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Humanitech at the University at Albany


The Humaitech Semester

The Humanitech SemesterHumaniTech:*
Humanity and Culture in An Age of Technology

A Semester Long Calendar of Special Events and Performances

*The name HumaniTech is used with the permission of Barbara L. Cohen and The Regents of the University of California.

Calendar of Events

Postcolonial Film Series
Film in a Global Society
Psychoanalysis and Film
Documentary Film Series

February 3 (Mon),
Lecture: “New Media, New Culture”
Dr. Peter Pollak
Standish Room, Science Library, 5:45 – 7:05 PM

Dr. Pollak will discuss themes that continue to emerge in a media culture quite different from that of only a decade ago. The “new media” includes not only digitized forms of information, but also traditional forms of media such as newspapers or television which have been forced to redefine their practices, their audience, their goals – and their very purpose. Co-Sponsored by the Journalism Program, Department of English.)

February 5 (Wed)
Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar: “HumaniTech 101”
Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Meets every other Wednesday for seven (7) sessions: February 5 – April 30
Brief presentations and discussion by a panel of UAlbany scholars who will describe their own work and outline the current major professional dialogues related to the topic across the disciplines. Moderator: Dean Joan Wick-Pelletier, College of Arts and Sciences. Presenters: Mr. Danny Goodwin, Art (Electronic Media); Dr. Gareth Griffiths, English (Environment, Identity and Culture); Dr. Judith Johnson, English (Poetry, Cybertext, and Aperiodic Systems); Dr. Charles Shepherdson, English (New Humanities); Dr. Bonnie Steinbock, Philosophy (Biomedical Ethics); Dr. Mary Valentis, English (Psychoanalysis and Mass Culture); Dr. David Wills, Languages, Literatures and Culture (Humanities in Translation); Dr. Gerald Zahavi, History (Technology, Democracy, and the Study of the Past.

February 19 (Wed)
Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar: “Humanities and Culture in An Age of Technology”
Standish Room, Science Library, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

A discussion with Mark Taylor, Cluett Professor of Humanities and Religion, Head of the Center for Technology in the Arts and Humanities, Williams College. Having begun his career as a scholar of religion and postmodernism, Professor Taylor will discuss a wide range of topics to include contemporary issues in the humanities, cultural theory, and technology.


March 12 (Wed)
Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar: “Emotion, Esthetics, and the Moral Law: Pity and Fear in Tragedy”

Standish Room, Science Library, 4:00 – 6:00 PM.
Since Plato, philosophers have argued that art is deceptive, that it plays on our emotions, misleads our judgment, and uses rhetoric in place of proper rational discourse. In recent years, however, a defense of art has been made in which our emotional response to art is seen as part of our moral education. This presentation will argue against this view, taking Sophocles’s Antigone as a case study, and drawing on Aristotle and Kant, in order to stress the division between esthetic experience and ethical discourse. Presenter: Dr. Charles Shepherdson, English. Respondents: Dr. Lee Franklin, Philosophy; Dr. Paul Kottman, English; Dr. David Wills, Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

March 14 (Fri)
Exhibition: “Gary Schneider:Genetic Self-Portrait.”
Opens at the University Art Museum and runs through April 13

In this photographic installation, the definition of the self-portrait is extended beyond the figure in front of the camera and into the elemental depths of identity. Through the use of various medical-imaging techniques, Schneider reveals the invisible world of his own cells, chromosomes, and DNA sequencing.

March 14 (Fri)
Performance: “Chekhov’s Shorts”
Lab Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 8:00 PM
Performed again on March 15 at 8:00 PM, March 16 at 3:00 PM, and March 19-22 at 8:00 PM

Chekhov’s Shorts examines the perennial issues of place, body and identity in his short, pithy plays through his mastery of the brief, succinct and the pointed. His revolutionary classic voice echoes our contemporary concerns. Among the three Chekov Shorts will be a theatrical adaptation of his short story, “Anyuta,” written by Theatre Graduate student Gulgun Karamete in collaboration with Theatre professor Mark Dalton, who will direct the production. The action of the play examines the female body as an object of study for a medical student and a painter. In the play, the title character, Anyuta is used by her medical student boyfriend as he struggles to learn gross anatomy. She then models for an artist as he paints yet another portrait of Psyche, the human lover of Eros in Greek Mythology. In three short episodes, Anyuta demonstrates how the body can be scrutinized, dissected and simultaneously celebrated without being recognized as a fully inhabited human being. The woman is the body absent, while both the medical student Klochkov and the artist Fetisov position Anyuta as an object of intense scrutiny, neither of them truly sees her.

