Dr. Dennis Perry sets up Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) so that viewers can watch the movie as Hitchcock intended, spoiler-free. The distribution of this film changed how people attend the cinema, as its twists and turns are best appreciated with as little prior knowledge as possible. Dr. Perry split the lecture into two parts, with the later to be watched after viewing the film.
Professor of Classics, Dr. Roger Macfarlane speaks about Michael Cacoyannis’s classic adaptation, Iphegenia (1977). While breaking down each character in the play, Dr. Macfarlane suggests keeping an eye on the visual framing devices used for certain characters and how the film uses these frames to present its own interpretation of Euripides’ tragedy. It is this interpretation that also helps make sense of why Cacoyannis would choose to shoot this play in 1977 Greece.
Dr. Rex Nielson, professor of Portuguese with an interest in Luso-Brazilian studies, elaborates on the “Upstairs-Downstairs” narrative in The Second Mother (2015) by zooming in starting with the migrations from Northeastern Brazil to the southeast, then the layout and position of the city, and finally the foundations of colonial-era homes. By drawing out what Brazilian audiences would recognize in accents, architecture, and articulation, Dr. Nielson presents a framework by which to read this film’s political critique.
Dr. Doug Weatherford, current co-director of the International Cinema and professor of Spanish language literature and film, gives a deep dive into the visual themes of The Milk of Sorrow (2009). Dr. Weatherford offers up not only a historical context for this Peruvian film but explanations for how the film’s setting and visual language build on that context to present a narrative he ultimately finds hopeful.
Dr. Daryl Lee, Chair of the Department of French and Italian and crime film connoisseur, speaks about why we love watching crime films and what they can teach us. Dr. Lee emphasizes that a crime film, while explicitly about breaking the law, is often implicitly about something very different such as artistic expression, capitalism, or voyeurism, and he encourages us to look for these underlying messages in this week’s films.
Professor of Law at J. Reuben Clark Law School, Michalyn Steele speaks about different theories driving the criminal justice system. Should we focus on punishment or rehabilitation? And how does state and federal funding fit? These are the kinds of questions that the film 16 Bars (2018) is directly interrogating by following a program where inmates participate in musical rehabilitation while serving time. Steele sees this film as extremely helpful for reorienting our view to see criminals as humans.
Dr. Scott Sanders speaks about human trafficking in the Thai fishing industry, the very setting of Buoyancy (2019). The film is based on the true story of a fourteen year old Cambodian boy who is brought to work as a slave on a Thai fishing vessel. Sanders breaks down how and why people both traffic and are trafficked as well as what we can do to help stop these practices.
This week special guests join me to talk about the last week of films at International Cinema from 8-11 April (in 3 parts) including:
- Insect specialist Prof. Riley Nelson (Biology) joins me to talk about the academy award nominated documentary from 2019, Honeyland that explores the close connection between nature and humanity.
One of the best things about International Cinema is the chance to see a film together with an audience. In the age of social distancing, however, we all need to do our part and in-person screenings in 250 KMBL have been suspended until further notice. This shutdown doesn’t mean, however, that you have to do without great international films! International Cinema will continue its programing but without in-person screenings!
We are moving to a somewhat truncated virtual-program in which all those with a current BYU netid can stream featured films during a limited time. This is what you need to do to get access to IC virtual program:
- Enter your BYU net id into this form. Registration of your net id can take up to several hours as we have to register you manually once you fill out the form. Unfortunately, because of licensing agreements, this option is only available to current BYU students, faculty, and staff.
- Once you are in the IC system, you will then have access to the week’s featured films through the streaming site hummedia.byu.edu.
Watch the website for updates on what films will be available each week. They will only be available Wednesday through Saturday of the week indicated. You can also get information through our weekly email (sign up here for email updates!).
Additionally, our podcast “From the Booth” will continue with previews and analysis of the films we are featuring.
Stay safe and healthy and watch great films!
Due to the shutdown of classes at BYU, this lecture has been postponed. We will put information here as soon we know when it will be re-scheduled.
Join the International Cinema community on Wednesday March 18 at 5pm in 250 KMBL for a lecture by Prof. Anca Sprenger (French and Italian) on the background to the film Morgen. The title the lecture is: “A Turk Walks into a Transylvanian Bar…: Cultural and Personal Borders in Contemporary Romania.”