Italian Film Festival returns to IUPUI for fourth year

INDIANAPOLIS — The Italian Film Festival returns to Indianapolis for a fourth year April 24 Italian Film Festivalwith a slate of six films running through May 3.

Indianapolis is one of 12 cities around the nation hosting the Italian Film Festival USA. The festival is a collaboration between the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the School of Liberal Arts and is sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation, Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana, as well as other local corporate and individual sponsors.

All films are presented with English subtitles and are free and open to the public.

The films will be shown in the Lilly Auditorium on the lower level of the IUPUI University Library, 755 W. Michigan St.

The schedule for the festival is as follows:

“La Sedia della Felicità” (“The Chair of Happiness”), comedy, 6 p.m. Friday, April 24: A treasure hidden in a chair; a cosmetologist and a tattoo artist who fall in love while looking for the treasure; a mysterious priest looming over them like a threat. Rivals at first, then allies, the three of them become the protagonists of an incredible adventure.

“Un Ragazzo d’Oro” (“A Golden Boy”), drama, 3 p.m. Saturday, April 25: Davide, son of a screenwriter, is an advertising copywriter whose dream is to pen something beautiful. But he suffers from anxiety and lack of satisfaction. When his father suddenly dies, Davide returns home to Rome where he meets a beautiful editor who wants to publish the book that Davide’s father had allegedly been writing.

“Song’e Napule,” (“Song of Napoli”), comedy, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26: Paco is a refined but unemployed pianist. His mother lands him a job with the police, but his total ineptitude relegates him to a judiciary warehouse. Then one day Police Commissioner Cammarota, who is on the trail of the faceless yet dangerous killer known as O’Fantasma, arrives. He needs a pianist to infiltrate the Lollo Love band, which will perform at the wedding of the daughter of the mafia boss of Somma Vesuviana.

“La Mafia Uccide Solo d’Estate” (“The Mafia Kills Only in Summer”), comedy, 6 p.m. Friday, May 1: A story told through the eyes of Arturo, who grows up in Palermo, a fascinating yet terrifying city ruled by the mafia. It is, in fact, a love story about Arturo’s attempts to win the heart of his beloved Flora, who he considers a princess and with whom he has fallen head over heels in love since elementary school. As this tender and amusing story unfolds, Sicily’s most tragic events from the ’70s to the ’90s take place.

“Anime Nere” (“Black Souls”), drama, 3 p.m. Saturday, May 2: The story of three brothers — the sons of shepherds with ties to the ‘ndrangheta — and their divided souls. Luigi, the youngest, is an international drug dealer. Rocco, Milanese by adoption, is to all appearances a middle-class businessman, thanks to his brother’s ill-gotten gains. Luciano, the eldest, harbors a pathological fantasy of pre-industrial Calabria. After a trivial argument, Luciano’s 20-year-old son Leo carries out an act of intimidation against a bar protected by a rival clan — the spark that lights the fire.

“Il Capitale Umano” (“Human Capital”), drama, 3 p.m. Sunday, May 3: A winter night, on a suburban road, a cyclist is hit by a SUV. What exactly happened? The only sure thing is that this accident will change the destiny of two families, that of Giovanni Bernaschi, a top finance executive, and that of Dino Ossola, an ambitious real estate developer who is on the verge of bankruptcy. Liberally based on the book of the same name by Stephen Amidon.

Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, IU Cinema pair to present sci-fi film series

Ray Bradbury in 1975 | Photo by Alan Light

Ray Bradbury in 1975 | Photo by Alan Light

Ray Bradbury, one of the best known science-fiction and fantasy writers of our time, will be the focus of a special four-day film series at IU Cinema on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus beginning March 24.

Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” is intended as an exploration and celebration of his works on screen. The series, which includes lectures and panel discussions, was programmed by the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Oskar Werner starred in the 1966 film adaptation of "Fahrenheit 451." | Photo by Anglo Enterprise/Vineyard/The Kobal Collection

Oskar Werner starred in the 1966 film adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451.” | Photo by Anglo Enterprise/Vineyard/The Kobal Collection

In addition to being the author of such enduring books as “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Dandelion Wine” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” Bradbury was a successful screenwriter whose works were also adapted for film and television by other writers.

