September 22, 2011

Popular film program opens Friday at Varsity

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s “Film Fridays at the Varsity” series this fall will feature a variety of films and videos, including two animation programs.

The first screening, “Certified Copy,” a 2010 film set in Italy by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami and starring Juliette Binoche, who won the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance, is at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23, at the Varsity Center for the Arts, 418 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. 

Made possible by the SIU Student Fine Arts Activity Fee, admission is free and open to the public, although the general public is encouraged to donate to the Varsity Center for the Arts, said Susan Felleman, an associate professor of Cinema Studies and Women’s Studies.

The screenings all begin at 4:30 p.m. with an introduction by curators, followed by casual open discussion after the films. Most of the programming was selected to complement courses -- in photography, animation, and television -- that the curators are teaching, Felleman said.

Felleman, along with Cade Bursell, an associate professor, and Michele Torre, an assistant professor, also in the Department of Cinema and Photography, are curating the series this semester, with Derek Smith, a third-year graduate student in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts’ Master of Fine Arts program.

 Bursell and Torre put together two animation programs, one of puppet animation and another of experimental animations by women.  Smith curated a program of experimental work made for television. A film that looks at the family and life of acclaimed photographer Francesca Woodman concludes the fall series.  The 2010 film, “The Woodmans,” was the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival award recipient for Best New York documentary.  The film includes interviews with Francesca Woodman’s family, all talented artists themselves.  Woodman died in 1981 at 22 from suicide.

Felleman was pleased with the series’ popularity during the 11 screenings during the 2010-2011 year, where attendance averaged 67 people per screening.

Additional information on the films and the schedule will be on the Cinema and Photography department website,

The fall 2011 “Film Fridays at the Varsity” schedule is:

  • Friday, Sept. 23  -- “Certified Copy,” directed by Abbas Kiarostami, 2010.

  • Friday, Oct. 28 -- “Lines of Influence,” features the films “The Hand,” by Jiri Trnka, 1965, “The Ossuary,” 1970, and “Food,” 1992, by Jan Svankmajer; “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” by Jiri Barta, 1986; and “The Cabinet of Jan Svankmaher,” by Brothers Quays, 1987.

  • Friday, Nov. 4 -- “Medium Well Done: Television Experiments, 1969-1981,” features the videos “TV as a Creative Medium,” by Ira Schneider, “The TV Commercials, 1973-1977” by Chris Burden, “Video Against Video,” by Douglas Davis and “The Amarillo News Tapes,” by Doug Hall, Chip Lord, and Jody Procter.

  • “New Beginnings: Animation, Experimentation and Women”  -- Features the films, “Abstronic,” by Mary Ellen Bute, 1952; “The 4th Watch,” 2000, and “Ghost Algebra,” by Janie Geiser, 2009; “Triumph of the Wild,” by Martha Colburn, 2008, and “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” by Lottie Reininger, 1926.

  • Friday, Nov. 18 -- “The Woodmans,” directed by C. Scott Willis, 2010.

Contact Felleman at 618/453-1485 or by email at for more information.