Let Street guide you through some of the events that may (or may not) interest you, including Cuban exports, indie oldies and more.
Twenty–nine Pictures Like That: The Elvis Movie (A Talk with David E. James)
February 3, Fisher–Bennett 231, 3340 Walnut St, 5:00 p.m.
The King is alive and quite well. Or at least in the mind of David E. James, who arrives at Penn on Friday to discuss the film career of the great Elvis Presley. James, a professor at the University of Southern California, has been published extensively and has had his own films shown at the Whitney in New York. Among other subjects, his academic work has shined a light on the connection between film and music, so the talk should be well–informed. And for those of you who don’t care about rock ‘n’ roll before the hippie generation, James will focus on the films Elvis created after serving in the military in the early 1960s, when The Beatles were lighting up Hamburg and Dylan was just another folkie in Greenwich Village.
Men With Words
February 5, Rainey Auditorium in the Penn Museum, 3260 South St, 2:00 p.m.
The Penn Museum Film Series, which offers a slate of internationally–inclined documentaries, kicks off on February 5 with Men With Words. Focusing on the heavily–politicized poetry scene in Yemen, the film examines the contemporary tradition of “throw–downs” — for which writers open up a charged discourse via cassette decks. This screening is coupled with a talk by Harvard professor Steve Caton, whose career work has focused largely on Yemen. And this screening — as with the entire Penn Museum Film Series — is free with admission to the museum (which, of course, is free for Penn students).
Samson and Delilah and Sodom and Gomorrah: The Last Seven Days.
February 9, The Rotunda @ Penn, 4014 Walnut St, 8:00 p.m.
Get your Bible on at The Rotunda next Thursday for February’s installment of screenings curated by Andrew Repasky McElhinney — part of a series called ARMcinema25. Up this month is Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah, an epic version of the biblical tale. Afterwards, take the edge off and live a little with the comedic Sodom and Gomorrah: The Last Seven Days, a biting take on the cities of sin. Other ARM screenings occur the second Thursday of every month.
Memories of Underdevelopment
February 16, International House, 3701 Chestnut St, 7:00 p.m.
Cuba may not be the most mysterious country out there, but its culture and people still differ drastically from the U.S.’s. Experience unique Cuban cinema every few weeks at IHouse, beginning in February with Memories of Underdevelopment, a 1968 film detailing the crises of Sergio, a bourgeois man in Cuba. The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis shape this national classic, which focuses on the island’s people in a time of great strife.
February 29, International House, 3701 Chestnut St, 7:00 p.m.
As one event in the Cinema Studies Department’s series of roundtable discussions and free screenings called Pleasures and Pitfalls of Film Adaptation, Penn professors Timothy Corrigan and Carolyn Abbate and NYU professor Alexander Galloway discuss Spike Jonze’s Adaptation. If you’re interested in other free screenings, check out some of the other events in the series, which examines the relationship between original stories and their, well, adaptations.
March 4, Rainey Auditorium in the Penn Museum, 3260 South St, 2:00 p.m.
When was the last time you considered tying yourself down to one place? If you’re part of the Penn Abroad community, perhaps never. Take a walk on the nomadic side with Settling Down, a short documentary about a roving group of Irishmen known as the Travellers. The film peeks into the lives of a small community in the city of Cork, examining the effects of modernization and political changes within Ireland. Go to find out if the Travellers ever end up settling down.