Ackland Film Forum: The Blessed

Ackland Film Forum: Recent Films by Arab Women Filmmakers
Tuesdays, Oct 29, Nov 5, Nov 12, Nov 19 | 7 PM at the Varsity Theatre

October 29, 2019: The Blessed

Dir. Sofia Djama, Qatar, 2017

Introductory Remarks by Juliane Hammer (History, UNC-Chapel Hill)

SYNOPSIS

Algiers, a few years after the civil war. Amal and Samir have decided to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary in a restaurant. While on their way, their share their views on Algeria: Amal tells about lost illusions and Samir about the necessity to cope with them. At the same time, their son Fahim and his friends Feriel and Reda are wandering about in a hostile Algiers about to steal their youth.

TICKETS

$7; Free with UNC One Card

Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin St.

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Ackland Film Forum’s Fall 2019 series Recent Films by Arab Women Filmmakers is organized by the UNC Department of Asian Studies, the UNC Global Cinema Studies program in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, and the Ackland Art Museum. The series is presented in connection with the Ackland’s current exhibition She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World (on view through December 1, 2019). The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Ackland Film Forum: “The Headless Woman” (2008, Argentina)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Tuesday, 2 April 2019 | 7 PM
Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street
The Headless Woman (2008, Argentina), Lucrecia Martel

One of the leading filmmakers of New Argentine Cinema, Lucrecia Martel’s films explore the struggle of the bourgeoisie to keep up appearances even as the world crumbles about them. In The Headless Woman, Martel’s third feature, we meet an upper-class woman, Vero, who appears to be successfully attending to the chores of her station—gardening, party planning, worrying about relatives–when she hits something after being distracted by her cell phone. Over the rest of the film, we perceive her world as she sees it, and struggle to solve the mystery of what she actually hit—was it a dog? A child? Or nothing at all? For the remainder of the film, we watch Vero recover from the trauma of her accident, and try to solve the mystery therein, all while everyone around her encourages to forget about what happened. Like Vero herself, the surface of Martel’s films are deceptively shallow. With each viewing you notice another clue—an errant sound, a stray image—that underscores of the depth of the deception and resonates with a broader societal impulse, in Argentina and many other places, to bury our darkest secrets in hopes that they never resurface.

ABOUT THE SERIES:TICKETS:
Free for UNC One Card holders; $7 general public. Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre Box Office.

The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

Ackland Film Forum: “After Life” (1998, Japan)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 | 7 PM
Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street
After Life (1998, Japan), D. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 118 m.

TICKETS:
Free for UNC One Card holders; $7 general public. Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre Box Office.

With last year’s success of Shoplifters (2018), the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is finally getting the attention he deserves for his closely studied portraits of people living at the margins of society. In his second film, After Life, Kore-eda brings together documentary and fiction to explore the limits of human memory to recognize love and cope with grief. The premise of the film is simple. After one dies, they enter a purgatory-like institution where they have one week to select a memory from their life to carry with them in the next world. The institution’s staff work with the recently deceased to select their memory and then, in a nod to the miracle of cinema, work to help recreate the experience so it can be permanently recorded. While Kore-eda’s humanism is on full display in this film, what stays with you is his insistence that the search for happiness requires a willingness to engage fully with our past, even those moments we have forgotten or come to regret.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

Ackland Film Forum: “Brainstorm” (1983, USA)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Tuesday, 19 March 2019 | 7 PM
Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street
Brainstorm (1983, USA), d. Douglas Trumbull, 106 m.

TICKETS:
Free for UNC One Card holders; $7 general public. Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre Box Office.

Helmed by the special effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull, whose work on 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, and many others films has made him a legend, Brainstorm was intended to be the film that would establish Trumbull as the contemporary of Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, and Ridley Scott. But the drowning death of Natalie Wood, the film’s star, toward the end of production delayed the film’s completion, and the resulting fight over whether the film was worth more in the theaters or as a liability write-off so flustered Trumbull that he gave up on directing altogether. But the film, almost entirely shot in North Carolina, is a visionary work on the capacity of virtual reality to blur the lines between what we actually experience, and what we experience through media technologies.

We will have two brief introductions to the film. The first, from George Smart, will focus on the depiction of modernist architecture in the film, including the Burroughs Wellcome building in RTP. Then, Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera will discuss the film’s portrayal of neuroscience.

Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral fellow in the Stuber Lab at the University of North Carolina. George Smart is a self-described “accidental archivist” and the executive director of North Carolina Modernism Houses and USModernist, nonprofit organizations that document, preserve, and promote Modernist design. He’s also the host of the podcast U.S. Modernist Radio.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

Ackland Film Forum: “Inside Out” (2015, USA)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Sunday, 24 Feb 2019 | 2:30 PM
Ackland Art Museum
Inside Out (2015, USA), dir. Pete Docter, PG, 94 m.
Part of the Ackland’s Family and Friends Sunday program

TICKETS:
Free and open to the public!

Even by Pixar’s high standards, Inside Out is a triumph of digital animation and storytelling. But what sets Inside Out apart from other films is its use of animation to depict our base emotional responses—joy, sadness, fear, disgust, and anger—in a manner that is both charming and somehow representative of how our emotions work.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

Ackland Film Forum: “Fantastic Voyage” (1966, USA)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Tuesday, 19 Feb 2019 | 7 PM
Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street
Fantastic Voyage (1966, USA), d. Richard Fleischer. 101 m.

TICKETS:
Free for UNC One Card holders; $7 general public. Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre Box Office.

Directed by Richard Fleischer (Soylent Green, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and featuring Raquel Welch in her breakout role, Fantastic Voyage is a Jules Verne-style science fiction adventure film adapted for the Cold War era. Instead of dreaming of trips to the moon or the ocean depths, scientists are seeking to perfect the miniaturization of the atom. When the story begins, scientists can miniaturize atoms, but the effect lasts for just one hour. A Soviet scientist has devised the solution to permanent miniaturization and escapes to the United States with this knowledge. Before he is able to make it to the lab, he is shot, and develops a brain clot that is inoperable. A team of pilots, surgeons, and scientists, including Welch, volunteer to be miniaturized, along with their ship, aptly named the Proteus, and go into the scientist’s body to operate on the clot. Like much of mid-century science fiction, Fantastic Voyage provides a mix of fabulous set designs, retrograde gender politics, and a heady optimism for the future.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

Thoughts on Museum Success IV: Ten Measures of the Ackland’s Success

Originally published in the Ackland’s Member E-Newsletter of 11 December 2014, this is the fourth in a series of ruminations on how museums measure success.

15101465249_fdeed13630_o_cropped2Dear Members,

By the numbers… As promised in the last Member E-News, this installment of my communications about measuring museum success focuses on statistics. I’ve selected a range of metrics, each with its own strong signal about how well the Ackland is doing. I’ve abstained from any commentary (every statistic can be qualified and questioned in some way!), preferring to let these figures send a straightforward, cumulative message.

At the moment, of course, we at the Ackland are especially aware of statistics about our Annual Fund and Membership renewal, and I want to take the opportunity to warmly thank those who have already made commitments and to urge generosity for those still considering! If you have not yet made your end-of-year gift, please do so now. Your support is essential in underpinning all of our successes.

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