Black Pirate Dead of Night Moolaade

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FALL 2010
Friday evenings, 7:30 p.m. (Unless otherwise noted), Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., UAlbany’s Downtown Campus

Ousmene Sembene


September 24 (Friday)
Directed by Ousmane Sembène
Starring Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Salimata Traoré
(Senegal/Burkina Faso, 2004, 124 minutes, color, in Bambara and French with English subtitles)

Ousmane Sembène, towering figure of African cinema, was 81 when he directed this masterpiece about a dusty village in conflict over the practice of female genital mutilation. Writing in the Village Voice, J. Hoberman called it, “brilliant… a work of unpretentious simplicity and formal eloquence.”

See October 1 listing for additional film screenings of and commentary on Sembène’s work

Cosponsored by the School of Public Health in celebration of its 25th Anniversary



Samba Gadjigo

La Noire De (Black Girl)

School of Public Health

October 1 (Friday)
Film screening with commentary by Sembène biographer Samba Gadjigo — 7:00 p.m. [Note early start time], Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

Samba Gadjigo, Professor of French and African Literature at Mt. Holyoke College, is the world’s leading expert on the life and work of Ousmane Sembène (1923-2007), Senegalese director and the “founding father” of African cinema. Gadjigo’s new landmark biography, Ousmane Sembène: The Making of a Militant Artist (2010) is a richly detailed work based on unprecedented access to the famously private film director and members of his family. Gadjigo will offer commentary following the screening of the following films:

Directed by Ousmane Sembène
(Senegal, 1966, 65 minutes, b/w, in French with English subtitles)

Sembène’s first feature is widely acknowledged as the “genesis” of African cinema. A stylish young African woman accepts a job as a domestic in the French Riviera only to discover that her employers regard her as little more than a slave.

Directed by Ousmane Sembène
(Senegal, 1999, 10 minutes, color, in French with English subtitles)

Set in a small village in rural Senegal, the film is the first of a trilogy devoted to the daily heroism of African women at the beginning of the new century.

Directed by Samba Gadjigo
(United States/Burkina Faso, 2005, 20 minutes, color)

Gadjigo spent two weeks with Sembène in a rural village in Burkina Faso during the 2002 filming of MOOLAADÉ, his widely acclaimed drama about a women’s uprising against female circumcision.

Eloise Briere, Associate Professor of French Studies in UAlbany’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures will moderate the discussion. Her expertise includes the literatures and cultures of the Francophone areas of the world including West Africa and the Caribbean.

Hugo Perez

“Portrait of the Cuban American Artist as a Young New York Filmmaker” featuring Hugo Perez
October 8 (Friday)
Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
Film clips and commentary — 7:30 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

Hugo Perez, former NYSWI videographer and director of its WMHT television series, The Writer, is a rising filmmaker whose work explores various literary subjects and his Cuban-American heritage. Acclaimed documentaries include SUMMER SUN WINTER MOON (2008, to be screened on November 5–see schedule),about Native American poet Darrell Kipp, and NEITHER MEMORY NOR MAGIC (2007), about Jewish-Hungarian poet and Holocaust victim Miklos Radnoti. Award-winning shorts include BETTY LA FLACA (2006) and JULIETA Y RAMON (2005), which aired on HBO and Showtime respectively. Perez is currently developing his first feature, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, a dark comedy set in Miami’s Little Havana, and based on an original screenplay that earned a Rockefeller Foundation / Tribeca Film Institute Fellowship.

The Black Pirate

October 15 (Friday)
(United States, 1926, 94 minutes, color)
Directed by Albert Parker
Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Anders Randolf
SILENT with live accompaniment by Mike Schiffer

Starring the greatest of all swashbucklers, Douglas Fairbanks (who wrote the script), THE BLACK PIRATE is widely hailed as one of the most spectacular action films of the silent era. The film also pioneers the art of color with its use of “two-strip Technicolor.”

Haxan: Witchcraft through the Ages

October 22 (Friday)
(Denmark, 1922, 104 minutes, color tinted b/w, with Danish and English intertitles, silent with restored original score)
Directed by Benjamin Christensen
Starring Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan, Elith Pio, Oscar Stribolt

A one-of-a-kind silent quasi-documentary that mixes fact, fiction, woodcuts, dioramas, special effects, animation and live action, HÄXAN is an exploration of witchcraft and occult practices. Banned for decades for both adult content and Satanic imagery, the film endured in shortened versions as a cult classic and has since been restored to its original length. Occasionally hilarious, but often intense and frightening.

Dead of Night

October 29 (Friday)
(United Kingdom, 1945, 103 minutes, b/w)
Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer
Starring Mervyn Johns, Roland Culver, Mary Merrall, Googie Withers

A psychological thriller from England’s much-admired Ealing Studios (better known for its comedies), DEAD OF NIGHT centers on a man who loses his sanity while listening to the ghost stories of fellow guests at a country house. In a 2004 reappraisal, the BBC called it, “A dead scary horror movie that skimps on the blood but not the goose bumps….”

The Exiles

Summer Sun Winter Moon

Native American Double Feature
November 5 (Friday)

(United States, 1961, 72 minutes, b/w)
Directed by Kent MacKenzie
Starring Mary Donahue, Homer Nish, Clydean Parker

USC film student Kent MacKenzie’s nearly forgotten semi-documentary about a day in the life of Native Americans living in LA has been declared an American classic nearly 50 years after its original release. Writing in Salon in 2008,Andrew O’Hehir called it, “an astonishing, heartbreaking viewing experience and…a major work of restoration and rediscovery.”

(United States, 2008, 56 minutes, color)
Directed by Hugo Perez
Starring Darrell Kipp, Rob Kapilow

In this documentary by former Institute videographer Hugo Perez, the creation of a symphony inspired by the Lewis and Clark expedition brings together two men: an innovative composer trying to breathe new life into classical music, and a Blackfeet Indian writer fighting to save the Blackfeet language from extinction.


Novmeber 12 (Friday)
(Venezuela, 1959, 90 minutes, b/w, in Spanish with English subtitles)
Directed by Margot Benacerraf
Narrated by José Ignacio Cabrujas, Laurent Terzieff

A stunningly photographed “documentary tone poem,” ARAYA presents a day in the life of peasants who eke out a desperate existence harvesting salt on a remote Venezuelan peninsula. Recently rediscovered and restored, the film shared the 1959 Critics’ Prize at Cannes with HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR. In 2010, Roger Ebert said, “astonishing… so beautiful, so horrifying.”

Ride with the Devil

November 19 (Friday)
(United States, 1999, 148 minutes, color)
Directed by Ang Lee
Starring Jeffrey Wright, Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel

Ten years after its original release, Ang Lee reconstructs his vision for this quirky, ambitious Civil War epic in a new director’s cut. Last April, Slant’s Christian Blauvelt called it, “the most daring film Lee’s ever attempted, a rumination on identity… that confounds many of our kneejerk assumptions about America’s bloodiest conflict.”

December 3 (Friday)
(France, 1966, 95 minutes, b/w, in French and Latin with English subtitles)
Directed by Robert Bresson
Starring Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge

Bresson’s extraordinary tale of an all-suffering donkey, and his series of owners, is a masterpiece of visual storytelling. Writing in the New York Sun in 2005, Gary Giddins called it, “one of the most elegant, calculated, and strikingly textured films ever made.”


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