March 15 (Sat), Opening Reception: “Gary Schneider: Genetic Self-Portrait.”
The University Art Museum, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

March 15 (Sat), Performance: “Chekhov’s Shorts”
Lab Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 8:00 PM

March 16 (Sun), Performance: “Chekhov’s Shorts”
Lab Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 3:00 PM

March 19-22 (Wed - Sat), Performance: “Chekhov’s Shorts”
Lab Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 8:00 PM

March 20 (Thurs), Lecture: ” White Innocence/White Accountability: Feminist Politics and the War on Terrorism,” Anne Russo
Ballroom, Campus Center, 7:30 PM
Anne Russo, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies Program, DePaul University

In this lecture, Russo addresses how individuals and groups resist and challenge discrimination and violence, and seek to transform cultures and communities in ways which promote equality, human respect, dignity, and social justice. Sponsored by the Department of Women’s Studies.
For more information, please visit this website:

March 20 (Thurs)
Filmmaking Seminar: “Navigating the Documentary.”
David Shapiro
Standish Room, Science Library, 4:15 PM

In this informal seminar, David Shapiro will discuss how the digital revolution has democratized and revolutionized the approach to documentary, making it one of the most exciting mediums in exploring personal narrative and history. A graduate of UAlbany with a BA in English, David Shapiro, is a visual artist, and director, writer, and producer of the award winning documentary film, “Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale.” He is currently a guest lecturer at UAlbany. Co-Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the University Art Museum in conjunction with its program series ACT (Art and Culture Talks).

March 21 (Fri)
Film Screening: “Keep the River On Your Right”
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown campus, 7:00 PM

(American, 2000, 93 minutes, color, 35 mm), directed by David and Laurie Shapiro. Subtitled “A Modern Cannibal Tale,” this film presents the strange but true story of Tobias Schneebaum, a Jewish abstract expressionist painter from NewYork who disappeared in the Amazon rainforest in 1955. Presumed dead, Schneebaum re-emerged a year later having lived among the Amarakaire Indians. Much later, Schneebaum wrote of his adventures in a memoir, Keep the River on Your Right (1969). The book details the artist’s homosexual liaisons among the Amarakaire, as well as his participation in a single act of cannibalism. After Peru, Schneebaum went on to become a noted cultural anthropologist and explorer of erotic folkways in remote communities. Directors David and Laurie Shapiro join Schneebaum as he revisits the places and people that changed his life. David Shapiro, codirector of “Keep the River On Your Right,” will provide film commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening. Co- Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the University Art Museum in conjunction with its program series ACT (Art and Culture Talks).

March 25 (Tues)
Lecture: “Redefining Identity: Art, Genetics, and the New Nature of Portraiture”
University Art Museum, 7:00 PM

Artist Gary Schneider and geneticist Dr. Dorothy Warburton, Director of the Genetic Testing Laboratory at the Babies and Children’s Hospital at New York Presbyterian, will discuss the nexus between art and science in relation to their collaborative work on Schneider’s Genetic Self-Portrait, a photographic installation that employs advanced medical imaging techniques to explore issues dealing with identity, photography, science, art, and new technologies. Held in conjunction with Gary Schneider’s Genetic Self-Portrait on view at the University Art Museum from March 13 – April 14, 2003.

March 26 (Wed)
Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar: “Creating Heaven or Hell: Cities and the Evolution of Human Health”
Humanities 354, 4:00 PM

Technology, as anthropologists use the term, includes all problem-solving, human-made organizations of things, from materials (that make hammers) to ideas (that make dictionaries). In that sense, cities are a technology, and the history of human-technology relationships is exemplified in the history of cities and health. This presentation will argue that the way our biological ‘equipment’ matches or mismatches the city has created urban heavens and hells, and their combination distributed among different groups within cities. Presenter: Dr. Lawrence Schell, Anthropology/Epidemiology. Respondents: Dr. Brian Ladd, History; Dr. Carolyn Yalkut, English.

