Tuesday, September 12, 2017: Chicago – The new fall season for Facets Teach-Ins address the relationships between men and women, the dangers of nuclear war, the understanding of Islam, definitions of a political revolution and the role of women in film and media. The Teach-Ins, which Facets began in February 2017, are a twice-monthly program of film screenings, talks by scholars and experts, and discussions which seek to promote dialogue build bridges, and create understanding around topics which are essential to an understanding of the potentials and threats to a thriving democracy. All Teach-Ins are held at Facets, 1517 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago. Admission to the Teach-Ins is free, with a donation requested. Reservations may be made at www.facets.org
“The Facets Teach-Ins evolved as a response to the proliferation of soundbite or tweet-sized characterizations of issues we face, which will determine and shape the kind of democracy we live in and the very survival of the planet,” said Milos Stehlik, Facets Founder and Artistic Director in announcing the new series. He continued, “Film is the perfect medium that helps focus on the issues.”
“The past six months of Facets Teach-Ins have been nothing short of amazing, with audiences that span the range of ages, demographics, and political persuasions,” said Facets Executive Director Mary Visconti. She added, “The discussions sometimes last for hours, and audiences leave invigorated by having participated in dialogue which gets at the heart of the issues of citizenship.”
The fall series started this past Monday with “The Fembot Mystique,” and continues with a screening of Dr. Strangelove and discussion led by Rachel Bronson, Executive Director of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, on Monday, September 25 at 6:30 pm. We then have three more Teach-Ins scheduled, dealing with the varying topics, from Islam to the role of women in the film industry.
The complete schedule of fall Teach-Ins:
The Fembot Mystique | Monday, September 11 at 6:30 pm
The Stepford Wives with Helen Thompson
“One of the most disturbing stories written out of the burgeoning women’s liberation movement.”
In the original adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel The Stepford Wives, Joanna (Katharine Ross) moves with husband Walter (Peter Masterson) the “ideal” suburban community of Stepford, CT. But something is rotten in Stepford. Most of Stepford’s wives band together only to grocery shop, decorate their homes and discuss how they might better serve their husbands. Joanna launches a covert investigation with feminist-leaning pals Bobbie (Paul Prentiss) and Charmaine (Tina Louise) and discovers that Stepford’s husbands have conspired with male scientists to replace their wives with computerized android duplicates who exist only to comply and conform.
A post-screening discussion will be led by Helen Thompson (Ph.D. Duke, English; M.A. Johns Hopkins, The Writing Seminars; B.A. Amherst College, English and Chemistry), a Professor of eighteenth-century British literature, philosophy, and the history of science at Northwestern University. She is an affiliate of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, where she teaches feminist theory and second-wave feminism.
You can’t fight in here. It’s a war room. | Monday, September 26, 2017, 6:30 pm
Dr. Strangelove with Rachel Bronson
How close are we to nuclear war? This great film by Stanley Kubrick that stars the astonishing Peter Sellers in four major roles grows more prescient every day. Its theme, of a rogue general who believes communists are “polluting the bodily fluids” of the American people, is as hilarious as it is chilling. It’s all the more chilling because we’ve already come close to realizing its absurd plot and seem to stand close to nuclear the precipice today. The film’s humor, irony, and deadpan wit make us confront the idea of a nuclear war – the unthinkable.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1964, 103 mins.
Rachel Bronson, Executive Director of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, knows the heartbeat of the Doomsday clock and just what is at stake as well as anyone. She has taught Global Energy at the Kellogg School of Management, served for 8 years at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, published the book Thicker Than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia and written for hundreds of publications and appeared as commentator on PBS News Hour, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN and NPR.
What Is Islam? | Monday, October 16, 2017, 6 pm
Malcolm X with Laith Al-Saud
Spike Lee’s film is, in the words of Roger Ebert, “one of the great screen biographies” and stars Denzel Washington as the charismatic religious and political leader. His life story was one of reinvention, as he embraced Islam along with his growing activism. The goal of this Teach-In is to illuminate Islam, which is often misinterpreted and stigmatized in the current political climate.
Directed by Spike Lee, USA, 1992, 202 mins.
Laith Al-Saud is Professor of Islamic World Studies at De Paul University, an expert on Islamic thought and contemporary Middle Eastern politics. He lectures broadly and has published numerous articles such as “Interpretations in Islamic Political Thought.” He is a regular contributor to NPR and co-author of the book, An Introduction to Islam for the 21st Century.
What is the meaning of a revolution? | Monday, November 6, 2017, 6:30 pm
October: Ten Days That Shook the World with Yuri Tsivian
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution – an occasion meeting an unusually muted response in contemporary Russia – we present one of the great films by Sergei Eisenstein. Given a free hand to re-create the Revolution for its tenth anniversary, it was badly received by the authorities for both political and aesthetic reasons. The genius of Eisenstein and his famous editing is nowhere more apparent than in this film, which captures the complications, fervor, and struggles in overturning a regime.
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein, USSR, 1928, 104 mins.
Yuri Tsivian, William Colvin Professor at the University of Chicago, is a leading expert on Sergei Eisenstein and Russian and Soviet film and art. With a Ph.D. from the Institute of Theater, Music and Film in Leningrad, he is the author of over 100 publications in 16 languages, a pioneer in using digital tools to explore the art of film editing, and an essayist on the DVD versions of Man with a Movie Camera, Ivan the Terrible, and then the interactive CD-ROM Immaterial Bodies: Cultural Anatomy of Early Russian Films.
Why aren’t there more women in film? | Monday, December 4, 6:30 pm
Hard, Fast and Beautiful with Therese Grisham
Examined through the lens of the amazing – and until now, too little-appreciated director and independent producer Ida Lupino – the misogyny of the film “business” becomes glaring as a social strategy. In Hard, Fast and Beautiful, Lupino looks at a mother’s relentless drive for her daughter’s success as a means of resisting the obstacles women face in gaining and possessing financial and personal independence. Florence Farley stars as a young tennis star who is torn between romance and her mother’s ambitions.
Therese Grisham (Ph.D., University of Washington), a twice-Fulbright fellow, teaches film from feminist and gender studies perspectives, and led discussions and curated dossiers on women filmmakers including Kelly Reichardt, Ida Lupino, and Claire Denis. She is a great film historian, teaches at Oakton Community College, serves on the editorial committee of desistfilm, and is the co-author of a new book, Ida Lupino, Director: Her Art and Resilience in a Time of Transition.
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