Cornell’s Fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival Showcases Student Films

Ithaca is often considered to be in the middle of nowhere, but the work of student filmmakers from across the Northeast were on display at the fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival at the Schwartz Performing Arts Center last weekend. A wide variety of short films ranging from documentary to animation to live-action narrative by students from more than a half-dozen schools were screened. “In this area, there aren’t a lot of film festivals, especially for student filmmakers, which is the entire idea of the Centrally Isolated Film Festival,” student organizer Isabel Pottinger ’19 said in an interview. “This year we made a very concerted effort to be in contact with a lot of different schools to try to get as much diversity in terms of the people involved in the film festival as possible, and we really reaped the rewards of that.”

The student organizers from the Film Festival Production Lab course, which focuses on running the film festival, including learning how to objectively judge films, pared down a list of over 100 submissions. “We talk about things like: is the sound good, is the cinematography good, does the director accomplish their artistic vision, do we know what their artistic vision is?” Pottinger explained.

Barnes Hall, where the Midday Music concert took place

Midday Music Offers Welcome Respite from Classes

After my morning class the Wednesday before February break, I headed straight for the Barnes Hall auditorium, where one of the Music Department’s weekly Midday Music performances was scheduled. Midday Music, a concert series that takes place around lunchtime (12:30 – 1:15p.m.) on Wednesdays or Thursdays, offers a chance for students to take a break from their hectic schedules to sit down and enjoy some lovely classical music from students and faculty at Cornell. This particular performance was Baroque, with first-year graduate student Morton Wan, currently in the Ph.D. musicology program, performing Bach on harpsichord and Rameau on piano. Wan started with Bach’s third English Suite (BWV 808), which Bach composed around his Weimar period (1708-17) and is part of his first major series of harpsichord works before the Well-Tempered Clavier. This piece in particular demonstrates Bach’s expert knowledge of dances, such as the Gigue and the Sarabande.

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Agents of Change: Untold Stories of the Willard Straight Takeover

On Saturday evening, Cornell students, alumni, faculty and local Ithaca residents were treated to a screening of the documentary Agents of Change at Kennedy Hall. The event was hosted by Associate Dean of Students Dr. Renée T. Alexander ’74 and co-sponsored by Black Students United, OADI, Omega Psi Phi, Ujamaa Residential College and the Office of the Dean of Students. The winner of both Jury and Audience awards at the 2016 Pan African Film & Arts Festival, Agents of Change takes us back in time to the 1968 strike at San Francisco State University and the 1969 Willard Straight Hall takeover at Cornell. Both SFSU and Cornell protests were based on similar demands for an increase in black faculty and students and the development of a black studies program. The directors Abby Ginzberg ’71 and Frank Dawson ’72 cleverly juxtapose the two events.

Beauty in the Unfinished: Drawing the Line

Drawing the Line, open until June 10 at the Johnson, displays over a century of drawing history from European artists. In particular, the exhibit celebrates both the drawing as a sovereign entity as well as an often-ignored component of the artistic process in its entirety. In this way, Drawing the Line forces the audience to closely reevaluate pre-existing notions of where and how beauty is to be found. A drawing technique with a history of over six centuries, gouache differs from watercolor in that it produces a distinctly more opaque finish. In an untitled composition from 1915, Pablo Picasso intermingles both gouache and watercolors.

Schwartz Center on Feb.28. 2017 ( Michael Wenye Li/Sun Staff Photographer)

It Screenwriter Chase Palmer To Answer Questions at Schwartz

Chase Palmer, screenwriter for the 2017 film It, will be holding a question and answer discussion at the Scwhartz Performing Arts Center today. Back in 2009, when the project to create a new It film began, Andy Muschietti was not set to be the director, but rather Cary Fukunaga who Palmer had worked with previously. Palmer got an offer to write the script and took it. “When it comes to an adaption of anything by Stephen King, you want to jump on board,” Palmer told The Sun. In 2015, Fukunaga dropped out as the director of the film and Andy Muschietti took the reigns.

John Cleese and A Fish Called Wanda at Cornell Cinema

I am gonna come clean now: I didn’t know who John Cleese is until two weeks ago. My best friend was appalled when he asked if I wanted to go to this Cleese talk together, and I looked at the event title and said “sure, I loved Kirshner’s class.”

But now I’m converted! The Monty Python star wrote, directed and stars in the brilliantly silly heist movie, A Fish Called Wanda, which screened at Cornell Cinema on Sept. 10. Cleese and professor Jonathan Kirshner, government, engaged in a prescreening conversation, which is just as funny and nutritious as the film.

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RAW Expo III: The Raw Appeal of Collaboration

On a normal Thursday night it is no surprise to see Milstein Hall bustling with energy. But, on Thursday last week the scene at Milstein was not the typical AAP students with coffees, drawing plot plans or working around the clock to meet deadlines. The Milstein Dome was transformed into a gallery space for RAW Expo III, an annual exhibition of achievements and creative endeavors by Cornell’s student organizations. “Creative process across disciplines” was the official theme, intended to bring Cornell’s creative community together in one space over a period of just two hours. The event was organized by Medium Design Collective and fits within the greater objective of the club to promote interdisciplinarity and bring various creative communities out of their bubble via design and dialogue.

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Light and Sound Synesthesia

“Would we be able to detect music without the ear? Of course not. Well, we are surrounded by things whose existence we never suspect, because we lack the organs that would reveal them to us.” – Guy De Maupassant

De Maupassant’s quote provides an interesting touchstone for Yael Erel’s exhibition, Light Topographies, on show in the John Hartell Gallery. In this unique exhibit, the artist seeks to explain the subtleties of light, texture, sound and their relationship to one another.

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Protest Cabaret: Ithaca’s Resistance

Ithaca’s formidable history of activist theatre counters Trumpism with its own brand of resistance – protest cabaret. Not My President, happening February 20th all over the country, is an international event hosted by the activist collective Bad and Nasty. Ithaca’s cabaret rendition will play at the Kitchen Theatre Sunday at 6:30PM. Co-producers Prof. Sara Warner in the Performing and Media Arts department and Ross Haarstad of Theater Incognita found space at the Kitchen Theatre and outreach progressed from there. Warner recounts, “performers from Civic Ensemble, The Cherry Arts, Ithaca College, and Cornell immediately signed on”, leading to a quirky but refreshing line-up of artists and academics.