March 27 (Thurs)
IFW Winter Forum on Women in Technology
Offered in partnership with the New York Tech Valley Chapter of the Alliance of Technology and Women

RECEPTION: Futterer Lounger, Performing Arts Center, 5:30 PM.
PERFORMANCE: “How I Became Canoehead,” Lori Anderson.
A poetic exploration, involving video and live performance, of one woman’s search for identity in the Technological World.
PANEL DISCUSSION: Women working in the field of technology at the University at Albany, other local higher education institutions, and in the private sector, discuss the implications of technology from various perspectives,
Lab Theatre, 6:15 PM.

March 28 (Fri)
Film Screening: “”
Page Hall, Downtown Campus, 7:30 PM

This film follows the fortunes of a promising “dotcom” from tech boom to bust. Directed by documentary filmmakers Chris Hegedus and Jehane Joujaim. Sponsored by The New York State Writers Institute.

March 31(Fri)
Mini Gala and Live Reading: “The Technology Plays”
Capital Repertory Theatre, time TBA

Playwrights William Kennedy, Richard Dresser, Kirk Smith, and Regional Winners and Runners-up. Live readings of Technology Play Project selections. Sponsored by HumaniTech and funded in part by The Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s “Imagining America” public grants program.


April 7 (Mon)
Symposium: “Scholarly Publishing and Archiving on the Web: New Opportunities”
Campus Center Assembly Hall, 8:45 AM – 4:15 PM

Nationally known researchers on Web publishing and archiving, Professors Steven Harnad of University of Southhampton, U.K., Carl Lagoze of Cornell University, and Rob Kling of Indiana University, will explore emerging models for Web self-publishing and discuss the implications of electronic publication for the future of scholarly communication. They will also discuss new possibilities for creating institutional repositories of archived research. Speakers from the University of Michigan and the University of Rochester will present examples of sustainable models for electronic storage and distribution of scholarly content. This day-long symposium is free to all UAlbany faculty, staff and students. Sponsored by the University Libraries.

April 10 (Thurs)
Public Conversation: “The Politics of Media: Culture Jammers, Hackers, Hacktivists and Other Encounters between Art, Media, and Technology”
University Art Museum, 3:00 PM.

Mark Dery and McKenzie Wark will lead an informal public conversation on the spontaneous and calculated alliances between artists, theorists, and activists that are creating new zones for cultural resistance in the digital age. Mark Dery is a critic of popular culture and cyberculture. He has written extensively on new media, fringe thought, the Internet, as well as the complexities of the computer age and its social and economic impact on society. His books include The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink (1999), Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (1996), and Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing, and Sniping in the Empire of the Signs (1993). McKenzie Wark is a media theorist and author of three books, including the award winning Virtual Geography, The Virtual Republic, and Celebrities, Culture and Cyberspace. He was a co-editor of the Nettime anthology Readme!, and teaches in the Department of English at UAlbany.

April 10 (Thurs)
Lecture: “Collapsing New Buildings: The Trade Towers, Terror Art, and the Excesses of Aesthetic Philosophy”
Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, 7:00 PM.

Mark Dery examines the destruction of the Trade Towers and other contemporary atrocities through the lens of aesthetic philosophy and asks “When does the aestheticization of the unspeakable become a moral obscenity?”

April 11 (Fri)
Performance: “Cities of Mathematics and Desire”
Location and time TBA

The Jawbone Reading Series of the University at Albany English Department presents a staged reading of Judith Johnson’s prize-winning poem, which plumbs depths of chaos, order, and the intersections of mathematical, social, and emotional systems. Generated by chance operations and visionary techniques, the poem juxtaposes a series of dramatic characters drawn from literature and popular culture in a set of virtual cybertext performance screens.

April 21 (Mon)
Showcase of UAlbany faculty creative practices for integrating technology into teaching.
Location and time TBA

Organized and sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

April 21 (Mon)
Mrdan Bajic
The Boor Sculpture Studio, Room 102, 4:30PM

Serbian artist Mrdjan Bajic, professor at the Fine Arts Academy of Belgrade, with extensive international credits (Paris, Cracow, Munich, Venice, Prague, Sydney Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale), will present his virtual "Museum Yugoslavia." "Situated" in Belgrade's busiest intersection, Slavija, the Yugomuseum aims to preserve the most bizarre artifacts of the 70-year history of Yugoslavia. It is available online, and by means of mixed media sculptures and prints, videos, etc.
Demonstration and presentation by Mrdjan Bajic, moderated by Branka Arsic, English, UAlbany.
Co-sponsored by Departments of Art; Languages, Literatures and Cultures; and English.

