Glenn Close Interview: Passion Projects and New Media

September 21, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

By Elizabeth Lowe
elowe@smu.edu

From 10 a.m. until late into the afternoon, it was a packed day for Glenn Close on SMU’s campus.

The actress came to speak with theater classes in the Meadows School of the Arts, along with producer and friend Bonnie Curtis.

The Daily Mustang was able to sit down with Close for a brief interview on new media – an art form that seems divergent from her principal discipline of stage acting.

Outside of SMU, Close and Curtis are in Dallas this week collecting the final funds for their latest project: a film adaptation of the play “The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs.”

Close played the role of Albert Nobbs on Broadway back in the early 80s. It’s a role she says she’s passionate about and a film she is excited to co-produce.

Though we chatted with her about the film project, the Daily Mustang also wanted to talk about her “online diet.” What is Glenn Close’s presence online? And where does she see the convergence of film, stage, and new media?

Video: Interview with Glenn Close from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Video and Editing by Andy Garcia

Campus News Blog: SMU CTV Students Shine at Dallas Film Festival

April 12, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Monica Sharma

There are some topics that deserve more blogging time. One of them happens to be the Dallas International Film Festival.

It is still going on for a whole week so if you haven’t had the chance to attend, don’t fret, there is time.

What to see?

A few Meadows CTV students and alumni will have their chance to shine on the big screen, directing and producing films. Here’s a lineup:

“Crazy Pig” premiered in the Shorts Competition program. Directed by Juan Francisco de la Guardia, a current SMU graduate student, the nine-minute film screened this past Saturday and Sunday at the Angelika.

You still have the opportunity to see two other student films.

“Sin Ella”, a film in Spanish with English subtitles, is produced by 2009 SMU grad Dan Carillo.

“Obselidia”, produced by Ken Morris, a 2007 grad is also showing and competing in the Target Narrative Feature Competition.

For show times and locations, click here.

Arts Beat: Fred Wiseman, An American Legend

April 19, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Fred Wiseman is a quick witted, brilliant man who just loves what he does, and the passion shows in his work. The legendary American documentary filmmaker came to SMU last week as part of the human rights campaign.

The winner of two Emmys, a Peabody and many other awards came into filmmaking after attending Williams College and later Yale Law School. While he was in Paris working at an American law office he bought a camera and began filming. Once he got back to the states he knew he wanted to direct and his award-winning career began.

In the April 14 lecture in Hughes-Trigg, he showed six clips from his past human rights documentaries. The first clip was a Law and Order piece done in 1968. He filmed a Kansas City police arresting a prostitute. The audience watched on in horror as a rather big white man stood choking the prostitute.

The second clip was called “Welfare.” He takes viewers inside a government welfare center and shows the reality of the situation as a picture of everyday life: the crazies, the druggies, the honest, the thieves.

The third clip was of a sardine factory –interesting because there was no audio, yet you didn’t need it. This clip had around 300 shots for an eight-minute piece, which is a lot of different frames. He takes the viewer on the journey of how fish become sardines. You didn’t need narration because it was so visual you could almost smell the fish.

The fourth, a brief clip of a dean of discipline at an American school in the 1960s, showed how times have changed in student discipline. A boy headed to the doctor later in the day is forced to participate in his athletic class and then suspended after a dispute with the dean.

The fifth clip, an audience favorite, was of two great American ballet dancers performing “Romeo and Juliet.” This footage was masterfully shot. Every edit was for a reason. He would cut to a far-away shot and then back to a closeup so the viewer doesn’t miss the ballerina’s toe point or the passion between the two characters. He had earlier said, “You can have a lot of great video and edit it all wrong, or you can have no video and edit it all right.”

His final clip was of two men in the priesthood. One was a stubborn old man who didn’t think twice about the community nor did he want to. The other, who was inquisitive, kept asking the other man why he believed the way he did. While I didn’t quite understand this footage, I still wanted to know more about the men. Wiseman zoomed into the faces to make the viewer see every wrinkle. Visually it was a great piece.

Most questions after the presentation were from local filmmakers who wanted advice; others just wanted to praise him. However, his response to one question stood out: What drives you to pursue the questions that you answer in the films? “I am just a curious person, all things interest me,” he said. “I believe what I do is natural history in a sense, if the films last a long time. I would love to look back and see films of America in the 19th Century or films about what a hospital looked like in the Civil War. All my documentary films are going to do is be a huge source of confusion for future historians.”

