November 10, 2003

Series showcases directors

By Elizabeth Cloud

This semester the Department of Film Studies is presenting top cinematic work from filmmakers around the globe. The Great Directors' Series features films from the United States as well as Japan, Taiwan, France, India, Greece, Italy, Russia and Germany, from as early as 1959 and as recently as 2002.

The series is a part of the larger Emory Cinematheque, which has been running film series each semester since 1999. This year's offering celebrates Film Studies' inaugural year as an academic department after the program received its upgraded status in September.

Professor David Cook, who directs film studies and is responsible for the selections in the series, said the series "is part of the growing arts community at Emory."

"The administration has been very supportive of our efforts and has both enabled and encouraged us to do this," Cook said.

While this year's series focuses on directors, past series have centered on a wide variety of other topics, ranging from 70mm films to classic Indian cinema, to international award-winning films. Most notably, one series included previously banned Soviet films from the 1960s, marking the southeastern United States debut of those works.  

Turnout this semester has been high, Cook said, with not only film students attending but also members of the broader Emory community and beyond.

All films are shown in 35mm format in 205 White Hall on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (excluding Nov. 26) through Dec. 10. All non-English language films are shown with subtitles. Upcoming films are as follows:

Nov. 12: Landscape in the Mist, directed by Theo Angelopoulos, 1988 (Greece/France/Italy, 126 min., color). Film studies advertises Angelopoulos as one of the world's greatest living directors. The film chronicles the adventures and mishaps of two children who run away to Germany in search of their father. Landscape in the Mist was the winner of the 1988 Venice Film Festival Silver Lion.

Nov. 19: Russian Ark, directed by Alexander Sokurov, 2002 (Russia/Germany, 95 min., color). Taking the point of view of an unseen narrator, the audience tours the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg and witnesses events from Russian history such as Peter the Great abusing one of his generals, Catherine the Great desperately searching for a restroom and, in the finale, the Great Royal Ball of 1913. Cook cited this film as the most interesting in the series.

Dec. 3: Bay of Angels, directed by Jacques Demy, 1963 (France, 85 min., black and white). Bay of Angels was directed by Demy just before he achieved international fame with his musical works. In the film, a Parisian gambling addict leaves her husband and children for the roulette tables of Nice, where she meets a man, clinging to him in the belief he is a good luck charm--even when her luck changes. This presentation will be from a newly restored print.

Dec. 10: Point Blank, directed by John Boorman, 1967 (United States, 92 min., color). A gangster film based on Donald Westlake's novel The Hunter , film studies depicts Point Blank as one of the most quietly influential films of late-1960s American cinema.

For more information about the series, visit or call 404-727-6761. All screenings are free and open to the public.