Dennis Bingham’s Sabbatical Lecture Shows Cinema in a New Light

Dennis Bingham

Dennis Bingham

Professor Bingham’s presentation of Life, Death and All That Jazz: Bob Fosse and the Hollywood Renaissance of the 1970s on December 5, 2014 will explore the film style of the director-choreographer Bob Fosse (1927-1987), examining Fosse’s heretofore unacknowledged role in the “Hollywood Renaissance” of the 1970s. Bingham artfully examines how Fosse changed Hollywood cinema and American culture in ways that, though not always positive, have been lasting and pervasive. The talk focuses on Fosse’s first two films, Sweet Charity (1969) and especially, Cabaret (1972). These musicals feature unmotivated protagonists and discontinuous editing styles redolent of avant-garde and European Art Cinema. In their tendency toward ambivalence and ambiguity they deconstruct their traditionally optimistic genre, resulting in a uniquely revisionist form of the film musical.

In addition to being a director and choreographer for both film and musical theater, Fosse was also a dancer, screenwriter, and actor. He won an unprecedented eight Tony Awards for choreography, as well as one for direction. He was nominated for an Academy Award four times, winning one. Fosse’s first film, Sweet Charity, starring Shirley MacLaine, is an adaptation of the Broadway musical he had directed and choreographed. His second film, Cabaret, won eight Academy Awards, including Best Director, which he won over Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather starring Marlon Brando, as well as Oscars for both Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey for their roles.

About the Liberal Arts Sabbatical Series Lectures

The Sabbatical Speaker Series was established to provide a venue for sharing research completed by Liberal Arts faculty while on sabbatical leaves. It is a sampling of the diverse work and excellence of IUPUI faculty, and an opportunity to come together for an hour of intellectual exploration with students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and friends from the community.

About the speaker

The academic interests of Dr. Dennis Bingham, professor of English and director of the film studies program, include film theory, gender theory, film biography and stardom and acting. In 2011, Professor Bingham was a finalist for the Theatre Library Association Richard Wall Memorial Award for “Whose Lives Are They Anyway: The Biopic as Contemporary Film Genre” published by Rutgers University Press. He has published numerous articles and entries on Clint Eastwood and Biopics on Oxford Bibliographies Online.

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 orcthielma@iupui.edu.