Connect with:
Sunday, June 16, 2019
HomeArchivesBright Lights 2014 season begins

Bright Lights 2014 season begins

Emerson College has released its Fall 2014 schedule for the Bright Lights Series, a twice-weekly film screening and discussion event for the Emerson community and general public organized by the Visual and Media Arts Department.

Bright Lights events are free and held every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 pm during the academic year at the Bright Family Screening Room of the Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street.

The series often includes discussions with the filmmakers themselves, several of whom are Emerson alumni. The mission of the series is to provide engaging visual media related to events that affect Emerson and the wider Boston community, and to foster dialogue. The films include student, faculty, and alumni work, as well as films by local, national, and international artists.

Bright Lights Series Fall 2014 schedule:

What Is Cinema?

Tuesday, September 9

Chuck Workman, 80 min, USA, 2013

(Discussion with VMA faculty members Miranda Banks and Kathryn Ramey)

Academy Award–winning filmmaker Chuck Workman’s documentary What Is Cinema? tackles the question of its title through more than 100 clips and new interviews. What Is Cinema? not only asks a poignant question, but also chronicles the best of filmmaking today and proposes where cinema will go, and should go, in the future.

American Arab

Thursday, September 11

Usama Alshaibi, 60 minutes, USA, 2013

(Discussion with director Usama Alshaibi via Skype will follow)

Iraqi-born director Usama Alshaibi takes a provocative look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America, weaving his own life’s journey and “coming-of-Arab” experiences into the life stories of several diverse characters. Exploring the values, passions, and hopes of his fellow Arab Americans, Usama tries to make peace with his conflicted chosen homeland. Sponsored by the Boston Palestine Film Festival and the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.

The Act of Killing

Tuesday, September 16

Joshua Oppenheimer, 115 minutes, Denmark, 2012

In this chilling and inventive documentary, executive produced by Errol Morris (The Fog of War) and Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), the filmmakers examine a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes, challenging them to reenact their real-life mass killings in the style of the American movies they love. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.  Sponsored by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.

Balagan presents Outré Montréal

Thursday, September 18

Several filmmakers, 56 minutes

Montreal continues to be a source of innovative experimental cinema that is rooted in hands-on, formally adventurous production—thanks, in part, to the exuberant activities of the Double Negative filmmakers' collective. Co-presented with Balagan Films, this program highlights a number of works from DN members and their friends completed in the last several years. 

Boston Creative Pro User Group

Tuesday, September 23

Join the Boston Creative Pro User Group (BOSCPUG) for another conversation on the process of filmmaking! BOSCPUG is a story-driven, globally connected network connecting filmmakers and media professionals featuring top industry creatives in conversation on their craft. BOSCPUG is a professional, creative outlet to pitch ideas for episodic content creation and to discover talent, crew, and distribution for your projects.

Cycles and Voids: Artist Talk and Screening with Evan Meaney

Thursday, September 25

A short lecture on the computational value of zero as it applies to art-making and communication, followed by a screening of Evan Meaney’s recent work. Meaney is an assistant professor of new media and gaming at the University of South Carolina. His work concerns ghosts, glitches, and the computationally undead. He has been an artist in residence at the Wexner Center for the Arts, a founding member of GLI.TC/H, and a contributor to the Atlantic

Documented

Tuesday, September 30

Part of Latin American Heritage Month

Jose Antonio Vargas and Ann Raffaela Lupo, 89 minutes, USA, 2013

In 2011, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine. Documented is a documentary that chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child; his journey through America as an immigration reform activist/provocateur; and his journey inward as he re-connects with his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years.

Angkor’s Children

Thursday, October 2

(Discussion with the director, Emerson faculty member Lauren Shaw, and special guests will follow)

Lauren Shaw, 66 minutes, Cambodia, 2014

A film about Cambodia’s cultural and artistic renaissance told through the voices of three young Cambodian women. A singer of Buddhist poetry, a circus artist, and former garment workers, grassroots, protest band; these are Angkor’s Children. They are members of the generation after the Khmer Rouge regime that tragically killed 90 percent of artists and intellectuals. Sreypov, Phunam, and Messenger Band have stepped out of the dark past of their parents by expressing the resiliency of Cambodia through their art and advocacy. They are pioneers and are part of a global movement of women who are changing and inspiring the world.