IU Cinema, an internationally recognized center for the study, presentation and preservation of film, will offer the following events:

  • 7 p.m. March 24, “Bradbury TV and Shorts Program” — The series kicks off with a unique gathering of short subjects, including the 1962 Oscar-nominated “Icarus Montgolfier Wright,” scripted by Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson. This animated film showcases paintings by Joseph Mugnaini, the illustrator closely associated with Bradbury’s books. Other short items include Bradbury stories adapted for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone.”
  • 7 p.m. March 26, “It Came From Outer Space” — Bradbury fans and scholars will have the opportunity to view the 1953 feature film based on an original Bradbury concept and screen treatment. Paper optic glasses will allow the audience to watch the film in 3-D — a unique opportunity to see this classic Jack Arnold-directed film as it was originally intended.
  • 6:30 p.m. March 27, “A Sound of Different Drummers” and 9:30 p.m. March 27, “Fahrenheit 451″ — This double bill showcases two adaptations of Bradbury’s classic novel “Fahrenheit 451.” The evening begins with “A Sound of Different Drummers,” an uncredited television adaptation of Bradbury’s novel for the 1957 season of “Playhouse 90,” followed by a screening of the well-known 1966 film adaptation by François Truffaut. The intermission will include a panel discussion of the fascinating history surrounding these two landmark productions. Separate tickets are required for each film.
  • 3 p.m. March 28, “Moby Dick” — On its final day, the series closes with two films that showcase the broad range of Bradbury’s own screenwriting talents. The first is John Huston’s 1956 production of the classic novel, which was an early success that secured Bradbury’s Hollywood reputation. A panel discussion will be held following this film and before the evening screening of “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”
  • 6:30 p.m. March 28, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” — Directed by Jack Clayton, this is the result of a 30-year arc of creativity that transformed an original Bradbury short story into a script, a novel and finally a successful film production.

IU Cinema director Jon Vickers has worked closely with Bradbury Center director Jonathan Eller and the center’s senior advisor, Phil Nichols, to develop the program for the Bradbury film series.

“Every session has fascinating cultural connections,” said Eller, an IUPUI Chancellor’s Professor who is also the editor of Bradbury’s early collected stories and the author of two Bradbury biographies. “The Academy Award-nominated ‘Icarus Montgolfier Wright,’ a story of our quest to reach the moon, was screened in the Kennedy White House just as those dreams were beginning to move toward reality.”

The Bradbury Center has preserved Bradbury’s master 35mm reel of that animated film, along with thousands of other Bradbury artifacts, books and papers.

“The highlight of the week may be the chance on Friday to view John Frankenheimer’s masterful direction of ‘A Sound of Different Drummers’ as a prelude to the screening of Truffaut’s adaptation of ‘Fahrenheit 451,'” Eller said. “The uncredited ‘Playhouse 90′ adaptation led to legal actions and appeals that Bradbury eventually won, but these events are outweighed by the unique opportunity to compare the Truffaut film with Frankenheimer’s seldom-seen television precursor. Frankenheimer was not involved in the legal actions, and his acknowledged mastery of television drama would soon translate into a major Hollywood film career.”

“These screenings offer the first curated overview of Bradbury’s legacy in film and television,” said Nichols, a well-known Bradbury media scholar on the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom. “Selecting the films for this event has been a challenge, because of the range and diversity of Bradbury’s work.”

In discussion panels March 27 and 28, Nichols will reveal some of the findings from his research among the papers in the Bradbury Center.

All “Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for IU Cinema film screenings. Due to expected demand and limited seating, tickets should be secured in advance.

Tickets can be obtained at the IU Auditorium box office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or by phone at 812-855-1103 for a $10 service fee per order. If seats remain, tickets also will be available in the IU Cinema lobby 60 minutes before each screening.

“Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural” is sponsored by IUPUI’s Center for Ray Bradbury Studies; IU Bloomington’s College Arts & Humanities Institute; IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute; IU’s Advanced Visualization Lab; Science on Screen, an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and IU Cinema.

The symposium and series will take place at the IU Cinema, a 260-seat, THX-certified cinema that is dedicated to the scholarly study of film and the highest standards of exhibition. IU Cinema is one of a small percentage of theaters still able to project 35mm and 16mm films properly, as well as using the latest digital technology.

