1f5c5dfc4bf1694851fac0c5a03ec70f

The Lanthanide Series at Cornell Cinema

The Lanthanide Series is an experimental video essay produced by Cornell alumna Erin Espelie, and its subject is the series of rare-earth metals used throughout history in the production and replication of images: first in the obsidian “black mirrors” of early societies, now in your iPhone screen. The film has no plot, characters or dialogue. Instead, it consists mostly of shots of industry, the natural world and spliced-in clips from outside sources, with a narrator reading in monotone over the top. Interposed are references to historical figures, like Gutenberg and Primo Levi, who had some hand in the process of image creation. Exactly what point Espelie is using all these techniques and subjects to make is a little unclear.

Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Everybody Wants Some a’ This Movie!!

Everybody Wants Some!!, the latest by Richard Linklater, that great subtle anthropologist of the mundane and the minute, concerns a bunch of douchebag jocks. The entire movie is a prolonged testosterone-driven hunt for T & A, with lots of beer and competitive ball-busting in between. Every character in the movie is a derelict, a meathead or a womanizer. I loved every single minute of it. The movie is a joyride, every bit as good as Linklater’s perennial high school classic Dazed and Confused, and is destined to become one of the great American collegiate slacker films, up there with Animal House.

Blending Boundaries: RAMS at Cornell Cinema

Grímur Hákonarson’s Icelandic film, RAMS, won’t warm you up. Set in a secluded, mountainous valley, winter rolls into the lives of Gummi and Kiddi, two sheep-rearing brothers, much as it does in Ithaca, and brings with it an ironically accessible story of death and rebirth. Despite the wind and snow, RAMS captures the warmth of our approaching spring. The film combines an understanding of humanity and nature in the lives of Gummi and Kiddi, two aging men, neighbors and antagonists. When scrapie, a brain-eating sheep disease, infects Kiddi’s herd, veterinarians demand that every sheep and ram in the valley be slaughtered.

Disdaining Fortune: Macbeth at Cornell Cinema

Last year saw the release of the latest film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, directed by Justin Kurzel. Gory, passion-driven and gripping, this film captures the vengeful air of Shakespeare’s Scotland well. The film was originally shown at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The audience thought it was so extraordinary that Macbeth received a ten minute-long standing ovation after its screening. Since then, it has received positive reviews across the board, and it has easily become one of my personal favorite Shakespeare adaptations.

eye-in-the-sky_eits-promo-1

Self-Reflection: Eye in the Sky

If Britannia once ruled the waves, America now indisputably rules the skies, and its aerial power is growing ever more precise. First, the USAAF of 1945, then an adjunct limb of the ground forces, could drop phosphorous bombs with impunity on every exposed inch of Dresden. Two decades later, napalm could be used to raze thin stretches of settled and foxhole-littered jungle in Vietnam, sans, supposedly, excessive civilian loss of life. Now, a house in a Kenyan neighborhood can be pinpointed and destroyed from kilometers above with the latest in predator drone technology. This is as much a moral as it is a technological evolution, and it is a moral dilemma which lies at the heart of Eye in the Sky, given limited release in select theaters in the United States this past month.

COURTESY OF BROAD GREEN PICTURES

Cinema of Transcendence: Knight of Cups

“And in the luck of night, in secret places where no other spied, I went without my sight, without a light to guide, except the heart that lit me from inside.”

— St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul

Cinema is a miracle. Franchises and multiplexes make us forget, but to watch cinema is to receive profound insight on the inner workings of life and to experience a meditation on the world from another’s point of view. Roger Ebert called the movies a machine for generating empathy. Ideally, you can feel your world growing when you watch a special movie.

thumbnail_23222

Reel Talk: A Conversation with Film Editor Rachel Reichman

After a screening of Hitchcock/Truffaut last week at Cornell Cinema, Sun Staff Writer Mark DiStefano ’16 was fortunate enough to speak with the film’s co-producer and editor, Rachel Reichman. The conversation encompassed favorite films, a liberal arts education, the process of film editing and the nature of art itself. The Sun: What do you see the essential job of an editor to be? Rachel Reichman: Well, for every film it’s different. In documentaries of course, the editor is a stronger participant in the storytelling than they are in narrative work.

Pg-6-arts-zoo-2

Disney’s Zootopia: Stunning Animation with Social Commentary

It’d be hard to imagine anyone hasn’t heard the hype around Walt Disney’s 55th entry into their animated canon. The film has dominated the box office for the past three weekends — even overshadowing the release of Allegiant — and it’s not hard to see why. Zootopia, directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush, combines wit, charm and fun with sharp social commentary, creating an experience that is truly unforgettable. The story revolves around a rabbit named Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, who — true to Disney standards — is a bright-eyed dreamer who wants to make the world a better place. She feels that the best way to do this is to become a police officer, but faces obstruction from people around her who point out that there’s never been a rabbit police officer before.

mustang-cannes-film-festival

Mustang: Looking For a Way Out

With heads of dark, rich, slightly wild and uncontrollable hair, the five orphaned sisters of Turkish-French film director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang — Lale (Güneş Şensoy), Nur (Doğa Doğuşlu), Ece (Elit İşcan), Selma (Tuğba Sunguroğlu) and Sonay (İlayda Akdoğan) — seem to fly free in their rural Turkish village, independent, bright and happy. But this sense of freedom only remains during the brief beginning prelude before their conservative relatives lock the girls away from the world and try to mold them into perfect wives when the girls are (wrongly) accused of indecent play with male classmates on the beach. A story of female empowerment and of being jolted into adulthood, Mustang’s sisterhood is both beautiful and tragic. We’re guided through the story by Lale, who is the youngest, and in some ways the most visibly rebellious, sister — she seems too young to marry, she enjoys soccer and she sneaks out of her window like she was born to do it. Seeing the world of Mustang through Lale’s eyes is essential.

COURTESY OF STUDIO GHIBLI

Memory Drips Down: Only Yesterday at Cornell Cinema

Animation has always held a distinct position within the realm of film, enchanting viewers with its unique advantages. One of its most powerful capabilities is its ability to infuse fantastical elements into otherwise totally realistic settings. Before the advent of CGI, animation was pretty much the only way to create convincing epic fantasy worlds such as those we see in contemporary blockbusters like Avengers or Lord of the Rings. When it comes to the history of western animation, Disney towers above almost everyone else. Virtually every American child in the 20th century has come into contact with the ideals expressed in films like The Lion King.