Thursday, April 30, 2015


Dr Scott MacDonald

Four short films presented by Dr. Scott MacDonald

3:30 p.m. PLC 180


Scott MacDonald is the nation’s leading scholar and explicator of avant-garde film and the author of numerous books and works of criticism, including The Garden in the Machine: A Field Guide to Independent Films About Place. In today’s presentation, MacDonald will screen and discuss four extraordinary films (three of which will be presented in the original 16mm): Eaux D’Artifice (Kenneth Anger, 15 min.), Fog Line (Larry Gottheim, 11 min.), Time and Tide (Peter Hutton, 35 min.), and Impromptu (Rose Lowder, 8 min.). He will show how these and other avant-garde films explore and challenge the modes by which people interact with and perceive landscapes, creating opportunities for fresh insight, deeper appreciation, and more meaningful engagement with the environment.

Cosponsored with Cinema Studies and Landscape Architecture.


With Jeremy Teicher, Alexi Pappas, and Jay Smith

6:45 p.m. Bijou Art Cinemas

Tickets: $6 students/seniors, $8 general public

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Tall as the Baobab Tree poster

May 2013

Directed by Jeremy Teicher

Screenplay: Alexi Pappas and Jeremy Teicher

Cinematography by Chris Collins

Editing by Sofi Marshall

Music by Jay Wadley

Cast: Alpha Dia, Cheikh Dia, Mboural Dia, Mouhamed Diallo, Dior Ka, Oumul Ka

Run Time: 82 minutes





This first feature of filmmakers Jeremy Teicher and Alexi Pappas deviates from stereotypical depictions of Africa to create a beautiful piece of work that has been acclaimed at festivals around the world. Teicher, Pappas, and assistant director Jay Smith will follow the screening with a brief illustrated presentation on their upcoming production, Tracktown, currently in production in Eugene.

Coumba and her little sister Debo are the first to leave their family’s remote African village, where meals are prepared over open fires and water is drawn from wells, to attend school in the bustling city. But when an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, their father decides to sell 11-year-old Debo into an arranged marriage. Torn between loyalty to her elders and her dreams for the future, Coumba hatches a secret plan to rescue her young sister from a fate she did not choose.

Tall as the Baobab Tree is a collaboration of local students from the village of Sinthiou Mbadane, Senegal, and is the first international feature film in the colloquial Pulaar language, spoken across West Africa. All of the actors are local villagers, and the story of the film was inspired by their experiences. The sisters in the film are biological sisters, adding to the emotional impact and truthfulness. The traditional outlook of the elders contradicts the more modern perception of the young teenagers in the film, but this dichotomy is conveyed without a delineation of who is right: every family member wants what is right for the family.

At the start of the screening, Richard Blue will present Jeremy Teicher with the 2015 James Blue Award.

Jeremy and Alexi will follow the screening with a brief illustrated presentation on their upcoming production, Tracktown.


9:15 p.m. Bijou Art Cinemas

Tickets: $6 students/seniors, $8 general public

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A Touch of Sin poster

China, 2013

Directed by Jia Zhangke

Screenplay by Jia Zhangke

Cinematography by Nelson Yu Lik-wai

Editing by Matthieu Laclau and Xudong Lin

Music by Giong Lim

Cast: Wu Jiang, Baoqiang Wang, Tao Zhao, Lanshan Luo, Jia-yi Zhang, Li Meng

Run Time: 133 minutes





With its clever title alluding to the classic wuxia masterpiece, A Touch of Zen, A Touch of Sin is the latest creation of acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke (Still Life, The World). Winner of the Best Screenplay award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the film tells four simultaneous stories each centered on a different character.

Jia Zhangke’s critique of materialism and violence sets this film apart from other Chinese films. Zhangke feels strongly about the decay of values in contemporary China: “There was potential to find spiritual fulfillment through Buddhism, or a place and support through the family. These traditional sources of personal meaning are gone, and they have been replaced by money—and violence.” Chris Cabin of Slant Magazine reports, “In the filmmaker’s China, one can find work and money but only through rootlessness and ruthlessness, and the violence that erupts throughout A Touch of Sin works as a return of the repressed. Indeed, though indebted to wuxia and opera, Jia’s latest is as much horror film as it is an exciting actioner.”