Bradburymedia blog

IUPUI to host the Tournées French Film Festival

Untitled1The Tournées Film Festival is a program of FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which aims to bring French cinema to American college and university campuses. Tournées offers a variety of films that represent the best of French cinema. From the popular to the experimental, showcasing established and emerging talent, coming from both l’hexagone and la francophonie, Tournées Festival films reflect the diversity and the richness of French cinema.

All films will be shown on the campus of IUPUI in Room IT 152 of the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex at 535 W. Michigan St. (corner of Michigan and West St.) Parking is available across W. Michigan St. in the Gateway Parking Garage at 252 N. Blackford St.

Admission is FREE and the festival is open to the public!

All films will be shown with English subtitles.

Presented by the Department of World Culture and Languages, the Francophone Student Association, the Film Studies Program of the Department of English, and the Student Film Studies Club. For more information contact:

Freetown Village, Indiana State Museum and IUPUI host discussion on ‘Slavery by Another Name’ to Mark the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

UntitledDespite what many history books say, certain forms of slave labor continued to exist in the American South during the years between the Civil War and World War II. Scenes from the documentary Slavery by Another Name will serve as a starting point of a moderated discussion by Alex Lichtenstein, Assoc. Prof. of History at Indiana University and Brian C. Reeder, Director of Re-Entry for the Dept. of Public Safety in Indianapolis. The discussion will also include a performance by Freetown Village.

Freetown Village, Indiana State Museum, and IUPUI invite the public to a free event, featuring the film “Slavery by Another Name.” “Slavery by Another Name” is one of four powerful documentary films (The Abolitionist, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders and the Loving Story) featured in a series presented by the National Endowment for Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative called, Created Equal:  America’s Civil Rights Struggle.  The film series is part of a project developed by the National Endowment for Humanities to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with the purpose to encourage diverse communities across the country to revisit the history of civil rights in the U.S. and to reflect on the ideals of freedom and equality that have helped bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American life. These films tell a remarkable story about the importance of race in the making of American democracy, about the power of individuals to effect change, and about the historical contexts in which Americans have understood and struggled with ideas of freedom, equality, and citizenship.

Film Synopsis:
It was a shocking reality that often went unacknowledged, then and now: A huge system of forced, unpaid labor, mostly affecting Southern black men that lasted until World War II. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name tells the stories of men, charged with crimes like vagrancy, and often guilty of nothing, who were bought and sold, abused, and subject to sometimes deadly working conditions as unpaid convict labor. Interviews with the descendants of victims and perpetrators resonate with a modern audience. Christina Comer, who discovered how her family profited from the system, comments that, “the story is important no matter how painful the reality is.”

For more information about this film, please visit the PBS website.

What:     Free public discussion of excerpts from the documentary “Slavery by Another Name,” discussion to be facilitated by Alex Lichtenstein, Assistant Professor of History at Indiana University and Brian C. Reeder, Director of Re-Entry for the Department of Public Safety in Indianapolis.  There will also be a special performance by Freetown Village.
When:    Thursday, January 29, 2015, 12-1:30 p.m.
Where:  Indiana State Museum, Dean and Barbara White Auditorium
Admission is free and registration is not required.
For more information, call 317.232.1637 or visit

Anthropologist and English lecturer comment on popularity, cultural themes of ‘Planet of the Apes’

Paul Mullins 1227544_w296Why does the idea of a dystopian world ruled by apes continue to pique moviegoers’ interest nearly five decades after the original “Planet of the Apes” debuted?

With the newest installment of the franchise, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” opening in theaters this weekend, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis anthropology professor Paul R. Mullins and IUPUI English lecturer Michal Hughes are available for comment on the popularity and cultural themes of the movie series.

The original series — a five-film saga — began in 1968 with Charlton Heston as astronaut George Taylor marooned on an ape-ruled planet. This year’s film follows the 2011 “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” a reboot of the original series.

On the big screen, we’ve had seven films, with a third in the reboot series announced earlier this year. What piques our fascination and keeps us coming back for more?