April 22 (Tues)
Performance: “A Century of Sound: Listening In With The Kitchen Sisters.”
The WAMC Linda Norris Auditorium, 7:00 PM

The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva have produced radio together since 1979. They have been honored with numerous broadcasting awards for their creative story-telling techniques and well-crafted productions—most notably for their work on National Public Radio’s Lost and Found Sound, a series that explores history through recorded sound. Nelson and Silva regularly conduct workshops and public presentations throughout the country. In this presentation, they will showcase highlights from their work and that of other audio producers who are making use of new technologies to capture and present history in sound. This event is free and open to the public as part of the Capital Voices ~ Capital Lives Aural History Project. Additional details will be available at Sponsored by the ClioMedia Initiatives and the Department of History.

April 23 (Wed)
Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar: “The Next Enlightenment.”
Standish Room, Science Library, 4:00 PM

As a consequence of the Western Enlightenment, scientific rationality became the principle governing most of the West’s major political, socio-economic, and cultural institutions. Yet in late modern democratic society, the emergence of a new, aesthetic form of reason is beginning to compete with the ubiquity of scientific reason and may herald a new and different form of enlightenment. Professor Schoolman will address the origins and nature of aesthetic reason, the ways it is penetrating democratic institutions and practices, and the consequences of this societal evolution. Presenter: Dr. Morton Schoolman, Political Science. Respondents: Dr. Donald Byrd, English; Dr. Sarah Cohen, Art.

April 25 (Fri) Capital Campaign Symposium

April 25 (Fri) Performance: “Hair”
Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 8:00 PM.

Relive the 60’s in this adaptation of the original 1968 Broadway play that deals with sexuality, marijuana, peace and the Viet Nam draft. Hair embodies a desire for the joyful, timeless expression of freedom and peace.

April 26 (Sat)
Performance: “Hair”
Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 8:00 PM.

April 26 (Sat)
Graduate Student Conference.

April 27(Sun)
Performance: “Hair”
Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 3:00 PM.

April 30 (Wed) – May 3 (Sun)
Performance: “Hair”
Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 8:00 PM

April 30 (Wed)
Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar: “Technologies for Communities.”
Standish Room, Science Library, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

A roster of speakers, including both UAlbany and RPI faculty, will make short presentations on their local outreach projects. They will focus on the ways that new technologies are being applied to stimulate positive changes in inner-city neighborhoods and remote rural areas. Efforts are particularly focused on basic education, computer literacy, engaged citizenship, environmental enhancements, support for children and the elderly, personal safety, and micro-enterprise development. Presenters: Dr. Ray Bromley, Geography and Planning; Dr. Teresa Harrison, Communication; Dr. David Hess, Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


May 5 (Mon)
Premieres: The Technology Plays.
Capital Repertory Theatre

Interactive performances and premieres sponsored by HumaniTech in collaboration with Capital Repertory Theatre.

May 13 (Tues)
Performance: “Corporeal States: A Multi-media Dance Performance.”
Main Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 8:00 PM

A multimedia dance and video performance will capture bodily movement at the cellular and muscular/skeletal level. Dancers and students from science and digital art will collaborate to produce virtual and corporeal images and choreography.

May 31(Sat)
Symposium/Workshop: “Capital Voices ~ Capital Lives:
Discovering, Recording, and Preserving the Stories of Our Past”
Location TBA, 9:00AM – 5:00 PM

This daylong symposium will focus on the aural history of the Capital Region and will officially launch the Capital Voices ~ Capital Lives Aural History Project—an ongoing effort to gather, preserve, and make accessible the sounds, voices, and stories of this historically-rich region. Speakers will discuss the importance of gathering the sonic treasures of Albany’s history in order to compose an oral/aural history of our past. Workshops will explore recording and interview techniques, demonstrate the use of antique and modern recording technologies, explain how to preserve old recordings, and offer detailed instruction on how to produce historical documentaries from “found” and created sound. This event is free and open to the public. Additional details will be available at <>. Sponsored by The ClioMedia Initiatives and the Department of History.


