Fordham Film Group

Fordham Film Group Welcomes Award-Winning Director Ian Olds

Documenting America’s Wars: A Conversation With Ian Olds saw a packed room last Wednesday, April 25, when the Fordham Film Group welcomed award-winning filmmaker Ian Olds to campus for a lecture followed by lively discussion. The event was a tremendous success, with over 30 attendees filling the room at Fordham’s law school. Attendees included graduate students, undergraduates, veterans, officers from the Fordham ROTC and VA, and visitors to Fordham. Olds co-directed the “grunt’s-eye view” documentary Occupation: Dreamland (2005), winner of the 2006 Independent Spirit Award, and directed Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (2009), the chronicle of an Afghan journalist/interpreter during the War in Afghanistan, which earned Olds Best New Documentary Filmmaker at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. At the talk on Wednesday, he discussed his personal journey and craft as a war documentarian, his experience covering Iraq and Afghanistan, and his broader thinking about the art and politics of documentary filmmaking and representing armed conflict in film narrative. The packed room represented an unconventional coming together of different groups and demographics at Fordham, with opportunities for dialogue during the Q&A session and the reception after Olds’ talk. The event was a valuable starting point of discussion about the interaction between soldiers and embedded journalists downrange, the portrayal of combat and occupation through film, and the perspectives of veterans and civilians on the experience of combat and the military as a whole. In particular, the enthusiastic interactions between members of the Fordham student body and the veterans’ communities at Fordham exemplified diverse, thoughtful discussion between students, civilians, and veterans. Olds’ visit created a bridge of community between a noted filmmaker and the Fordham Film Group, which has been a charter group for graduate students since 2014. Opening the event to the larger Fordham community offered an exciting opportunity for interdepartmental dialogue about film scholarship, the ethics and politics of war, the experience of combat for veterans and civilians, and the craft of storytelling. The event was sponsored by the Fordham GSA, GEA, and English Department. We would like to thank these groups for their support, and we look forward to continuing our future work with the members and organizations of the Fordham community that were so important to facilitating and supporting this exciting discussion. The Film Group’s cross-disciplinary, bi-annual gatherings are open to all graduate students with an interest in cinema. The group’s next screening will be in Fall 2018. Stay tuned! For more information please email Ellis Light (elight1@fordham.edu) or Caitlin Cawley (ccawley@fordham.edu).

Documenting America’s Wars: A Conversation With Ian Olds saw a packed room last Wednesday, April 25, when the Fordham Film Group welcomed award-winning filmmaker Ian Olds to campus for a lecture followed by lively discussion. The event was a tremendous success, with over 30 attendees filling the room at Fordham’s law school. Attendees included graduate students, undergraduates, veterans, officers from the Fordham ROTC and VA, and visitors to Fordham. Olds co-directed the “grunt’s-eye view” documentary Occupation: Dreamland (2005), winner of the 2006 Independent Spirit Award, and directed Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (2009), the chronicle of an Afghan journalist/interpreter during the War in Afghanistan, which earned Olds Best New Documentary Filmmaker at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. At the talk on Wednesday, he discussed his personal journey and craft as a war documentarian, his experience covering Iraq and Afghanistan, and his broader thinking about the art and politics of documentary filmmaking and representing armed conflict in film narrative. The packed room represented an unconventional coming together of different groups and demographics at Fordham, with opportunities for dialogue during the Q&A session and the reception after Olds’ talk. The event was a valuable starting point of discussion about the interaction between soldiers and embedded journalists downrange, the portrayal of combat and occupation through film, and the perspectives of veterans and civilians on the experience of combat and the military as a whole. In particular, the enthusiastic interactions between members of the Fordham student body and the veterans’ communities at Fordham exemplified diverse, thoughtful discussion between students, civilians, and veterans. Olds’ visit created a bridge of community between a noted filmmaker and the Fordham Film Group, which has been a charter group for graduate students since 2014. Opening the event to the larger Fordham community offered an exciting opportunity for interdepartmental dialogue about film scholarship, the ethics and politics of war, the experience of combat for veterans and civilians, and the craft of storytelling. The event was sponsored by the Fordham GSA, GEA, and English Department. We would like to thank these groups for their support, and we look forward to continuing our future work with the members and organizations of the Fordham community that were so important to facilitating and supporting this exciting discussion. The Film Group’s cross-disciplinary, bi-annual gatherings are open to all graduate students with an interest in cinema. The group’s next screening will be in Fall 2018. Stay tuned! For more information please email Ellis Light (elight1@fordham.edu) or Caitlin Cawley (ccawley@fordham.edu).

Fordham Graduate Film Group Screens Suspiria

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In a packed screening room on October 30, the Fordham Graduate Film Group watched Dario Argento's visceral, balletic horror masterpiece, Suspiria (1977). The group, formed in 2014 and currently led by Elizabeth Light and Caitlin Cawley, convenes once per semester to screen a critically relevant film.

This semester, Suspiria was a huge hit – attendees reveled in Argento's vivid mise-en-scene, ominous soundtrack, and surreal fairy-tale of an American dancer in a labyrinthine boarding-school run by murderous witches. A long and lively discussion then touched on the intersections of horror and fairy-tale, Argento's “three mothers” film sequence, Deleuzian sensory effects, disability and historical space, and sensory motifs throughout the film.

Fordham Film Group's primary goal is to provide a space for such viewings and conversations, incorporating current film studies and critical theory while also giving grad students the opportunity to socialize, theorize, and build community. Past screenings have included Portrait of Jason, Let the Right One In, and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. The Film Group is funded annually by the English department and supported by two invaluable faculty mentors, Moshe Gold and Shonni Enelow. The group's cross-disciplinary, bi-annual gathering is open to all graduate students with an interest in cinema. The Film Group's next screening will be in Spring 2018. Stay tuned! For more information, please email Liz Light (elight1@fordham.edu). (Poster image: Matt Ryan)