Kill Your Darlings

Tuesday, October 7

(Discussion with producer Christine Vachon will follow)

John Krokidas, 104 minutes, USA, 2013

In the early 1940s, Allen Ginsberg is an English major at Columbia University, only to learn more than he bargained for. Dissatisfied by the orthodox attitudes of the school, Allen finds himself drawn to iconoclastic colleagues like Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Together, this gang would explore bold new literary ideas that would challenge the sensibilities of their time as the future Beat Generation. However, for all their creativity, their very appetites and choices lead to more serious transgressions that would mark their lives forever.

The Congress

Thursday, October 9

Ari Folman, 122 minutes, Israel, 2013

More than two decades after catapulting to stardom with The Princess Bride, an aging actress (Robin Wright, also known for a leading role in House of Cards, playing a version of herself) decides to take her final job: preserving her digital likeness for a future Hollywood. Through a deal brokered by her loyal, longtime agent (Harvey Keitel) and the head of Miramount Studios (Danny Huston), her alias will be controlled by the studio, and will star in any film they want with no restrictions. In return, she receives healthy compensation so she can care for her ailing son and her digitized character will stay forever young. Twenty years later, under the creative vision of the studio’s head animator (Jon Hamm), Wright’s digital double rises to immortal stardom. With her contract expiring, she is invited to take part in “The Congress” convention as she makes her comeback straight into the world of future fantasy cinema.

Boston Creative Pro User Group

Tuesday, October 14

Join the Boston Creative Pro User Group (BOSCPUG) for another conversation on the process of filmmaking! BOSCPUG is a story-driven, globally connected network connecting filmmakers and media professionals featuring top industry creatives in conversation on their craft. BOSCPUG is a professional, creative outlet to pitch ideas for episodic content creation and to discover talent, crew, and distribution for your projects.

Animation Show of Shows

SPECIAL EVENT TIME: Wednesday, October 15

(Discussion with curator Ron Diamond will follow)

Animation Show of Shows is a traveling selection of the year’s best animated short films, curated and presented by Acme Filmworks founder Ron Diamond. It began in 1998 with the aim of showing the most original, funny, intelligent short animated films from all over the world and presenting them at the major animation studios in order to inspire their animators and directors.

The Dog

Thursday, October 16

(Discussion with the directors will follow)

Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren, 100 minutes, USA, 2013

A documentary portrait of the late John Wojtowicz, whose attempted robbery of a Brooklyn bank to finance his male lover's sex-reassignment surgery was the real-life inspiration for Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Sponsored by the Boston LGBT Film Festival.

Omar

Tuesday, October 21

Hany Abu-Assad, 96 minutes, Palestine, 2013

A young Palestinian freedom fighter agrees to work as an informant after he’s tricked into an admission of guilt by association in the wake of an Israeli soldier’s killing. Sponsored by the Boston Palestine Film Festival.

Alone with People

Thursday, October 23

Drew Van Steenbergen ’11, 30 minutes, USA, 2014

Growing up gay in the South, a high school girl, played by Emerson alumna Quinn Marcus ’13, seeks the help of a therapist to come out to her family and friends in this coming-of-age, coming-of-gay story. The film was produced by several Emerson alumni, including Marcus, Van Steenbergen, and Maytal Zchut ’13. Part of Queer Awareness Month.

Kisses to the Children

Tuesday, October 28

(Discussion with the director and special guests will follow)

Vassilis Loules, 115 minutes, Greece, 2012

Five Greek-Jewish children who were saved by Christian families during the German Occupation, five “Hidden Children” who lived in total silence, tell their stories. Stories of terror, anguish and confusion but also stories of salvation and carefree childhood into the arms of strangers. Secret Gardens of Eden, nests of love away from the horror of the Holocaust. Five children were forced to mature abruptly. Rosina, Iossif, Eftyhia, Shelly, and Marios grew old, carrying the memory of those children who were never given time to grow up. Sponsored by Emerson’s Writing, Literature and Publishing Department, and The Onassis Foundation.

Only Lovers Left Alive

Thursday, October 30

Jim Jarmusch, 123 minutes, UK, 2013

Only Lovers Left Alive tells the tale of two fragile and sensitive vampires, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), who have been lovers for centuries. Both are cultured intellectuals with an all-embracing passion for music, literature, and science, who have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance, but still retain their innate wildness. Driven by sensual photography, trance-like music, and droll humor, Only Lovers Left Alive is a meditation on art, science, memory, and the mysteries of everlasting love.