Postcolonial Film Series

All films will be screened in Humanities B39 on the Uptown Campus, and begin at 7:30 PM.

This series focuses on postcolonial themes, including the impact of technology on culture and cultural change.
Each screening is hosted by a faculty member, who will provide a brief introduction and moderate discussion afterwards. Sponsored by the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Postcolonial Study Group.

January 27, (Mon)
“Overseas” (France, 1992, Brigitte Rouan).

The story of three sisters in French Colonial Algeria during the 1950s and how their lives of ease and privilege are irrevocably changed by the onset of the Franco-Algerian War. The film is presented in the form of a triptych – the same story told three times from the point of view of each of the sisters – with each successive unfolding revealing both new perspectives and new information.

February 10 (Mon)
“The Battle of Algiers” (Italy/Algeria, 1965, Gillo Pontecorvo).

Shot on location, and starring actual FLN rebels, Battle of Algiers is one of the most viciously realistic films of all time. Initially banned by the French government, it quickly won wide acclaim: an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film and 11 international awards.

February 24 (Mon)
“Wedding in Galilee” (Palestine/Belgium, 1987, Michel Kheifi).

This is the first feature film made by a Palestinian director on location. It is a lyrical, passionate take off on a Palestinian wedding that takes place in an occupied village, and the contemporary tensions, contradictions, and hostilities that surround it.

March 10 (Mon)
“Black Robe” (Canada, 1991, Bruce Beresford).

This film relates the story of the first contacts between the Huron Indians of Quebec and the Jesuit missionaries from France who came to convert them to Catholicism, and ended up delivering them into the hands of their enemies.

March 17 (Mon)
“Earth” (Pakistan, 1911, Deepa Mehat).

The second of an announced trilogy, “Earth” deals with the partition of India in 1947, and the subsequent displacement of 11 million people – Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and others who found themselves on the wrong side of the dividing lines - and were driven out of their homes as a consequence.

March 31 (Mon)
“The Last Supper” (Cuba, 1976, Tomas Gutierrez Alea).

Based on a true incident from 18th century Cuban history, a pious slave owner decides to improve his soul by introducing his slaves to Christianity by inviting 12 slaves to participate in a reenactment of the Last Supper. He cannot foresee the consequences of his action.

April 14 (Mon)
“The Great White of Lambarene” (Camberoon, 1995, Bassek Ba Kobhio).

In Le Grand Blanc de Lambarene, Bassek Ba Kobhio presents the Noble Prize winner Albert Schweitzer with a new perspective. Shot on the site of Schweitzer’s hospital in Gabon, this film does not portray the famous doctor as a saint, but rather, as a self- absorbed man who refused to acknowledge the culture of the people whom he treated. Schweitzer’s life and hospital are portrayed as a sadly missed opportunity for European and African cultures to meet and to grow.

April 28 (Mon)
“M. Butterfly” (United Kingdom, 1993, David Cronenberg).

Beijing, 1964. French Embassy accountant Ren Gallimlard becomes infatuated with Beijing opera singer Song Liling after watching her perform arias from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” Gallimard attends the Chinese Opera just to see Liling again, this time, he initiates an affair, which will last 18 years. As soon as Gallimard is promoted to vice consul, becoming privy to top-secret intelligence, Liling takes the opportunity to spy for the Communist regime. But what Gallimard doesn’t realize is that there’s a secret that Liling is keeping from him.


Film in a Global Society UNI 301Z

All screenings on Tuesdays, at 4:15 PM, in Lecture Center 24 on the Uptown Campus.

This is a series keyed to an undergraduate intensive writing course taught by Professor Judith Johnson. Anyone is welcome, however, to attend and participate in the film screenings. The course explores the use of film as a medium of global cultural exchange and transformation. Audiences are invited to consider how much these films represent an "Americanization" of global indigenous cultures, and how much a cultural resistance that may simultaneously be not only conserving separate cultural values but also "globalizing" Hollywood in particular and American culture in general.