Mullins: “The fundamental attraction of the series remains its dystopian narrative of the price of human folly and the potential that the meek may inherit the earth; in much of the ‘Apes’ franchise, we root for the apes and are indifferent to (if not actively rooting against) the humans.”

Hughes: “A large part is the desire for answers to our questions. Why do the apes hate humans so much? What did the humans do to stir that hatred? When did the animosity between the species of apes start? How and why did it start? What caused the apocalypse? How did the humans lose speech after the apocalypse? Ad infinitum. As a prequel to the original series, viewers are hoping to discover some of the answers to these and other questions.”

There has been a change of themes in the movies, reflecting changes in society, according to Mullins and Hughes.

Mullins: “The franchise was a bit more focused on race in the ’60s and ’70s and now addresses somewhat different costs of human agency (e.g., genetic engineering, environmental impacts, etc.).”

Given that “Planet of the Apes” debuted during the civil rights era, can we expect this movie to carry the same weight as a commentary on American culture and/or history?

Hughes: “To some degree. It should show us how the seeds of hatred were sown for both the hatred between apes and humans and the class struggle between the species of apes. (Science fiction) often masks subjects like this and is able to present it to a far larger audience than other genres of film or literature. I expect the film to distinguish the subtle differences and keep these issues in the background of the story.”

Michal Hughes teaches science fiction literature in the Department of English in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. His academic interests include science fiction and fantasy. Hughes’ writings include “The Confessions of a Science Fiction Reader: Notes upon values taught by Science Fiction and Fantasy” in “Reaching Young People Through Media.”

Paul Mullins, chair of the Department of Anthropology in the School of Liberal Arts and a popular culture expert, has taught a class that includes “Planet of the Apes as American Myth: Race and Politics in the Films and Television Series” as a required textbook.

To arrange an interview with Mullins or Hughes, contact Diane Brown at 317-274-2195 (office), 317-371-0437 (cell) or

IUPUI music and arts technology lecturer does sound for film about World Cup stadium workers

thSoccer is serious business in Brazil. Just ask IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology lecturer Ricardo Laranja, a native of that nation of 220 million people that is hosting the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament.

That passion for the sport most of the world knows as football spawned stadium construction to help handle the monthlong schedule of games, June 12 to July 13, which led to a documentary film, “Operarios da Bola,” loosely translated as “Blue Collar Players.” Laranja got involved as an audio engineer and composer when producer-director Virna Smith asked him to help complete the documentary.

Smith’s film highlights the desire of all Brazilians to be part of this year’s international festival. Construction workers created 60 male teams and four female teams to take part in a “blue-collar” tournament nicknamed the “Cup Before the Cup.” More than 800 workers participated in the event, out of 3,000 who constructed the Mané Garrincha stadium that will host the World Cup contests.

The movie is in Brazilian theaters nationwide and will show for 60 days. Several TV stations are negotiating to air the movie, including ESPN Brasil and Globo, the biggest network TV channel in Brazil. “Operarios da Bola” has been recently accepted to be shown at a film festival in Los Angeles in September.

For Laranja, it was a great opportunity to work on the documentary. He has refined Smith’s movie several times in recent weeks, tweaking the sound to fit his own standards of musical and sound perfection.

“I am so excited to be part of this historic project,” he said. “I believes it captures the passion and love for soccer for the Brazilian people. Brazil lives soccer, basically. It’s a religion.”

It also excites Laranja’s imagination.

“To us, the World Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” he said. Even he admits being caught up in the emotion of the games. “I’m actually going (to Brazil) on June 17, and I don’t even have a ticket!”

The music technology lecturer also was able to use the project to create learning opportunities for several Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis engineering and technology students, including juniors Raul Padro, Cale Forbes and Keith Ray.

Padro is a 59-year-old returning student who “performed all of the percussion on a song I composed and produced as part of the soundtrack for the movie,” Laranja said. “Many in Indianapolis consider Raul the best percussionist in town.”

Forbes and Ray provided sound design for the movie.

Laranja is well-acquainted with Smith, the filmmaker behind “Operarios da Bola.” He worked with her on a TV talk show called “Homem Total” (“Complete Man”), which aired in 42 countries in 2008, and was the chief audio engineer, sound designer and composer on Smith’s 2013 movie “O Encontro Marcado.”

