pockets), but distills conversation into an endless series of pauses and dry recitations. Among other things, in Li’s hands, duration becomes a comedic tool, the director milking the simple length of time it takes characters to do nothing for aching laughter. But also, as in a late shot where a group of kids get up one by one from a makeshift outdoor lounge, leaving the beat-up furniture to sit vacated in the snow, time’s passing renders life’s banality piercingly sad.

Basically, in Li’s world, existence is a series of absurdist situations, a state of being reinforced by the endless repetition of events. One boy gets continually mugged by a bully, the familiarity of the act having been codified into a sort of comic ritual between the two. A much younger kid annoys his grandfather with his perpetual questioning only to be warned off with the same refrain concerning an impending “kick in the butt.” Another young man tries to convince his girlfriend not to dump him (shot amid decaying architecture, the scene recalls a similar exchange in Jia’s Platform). Later we learn that the couple’s life is defined by a cycle of breakups and restarts and the boy’s friends expect the pair to marry … [In] the decaying northern provinces of China (whose tenements and trash-strewn courtyards DP Qin Yurui captures in beautifully lit digital decrepitude), adopting a comic absurdist viewpoint seems at least as productive as taking a tragic one. When, mid-film, one kid turns to his friends and asks them what are they going to do today, it’s at once a practical question, an existential inquiry, and a rhetorical declaration of cosmic futility.”

Andrew Schenker, Slant Magazine, 25 March 2011

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Todd McGowan on “Abandoning Reality in Inception”

Todd McGowan
Associate Professor of Film Studies, University of Vermont
“Abandoning Reality in Inception

Date: Thursday April 7
Time: 9:35-10:50
Place: Pearsons 101

In this talk, Professor McGowan analyzes Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception to show that the fundamental metaphysical and ethical question does not involve the reality or non-reality of our experiences but rather our relation to the object of desire that we adopt.

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Hilary Neroni on “Documentaries Post 9/11”

Hilary Neroni
Associate Professor of Film Studies, University of Vermont

Date: Friday April 8
Time: 1:30-3:00
Place: Crookshank 108 (Ena Thompson Reading Room)
Refreshments will be served

Lecture: “Documentaries post 9/11: Circling the Truth at Abu Ghraib”
In this talk Professor Neroni explores the American use of torture in three documentaries, Errol Morris’s Standard Operating Procedure (2008), Rory Kennedy’s Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007), and Alex Gibney’s Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), with an emphasis on how each documentary deals with/avoids the way that enjoyment acts as a stain that points to the symbolic failure of the violence of torture.

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Tales from the New Chinese Cinema

Pomona College Museum of Art & Department of Media Studies present four Chinese films in April:

Mon Apr 11 | 7:30 pm
Liu Jiayin: Oxhide II (Niupi II) 2009, 133 min.
Director Liu Jiayin will screen and discuss her celebrated Oxhide II, the impressive sequel to her stunning 2004 film Oxhide. Set around a kitchen table in a Chinese home, Oxhide II conveys the story of a family crisis through a powerful composition that uses only nine shots, which move in 45-degree increments. Considered to be one of the most original directors of her generation, Liu Jiayin studied screenwriting at the Beijing Film Academy, where she now teaches.

Tue Apr 12 | 7:30 pm
Zhu Wen: Thomas Mao (Xiao Dongxi) 2010, 80 min.
Preceded by: Sun Xun: 21G (21 KE)
Director and novelist Zhu Wen will screen and discuss his intriguing feature Thomas Mao (Xiao Dongxi). Set in the country side during the Beijing Olympics, Zhu Wen’s third feature Thomas Mao recounts the farcical story of an unexpected friendship that develops between a Western painter backpacking through the grasslands of Mongolia and an eccentric inn-keeper who lodges him. Inherent to the narrative are issues of translation, domination, and desire.

Wed Apr 13 | 7:30 pm
Jia Zhangke: I Wish I Knew (Hai Shang Chuan Qi) 2010, 138 min.
Preceded by: Ying Liang: Condolences (Wei Wen)
China’s most significant filmmaker of the décade, Jia Zhangke has done it again, with another alluring hybrid of documentary and fiction. Here Jia weaves a dense texture between amorously shot footage of contemporary Shanghai and the films the city created or inspired. Peeking through the gaps of an architecture menaced by permanent urban renewal, he finds the traces of a romantic or brutal past, and echoes the voices of survivors or those who went into exile.

Thu Apr 14 | 7:30 pm
Huang Weikai: Disorder (Xian Zai Shi Guo Qu De Wei Lai) 2009, 58 min
Preceded by: Ying Liang: Condolences (Wei Wen)
A splendid, original experiment on how to translate urban texture on the screen. Huang Weikai collected more than 1,000 hours of footage shot by amateurs and journalists in the streets of Guangzhou. He then selected 20-odd incidents, reworked the images into quasi-surreal grainy black-and-white and montaged them to create a kaleidoscopic view of the great southern metropolis, in all its vibrant, loud and mean chaos.

All films will be presented at the
Pomona College Rose Hills Theatre
Smith Campus Center
170 E. Sixth St., Claremont CA 91711

These film screenings are presented in collaboration with REDCAT’s film festival “Between Disorder and Unexpected Pleasures: Tales from the New Chinese Cinema.” The REDCAT film series has been curated by Cheng-Sim Lim and Bérénice Reynaud. The program presented at Pomona College has been organized by Jonathan M. Hall and Marie B. Shurkus

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