January 28, Shanghai Noon, (Tom Dey)
February 4, Tokyo Story, (Yasujiro Ozu)
February 11, Monsoon Wedding, (Mira Nair)
February 18, Happy Together, (Wong Kar-Wai)
February 25, My Son the Fanatic, (Udayan Prasad)
March 11, The Seven Samarai (first half ), (Akira Kurosawa)
March 18, The Seven Samarai (second half ), (Akira Kurosawa)
March 25, The Magnificent Seven, (John Sturges)
April 1, El Topo, (Alejandro Jodorowsky)
April 8, Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask, (Isaac Julien)
April 15, Earth, (Deepa Mehta)
April 22, King of Masks, (Wu Tianming)
April 29, Anchoress, (Chris Newby)


Psychoanalysis and Film ENG 243Q

All screenings on Wednesdays, at 4:15 PM, in Lecture Center 20 on the Uptown Campus.

This is a series keyed to an undergraduate course taught by Dr. Mary Valentis. Anyone is welcome, however, to attend and participate in the film screenings. The course explores the relationship between psychoanalysis and film, teaches skills for visual literacy, and covers the historical and theoretical backdrop of psychoanalysis.

January 29, Marnie, 1964, Alfred Hitchcock. Psychological drama starring Tippi Hendron and Sean Connery who plays a man obsessed with a beautiful but traumatized thief.

February 5, Play Misty for Me, 1971, Clint Eastwood. The precursor to Fatal Attraction starring Clint Eastwood and Jessica Walter, this dark, tension-filled thriller is the prototype for stalker films.

February 19, The Piano, 1993, Jane Campion. Beautifully photographed romantic, multi-layered period piece set in New Zealand that narrates the story of a mute woman, her daughter, her husband and her lover.

February 26, Aliens IV: The Resurrection, 1997, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. A science fiction horror epic about a re-cloned pilot battling human-hunting aliens aboard a spaceship. Stars Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder.

March 12, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991, Jonathan Demme. Oscar-winningpsychological thriller starring Jodi Foster as an FBI acolyte assigned to glean information from Hannibal the Cannibal (played by Anthony Hopkins) in order to capture a serial killer.

March 19, Lolita, 1997, Adrian Lyne. Beautifully filmed drama faithfully adapted from Nabokov’s novel that depicts a professor’s obsession with a pre-teenage girl against the backdrop of 1950’s America.

March 26, The Matrix, 1999, Andy Washkowski, Larry Washkowski. Action-thriller about a computer programmer who discovers multiple realities and an alternate universe. Stars Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne.

April 2, Titanic, 1997, James Cameron. Epic adventure and romance that dramatizes the sinking of the ocean liner with a broad cross-section of travelers including the star-crossed lovers played by Kate Winslett and Leonardo DiCaprio.

April 9, Minority Report, 2002, Steven Speilberg. Intellectual science fiction thriller set in the future where crimes are predicted by psychics and thwarted by paramilitary police.

April 23, Mulholland Drive, 2001, David Lynch. Twisted and convoluted murder mystery focused on an abandoned amnesiac and an actress who tries to determine the orphan’s true identity.


Documentary Filmmakers Series

March 20 (Thurs), Page Hall, Downtown Campus, 7:00 PM

Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.

Pull My Daisy, directed by Alfred Leslie and Robert Frank. This largely spontaneous and uproarious short film features Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and other Beat figures acting out part of an unfinished stage play by Jack Kerouac, ‘The Beat Generation’ based on an incident in the life of Neal and Carolyn Cassady. Kerouac himself provides the narration.

The Last Clean Shirt, directed by Alfred Leslie. This experimental short presents three identical takes of an interracial couple riding in a car while the woman speaks in an unknown tongue. Each take is subtitled with a different stream-of-consciousness narration by poet Frank O’Hara. Writer Gilbert Sorrentino said O’Hara’s work “moves in a world of wry elegance, of gesture, a world made up of a certain kind of strictly New York joie de vivre.”

Lowell Blues, directed by Henry Ferrini. Lowell Blues is a rich visual tour of Jack Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. This poetically structured documentary takes its narration from Kerouac’s novel, Dr. Sax, with readings from Beat poets Gregory Corso, David Amram, Carolyn Cassady, Joyce Johnson, and Robert Creeley as well as movie actor, Johnny Depp. Cool jazz pioneer Lee Kontz helps supply the soundtrack. Henry Ferrini, director of Lowell Blues will present film commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening. Ferrini is the director of a number of acclaimed and prizewinning documentaries, many of them about historic Massachusetts communities. His film, Witch City (1996), examines Salem’s modern-day relationship with its historic witch trials, featuring interviews with Wiccans, Christians, and playwright Arthur Miller.

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