Three short films by faculty member Cristina Kotz Cornejo

Tuesday, November 4

(Discussion with Kotz Cornejo will follow)

Despertar, 15 minutes, Mexico, 2011

Rosa, a domestic worker in Mexico City, is at a crossroads in her relationship, her job, and her life.

Hermanas, 14 minutes, Mexico, 2013

Two sisters have been evicted from their home. Older sister Lupe takes responsibility for the move while younger sister, Luz is under the spell of her boyfriend.

Buena Fe, 16 minutes, Argentina, 2014

A couple’s relationship is falling apart after the death of their young son. The couple, Carlos and Romina, is living in a cabin in a beach town to try and mend things before they head off to Mexico for Carlos’s religious work. Romina, who is battling depression, seeks out a mysterious man. In what Carlos thought would be a trip to bring them closer together only makes him realize the trip served to further the divide.

Stumped

Thursday, November 6

(Event includes stand-up comedy set from Will Lautzenheiser and a Q&A with him and director Robin Berghaus)

Robin Berghaus, 10 minutes, USA, 2014

Stumped is a documentary about the survival and physical rehabilitation of a filmmaker who suddenly finds himself a quadruple amputee. It highlights the trials and triumphs of adapting to a world he never could have imagined, including his first stand-up comedy performance. Sponsored by the ReelAbilities Film Festival.

Finding Vivian Maier

Tuesday, November 11

John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, 83 minutes, USA, 2013

Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took more than 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.

Silversonic

Thursday, November 13

Silversonic is an annual showcase of music videos made by current Emerson students and alumni. It is a celebration of the combination of music and image as a unique art form worthy of exhibition in a cinema environment. There will be a reception following the screening with an opportunity for talk-back with musicians and filmmakers.

Boston Creative Pro User Group

Tuesday, November 18

Join the Boston Creative Pro User Group (BOSCPUG) for another conversation on the process of filmmaking! BOSCPUG is a story-driven, globally connected network connecting filmmakers and media professionals featuring top industry creatives in conversation on their craft. BOSCPUG is a professional, creative outlet to pitch ideas for episodic content creation and to discover talent, crew, and distribution for your projects.

Mood Indigo

Thursday, November 20

Michel Gondry, 94 minutes, France, 2013

Set in a charmingly surreal Paris, wealthy bachelor Colin spends his time developing his pianocktail (a cocktail-making piano) and devouring otherworldly dishes prepared by his trusty chef Nicolas. When Colin learns that his best friend Chick, a fellow acolyte of the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre, has a new American girlfriend, our lonely hero attends a friend's party in hopes of falling in love himself. He soon meets Chloe and, before they know it, they’re dancing to Duke Ellington and plunging headfirst into a romance. Their whirlwind courtship is tested when an unusual illness plagues Chloe; a flower begins to grow in her lungs. To save her, Colin discovers the only cure is to surround Chloe with a never-ending supply of fresh flowers. Sponsored by the French Cultural Center.

Bright Lights will not be held the week of November 24–28 in observance of Thanksgiving.

Lakshmi

Tuesday, December 2

Nagesh Kukunoor, 115 minutes, India, 2014

Based on true events, Lakshmi is a story of heroism and untold courage. Lakshmi, a 13-year-old girl, is kidnapped and sold into prostitution. Thrown into this horrific, inhuman world where she is raped and brutally beaten, she barely survives with the help of the other girls and her own will to never give in. Finally she is rescued in a police raid. Against all odds, Lakshmi shows courage where everybody else fails. Resisting all pressure—violent threats, coercion, and bribes—she stands up in court and in a landmark case in India, succeeds in putting the traffickers behind bars. Sponsored by Emerson’s offices of International Student Affairs and Violence Prevention and Response.

Boston Creative Pro User Group

Thursday, December 4

Join the Boston Creative Pro User Group (BOSCPUG) for another conversation on the process of filmmaking! BOSCPUG is a story-driven, globally connected network connecting filmmakers and media professionals featuring top industry creatives in conversation on their craft. BOSCPUG is a professional, creative outlet to pitch ideas for episodic content creation and to discover talent, crew, and distribution for your projects.