MSE Symposium Considers the Cinema at 100 | Johns Hopkins Gazette

Reposted MSE Symposium Considers the Cinema at 100 by Leslie Rice (Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 18, 1995)

MSE Symposium Considers the Cinema at 100

Leslie Rice
Homewood News and Information

     It was just curiosity that drew the crowds of people to see Thomas Edison's latest invention one century ago. How could they have known then the colossal impact those odd, grainy, flickering moving pictures would forever have on American culture?

     Two Hopkins undergraduates have marked the 100th anniversary of the moving picture by bringing to the Homewood campus an impressive group of film industry personalities to talk about the movies.

     The 1995 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, entitled "Framing Society: A Century of Cinema," will examine the power of the medium of film. Admission to the symposium, in Shriver Hall at 8 p.m. on various nights from Oct. 10 through Nov. 16, is free and open to the public.

     During the lecture series, chaired by Hopkins seniors Matt Gross and Chris Aldrich, an independent film maker will discuss the recent boom in independent, low-budget films while another director will talk about the importance of her identity as a Latina lesbian and her fight not to be pegged as a "queer" director. Other speakers will discuss the portrayal of African Americans and women in movies, and India's leading film director will discuss the international movie scene.

     "We chose speakers who could talk about film in a historical context," Gross said. "We didn't want someone to just come in and say, 'Here's my film: look at it'."

     Kicking off the series will be James Robinson, founder and CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, who will talk about how the film industry has become big business. Since 1988 Robinson has produced a couple dozen films, including Young Guns I and II, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Enemies: A Love Story, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and True Romance. Last year Robinson, a Baltimore resident who commutes every week to the West Coast, was named the most prolific producer of the year by Hollywood Reporter Magazine.

     Aldrich says he's particularly excited to hear screenwriter Millard Kaufman, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2. Kaufman, 78, has weathered the ups and downs of the film industry for decades. Besides writing memorable Lee Marvin and Spencer Tracy westerns like Bad Day at Black Rock and Take the High Ground, he is known for risking his career by fronting the screenplay Gun Crazy for a blacklisted friend during the McCarthy era. Still, Kaufman may be most famous for creating the quirky and comical cartoon character Mr. Magoo.

     "Kaufman is planning to talk about censorship in film, but even if he just talks about his career it will be very entertaining," Aldrich said. "He's very colorful and tells really funny stories about his experiences with some of the most powerful people in the industry." 

     During the symposium, Hopkins will also hold the grand opening of the Shriver Hall Theater within Shriver Hall Auditorium, which will, by then, be outfitted with state-of-the-art 35mm projection and sound equipment, making it the largest movie theater in the Baltimore-Washington area.

     In the future, the new theater, made possible through university grants submitted by Aldrich and Gross, will host movie premieres and sneak previews as well as off-beat and foreign films.

     The Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium was established in 1967 by Hopkins' undergraduate student council as a means of honoring the university's eighth president. Every year since then, a team of two to three students chosen by the student council, after a very competitive proposal process, has arranged and managed all aspects of the series from beginning to end--from selecting the topic, to raising money (this year roughly $35,000), to booking the personalities to reserving rooms. Usually about six prominent figures are booked to address a current national issue.

     Covering topics like the nuclear arms race, human sexuality, freedom of the press, and foreign policy and race, the symposium has drawn top-flight speakers like Aaron Copeland, Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Bernstein, former senators George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy, Pat Robinson and Isaac Asimov.

     Aldrich and Gross decided they wanted to direct the 1995 symposium after attending many of the lectures from last year's symposium on children's issues.

    "Chris just turned to me and said, 'Let's do next year's symposium,' " Gross recalled. "Without even thinking, I said, 'On movies, right?' He said 'yeah,' and that was it. I wish I could say it was a decision we pondered long and hard on, but it wasn't." 

     Since their proposal was chosen by the student council last December, the two have felt the weight of all the successful symposia of the past, which have captured national and local attention.

      "It's really been a constant pressure, and over the summer it was a full-time job for both Chris and me," said Gross, who happens to be a fledgling director. "All things considered though, I feel really lucky to have been able to do this. Just the experience of having to deal with every single detail, getting to know some of these people, and the kinds of things I have learned has been incredibly rewarding." 

     "Framing Society: A Century of Cinema," is a series of lectures by film producers, directors, critics and screenwriters. All lectures and film screenings are free and open to the public and will take place in the new Shriver Hall Theater on the Homewood campus. 

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 8 p.m.
     "The Film Industry." James G. Robinson, CEO of Morgan Creek Productions; producer of True Romance, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Major League 2.

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m. 
     Go Fish, written and directed by Rose Troche.

