FILM: New York State Writers Institute Announces 2014 Free Film Series

The New York State Writers Institute announced it Spring 2014 Classic Film Series, featuring several films that tie in with guests of the NYS Visiting Writers Series, as well as appearances by three
filmmakers.

In addition to screening “Kill Your Darlings” followed by commentary by co-screenwriter Austin Bunn, the Institute will also be screening “Sweet Dreams,” a documentary about a group of Rwandan women who form the first all-female drumming troupe and open the country’s first ice cream parlor, with the film’s director, Rob Fruchtman, providing commentary; and the Italian film “Miele (Honey),” with commentary by the film’s screenwriter Francesca Marciano, who will also be visiting the Institute to read from her new story collection.

Additional screenings of films with visiting writer tie-ins will include “Ragtime,” based on E.L. Doctorow’s award-winning novel, and “Up in the Air,” based on the novel by Walter Kirn.

Here’s the complete schedule of free films to be screened by the New York State Writers Institute during the spring semester:

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“CYCLO (XICH LO)”
Friday, January 31, 7:30pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Tran Anh Hung (Vietnam, 1995, 123 minutes, color, in Vietnamese with English subtitles)
The first Vietnamese film to be nominated for an Oscar, and the winner of two top prizes at the Venice Film Festival, “Cyclo” tells the tale of a bicycle-taxi driver in Ho Chi Minh City who becomes entangled in a world of drugs and crime.

“RAGTIME”
Friday, February 7, 7:30pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Milos Forman (United States, 1981, 155 minutes, color)
“Ragtime” is based on E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling novel of sprawling plot lines, and fictional characters and historical figures whose lives intersect in New York City during the early 1900s. The film version focuses on the story of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., a black piano player who seeks justice for an incident involving a group of racists. The film was nominated for eight Oscars and seven Golden Globe awards.

“LOVELY TO LOOK AT”
Friday, February 14, 7:30pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy and Vincente Minnelli; choreographer Hermes Pan (United States, 1952, 103 minutes, color)
A lush, 1950s Technicolor remake of the 1935 Astaire and Rogers musical “Roberta,” this romantic comedy is among the most visually dazzling films of its era.

“THE GRAPES OF WRATH”
Friday, February 28, 7pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by John Ford; cinematographer Gregg Toland (United States, 1940, 129 minutes, b/w)
Based on John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about an Oklahoma family forced off their land during the Dust Bowl, “The Grapes of Wrath” was widely considered the greatest American movie of its time. Nominated for seven Oscars, it won for Best Director. NOTE: UAlbany history professor Kendra Smith-Howard will moderate a discussion immediately following the screening.

“UP IN THE AIR”
Friday, March 7, 7:30pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Jason Reitman (United States, 2009, 109 minutes, color)
George Clooney portrays a corporate downsizing expert who travels around the globe restructuring companies and firing people in this acclaimed adaptation of the 2001 novel by Walter Kirn. The film received over 70 award nominations, winning Golden Globe awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actor for George Clooney, and the American Film Institute’s Movie of the Year.

“THE QUIET MAN”
Friday, March 14, 7:30pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by John Ford (United States, 1952, 129 minutes, color)
Director John Ford called upon his friend and favorite actor, John Wayne, to play a former prizefighter who retires to the Irish village of his birth. Unexpectedly, he falls in love with a fiery red-head (Maureen O’Hara), but must negotiate his way around her disapproving brother (Victor McLaglen).

“MAHANAGAR [THE BIG CITY]“
Friday, March 28, 7:30pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Satyajit Ray (India, 1963, 122 minutes, b/w, in Bengali with English subtitles, and English)
In Calcutta during the 1960s, a young housewife takes a job as a salesperson to help support her family. That decision puts her in conflict with her children, her in-laws, and eventually her husband. Famed Indian director Satyajit Ray won the Best Director Award at the 1964 Berlin International Film Festival for this celebrated landmark of world cinema.

“THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK”
Friday, April 4, 7:30pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Josef von Sternberg (United States, 1928, 76 minutes, b/w, silent with live musical accompaniment by Mike Schiffer)
In this 1928 silent masterpiece directed by Josef von Sternberg, a steamboat stoker working on the New York City waterfront saves a woman who has jumped off a pier into the briny water below attempting to commit suicide. The selfless act changes his life forever.

“MIELE [HONEY]“
Friday, April 11, 7pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Valeria Golino (Italy, 2013, 96 minutes, color, in Italian with English subtitles)
An official selection at Cannes, “Honey” is the story of Irene, an “assisted suicide activist” who performs illegal services to assist the terminally ill. She faces a painful dilemma when a healthy man requests her help in ending his life. The film’s screenwriter, Francesca Marciano, will provide film commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening. Marciano’s recent films as a co-screenwriter include “A Five Star Life” (2013), Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Me and You” (2012) and the Oscar-nominated “Don’t Tell” (2005).

“SWEET DREAMS”
Friday, April 25, 7pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by Rob & Lisa Fruchtman (Rwanda and United States, 2012, 84 minutes, color, in Kinyarwanda with English subtitles)
“Sweet Dreams” is a documentary that follows the remarkable story of a group of Rwandan women who, in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, form the country’s first all-female drumming troupe, and open the country’s first ice cream parlor, with the help of the Brooklyn-based Blue Marble Ice Cream Company. Rob Fruchtman, the film’s producer/director will provide commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening. NOTE: Fruchtman will also hold an informal seminar on documentary filmmaking at 4:15pm on Friday in the UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room.

“KILL YOUR DARLINGS”
Friday, May 2, 7pm
UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
Directed by John Krokidas (United States, 2013, 104 minutes, color)
Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the film stars Daniel Radcliffe as poet Allen Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr in a story of murder and gay awakening set in New York City amid the nascent Beat poetry scene. Austin Bunn co-wrote the screenplay for the hit film “Kill Your Darlings” (2013) with his college roommate John Krokidas, the film’s director. NOTE: Bunn will hold an informal seminar on screenwriting at 4:15pm in the UAlbany Science Library’s Room 340.

ALSO READ:
New York State Writers Institute Announces 2014 Readings

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