The “Cup Before the Cup” caught the attention of the people of Brazil in part because of the opportunity of the tourney champion to compete against an all-star team led by former professional soccer star Ronaldo. The Brazilian legend was inspired by the project enough to take part.

Tournament organizers also hosted a canned food drive and a fundraiser during the stadium work, a service project that benefited local underprivileged communities, Laranja said.

Story 17: Digital Bridges from the IUPUI University Library

21 years. 21 stories.
Over the course of 2014 the IUPUI Library will be sharing these stories with you.

Story 17: Digital Bridges

From the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the Indiana Law Review, the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship is connecting the city with the campus every day. We support the city by creating digital collections of images, newspapers, artifacts, and public records.

Missed a story? Want to read one again? All stories can be found here.

2014 Italian Film Festival schedule announced

The Italian program in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will host the Italian Film Festival, April 12 through May 10. The festival showcases nine films, including two documentaries.

“Once again the program in Italian brings a taste of Europe to IUPUI and Indianapolis with this year’s edition of the Italian Film Festival, showing the best in recent Italian filmmaking,” said professor Marta Anton, chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Indianapolis is one of 11 cities participating in the festival. All films will be presented with English subtitles and are free and open to the public. The Indianapolis series is sponsored by Fiat and the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago in collaboration with IUPUI and the IUPUI Italian Club.

The films will be shown at either the Lilly Auditorium of the IUPUI University Library, 755 W. Michigan St., or the IUPUI Campus Center Theatre, 420 University Blvd.

The films, times and locations are:

  • “Viva L’Italia,” 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12, IUPUI University Library, Lilly Auditorium. A sudden illness results in politician Michele Spagnolo saying anything that comes into his head and doing whatever he wants, with hilarious consequences. (Comedy, 111 min)
  • “Gli Equilibristi” (“Balancing Act”), 4 p.m. Sunday, April 13, Lilly Auditorium. A critical error causes Giulio’s life to unravel. Through a series of events, Giulio discovers how thin the line truly is between well-being and poverty. (Comedy, 100 min)
  • “Bianca Come Il Latte, Rossa Come Il Sangue” (“White as Milk, Red as Blood”), 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19, Lilly Auditorium. Leo is a typical 16-year-old who finds school agonizing. Then, a new teacher encourages him to follow his dreams, which include an unattainable fellow student with fiery red hair. (Drama, 102 min)
  • “Viva La Liberta” (“Long Live Freedom”), 7 p.m. Friday, April 25, IUPUI Campus Center Theatre. When the leader of a political opposition party disappears, his wife and assistant turn to his identical twin brother, who was recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Will anyone notice the switch? (Drama, 93 min)
  • “Il Rosso E Il Blue” (“The Red and Blue”), 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27, Lilly Auditorium. Set in a Roman school are the stories of an art history professor who has lost his passion for the job, a young substitute who is trying to save a rebel student and a stern head mistress who is forced to deal with a student who has been forgotten by his mother. (Comedy, 98 min)
  • “Teorema Venezia” (“The Venice Syndrome”), 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, Campus Center Theatre. Venice, the world’s most beautiful city, has 48,000 residents, and there are fewer every year as the city is becoming almost uninhabitable. The film shows what remains of Venetian life. (Documentary, 80 min)
  • “La Migliore Offerta” (“The Best Offer”), 7 p.m. Friday, May 9, Campus Center Theatre. An antiques expert is appointed to oversee the sale of a beautiful heiress’s priceless art collection and is soon engulfed by a passion that rocks his bland existence. (Drama, 124 min.)
  • “Women Workers’ War,” 5 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Campus Center Theatre. A documentary about two women: one who leads the longest factory sit-in by women in Italy, the other who operates a cookie factory that also encourages cultural and personal growth among the workers. (Documentary, 54 min)
  • “Il Gioellino” (“The Jewel”), 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Campus Center Theatre. The founder of an international conglomerate places his closest relatives and trusted managers in key positions, but they are unfit to face the challenges of today’s market. (Drama, 110 min)

For more information, view the event flyer or contact professor Cristiana Thielmann at 310-989-2810