To purchase his documentaries or read a full bio of Wiseman visit zipporah.com

Posted by Mary Summers

Arts Blog: AFI Dallas Film Festival Starts this Week

March 23, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Last Wednesday, March 18, AFI Director of Press and Publicity John Wildman spoke to the journalism department’s Arts Beat class about what all AFI Dallas International Film Festival has to offer…

…which is a lot.

Want to see a Zooey Deschanel movie four months before it premieres? See “500 Days of Summer” Sunday at 3:30 pm. Want to hear the filmmakers from some of these films talk about real issues as opposed to just the making of their particular movie? Go to an educational panel. Want to see Adrien Brody in person? That’s possible, too.

The film festival will include screenings of over 180 films, including feature films, classics, documentaries and shorts. The filmmakers and actors for some of these films will walk down the red carpets before the night screenings.

The film festival will also have educational panels free to the public. The filmmakers will talk about the subject in the films from an evaluation of women and men and sex in the cinema to whether real life should be protected from film.

SMU students should take advantage of being in Dallas and being able to attend this film festival. You can attend screenings of movies they might not have the chance to see otherwise or learn more about the subjects of the films. You might even meet the filmmakers and actors.

The films will be held at Magnolia and North Park AMC theaters. To order tickets or see schedules of the films and panels, just check out AFI Dallas’s Website

Posted by Rachael Morgan

Arts Beat: “Slumdog Millionaire” Fact or Fiction

March 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

“Slumdog Millionaire” has taken the country by storm.? Last month, the film won the Best Picture Academy Award at the Oscars. Although “Slumdog Millionaire” has been tapped as the feel-good movie of the year, there are many Indians who are up in arms about the film’s depiction of corruption, exploitation, prostitution and life in India’s slums.

As someone of Sri Lankan descent, I know? it may sound harsh but these things are quite evident in developing countries. I have not been to Mumbai, where the film was shot, but I have to been to other areas of India and? witnessed some of these behaviors.

Corruption is quite common in India and is often committed by the police or anyone with money. ? Police have authoritative views and think they rule everything, while wealthy people, feel anything can be bought. People are often seen as commodities and, believe me when I say, those with money are seen and treated differently.

Life in the slums is quite similar to the portrayal in the film. Religion and worship is the center of everyone’s life. Poverty is rampant; street children are everywhere and those with physical abnormalities such as missing limbs or organs definitely earn more money. My grandmother one day told me it’s impossible to help everyone so just give money to those who have more challenges than everyone else. Children are often exploited through their labor and used as a way of building wealth.

Similar to servant labor, where people are often exploited, the sex trade industry exploits many people.? Brothel owners sell young women’s bodies to the highest bidders. Virginity is prized. In a culture dominated by men, few women have control over their own bodies. ? Brothels are proof that the world’s oldest profession exists everywhere.

For more information on “Slumdog Millionaire” visit the film’s Web site at the link below.?

http://www.foxsearchlight.com/slumdogmillionaire

?

-Posted By Praveen Sathianathan

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Global News Blog: Cinema: A Valuable Public Diplomacy Tool

February 18, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Ashley Warmack

According to “Colombia Reports”, Colombia is having a hard time getting people to support entertainment. Many people believe that Cinema life, things such as T.V., music, and film are trash and nonsense. However, according to the reports, they disagree, stating, “Cinema has become a tool for nation-building, but also for the mass communication of a nation’s idea of itself, and as such, one of the most successful tools of public diplomacy. ”

Colombia must support outlets of visual expression that respond to this purpose. Being able to send out a message through entertainment media has a huge influence on all nations and is a powerful communication tool to get through to the public.

However, I think countries should be aware of how other countries are portrayed though entertainment. “Hollywood not only has contributed to the branding of the American identity, but it also has contributed to branding, often misleadingly, other national identities.” In order for Colombia to not be “branded” by other country’s cinema art, other countries need to be promoted as a whole.

Many countries have been successful in the film and entertainment industry; and clearly Colombia needs a break through. Colombians are just now realizing how big of an impact entertainment media effects ones culture. Colombia needs to be finding people that can promote and support Colombian Cinema.