September 20, 2004

'Cinematheque' offers films, panel discussions

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - A series of films that otherwise probably wouldn't make it to local markets is on the schedule this semester at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

SIUC's College of Mass Communication and Media Arts is sponsoring Cinematheque, an effort "dedicated to bringing challenging, provocative, fresh, new and classic works in film and video to Southern Illinois," said Cade Bursell, assistant professor of cinema and photography and Cinematheque coordinator.

The idea, Bursell said, is for student filmmakers to experience a wide variety of film techniques and styles.

First up on the schedule is "Control Room," a feature documentary directed by Jehane Noujaim that begins in March 2003 just days before the invasion of Iraq. It focuses on Al Jazeera, the Arab world's most popular - - and only independent - - news outlet.

The film will air at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at the University Place 8 Cinema. Cost of admission is the theater's usual ticket prices. Also scheduled in conjunction with the film is a panel discussion and question-and-answer session featuring John Downing, director of the Global Media Research Center, Walter B. Jaehnig, director of the School of Journalism, and Leo A. Gher, associate professor of radio and television.

" 'Control Room' provides a balanced view of Al Jazeera's presentation of the second Iraq war to their worldwide Arab audience, and in so doing calls into question many of the prevailing images and positions offered by the U.S. news media," according to a description on the film's Web site at (

The film is the winner of the Grand Jury Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and was named an "Official Selection" at both the Sundance Film Festival and by New Directors/New Films.

The film is being shown in conjunction with Kerasotes Theaters. Supporting organizations include the Peace Coalition and the Global Media Research Center.

The rest of the schedule is:

"Tying the Knot," 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Davis Auditorium (Wham 105), $3 admission. It's a feature documentary directed by Jim de Seve that is being shown in conjunction with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.

" 'Tying the Knot' digs deeply into the meaning of marriage today. From an historical trip to the Middle Ages, to gay hippies storming the Manhattan marriage bureau in 1971, this eye-opening exploration of the embattled institution looks at rights, privilege and love as gay activists and right wing politicos lock horns in the fight for marriage," is the synopsis at the film's Web site,

The film's awards include the Excellent Documentary Award at the 2004 Frameline International Film Festival in San Francisco and screenings at Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Panelists for the discussion will include the Rev. Kim Magwire of the United Church of Christ.

Found Footage Films, 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, Davis Auditorium (Wham 105), $3 admission. A program of recycled images of the past, through which the maker's intent is to redefine or to unmask latent layers of meaning, including "Smell of Burning Ants," a 21-minute, 1994 film by Jay Rosenblatt; "Passage a l'acte," a 12-minute, 1980 film by Martin Arnold; "Removed," a six-minute, 1999 film by Naomi Uman; "Outerspace," a 10-minute, 1999 film by Peter Tserkassky; "Dark, Dark," a 16-minute, 2001 film by Abigail Child; and "Fourth Watch," a nine-minute, 2000 film by Janie Geiser.

Animation, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, Davis Auditorium (Wham 105), $3 admission. An eclectic group of films presents a variety of animated perspectives including claymation, collage, hand painting and processing, stop motion and pinhole photographic techniques.

Featured films will be "Vessel Wrestling," 13-minute, 2001 by Lisa Yu; "Swiss Army Knife with Rats and Pigeons," six-minute, 1981, by Robert Breer; "Visible Compendium," 17-minute, 1991, by Larry Jordan; "Pony Glass," 14.5-minutes, 1997 by Lewis Klahr; "Lost Motion," nine-minute, 2000 by Janie Geiser; "Fear of Blushing," five-minute, 2001 film by Jennifer Reeves; and "My Life as a Bee," five-minute, 2000 by Robert Schaller.

For more information, contact Cade Bursell,