Thursday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m.
     "Sexuality and Film." Rose Troche, writer/director of Go Fish. 

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m.
Premiere and Screening.
     English premiere of Ondanondu Kaladalli, directed by Girish Karnad. 

Thursday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
     "World Cinema." Girish Karnad, leading film director of India and past director of the Film and Television Institute of India. 

Thursday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
     "Women in Film and Criticism." Molly Haskell, New York film critic and author of From Reverence to Rape.

Thursday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m. 
     "Censorship of Film." Millard Kaufman, screenwriter, Bad Day at Black Rock, Take the High Ground, Raintree Country; board member of the Writers Guild of America; creator of Mr. Magoo.

Friday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.
     Bad Day at Black Rock, written by Millard Kaufman. The film will be introduced by Kaufman and followed by a question and answer session.

Thursday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m.
     "Race and Film." Thomas Cripps, author and history professor at Morgan State University.

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m.
Premiere and Screening.
     Premiere of Mardi Gras, Baltimore, written, produced and directed by JHU students Gil Jawetz and Matt Gross.         
     Screening of Laws of Gravity, produced by Larry Meistrich.

Thursday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m.
     "Independent Films." Larry Meistrich, producer of Laws of Gravity and New Jersey Drive; CEO of the Shooting Gallery.

     Call the symposium office for further information at (410) 516-7683.

Snark Hosts Summertime Film Festival | Johns Hopkins Gazette: June 12, 1995

Reposted Snark Hosts Summertime Film Festival (Johns Hopkins Gazette: June 12, 1995)
Chris Aldrich is a movie machine.

He directs the Reel World film series, a long-standing weekly feature at Homewood during the academic year. Along with fellow film junkie Matthew Gross, he is chairing the 1995 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium celebrating the first 100 years of motion pictures, which is always an incredibly labor-intensive student-run project.

And to fill up those lazy summer days, he has created the Snark Summer Film Festival–106 feature films in 45 consecutive days–from June 16 through July 30.

All screenings are free.

The nightly dose of double (and sometime triple) features will be held at Shriver Hall, at Homewood, with the first film beginning promptly at 8 p.m. Generally a few short films will start the evening, and there will be a five-minute intermission between feature films.

The following is the tentative schedule for the Snark Summer Film Festival. For a complete listing and to confirm dates, films and times, call (410) 516-8666.

Friday, June 16: Bogart
The Big Sleep

Saturday, June 17: American Classics
The Great Train Robbery,
Citizen Kane,

Sunday, June 18: Polanski
Two Men and a Wardrobe,
Knife in the Water,

Monday, June 19: Godard
All the Boys Are Named Patrick,

Tuesday, June 20: German Expressionism
The Student of Prague,
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,
The Golem: How He Came into the World

Wednesday, June 21: Kurosawa
Seven Samurai

Thursday, June 22: Hitchcock

Friday, June 23: Chaplin
Steamboat Willie,
Modern Times,
Steamboat Bill Jr.

Saturday, June 24: Classic Horror Films
The Hunchback of Notre Dame,
The Phantom of the Opera,
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Sunday, June 25: Renoir

Monday, June 26: Godard–Plus
The Red Balloon,
A Married Woman

Tuesday, June 27: German Classics
Blue Angel,
Threepenny Opera

Wednesday, June 28: Kurosawa

Thursday, June 29: Mixed Bag
The Concert,
Number Seventeen,
The Man Who Knew Too Much

Friday, June 30: Campy Screamers
Little Shop of Horrors,
Night of the Living Dead,
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Saturday, July 1: Light Comedy Night
The Producers,
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Sunday, July 2: Renoir
A Day in the Country,
Rules of the Game

Monday, July 3: Truffaut
Les Mistons,
The Wild Child,
Jules et Jim

Tuesday, July 4: Fritz Lang
The Crimes of Dr. Mabuse

Wednesday, July 5: Kurosawa
Drunken Angel,

Thursday, July 6: Hitchcock
The 39 Steps,
Secret Agent

Friday, July 7: Film Noir
Scarlet Street,

Saturday, July 8: American Classics
Sunset Boulevard,
The Maltese Falcon

Sunday, July 9: Renoir
Grand Illusion,
La Bête Humaine,
The Southerner

Monday, July 10: Borzage Directs
A Farewell to Arms,
History Is Made at Night

Tuesday, July 11: Classic Silents
The Passion of Joan of Arc,

Wednesday, July 12: Kurosawa
Red Beard,
Throne of Blood

Thursday, July 13: Hitchcock
Young and Innocent

Friday, July 14: American Classics
Rebel Without a Cause,
It Happened One Night

Saturday, July 15: Kate Hepburn
Philadelphia Story,
Bringing Up Baby

Sunday, July 16: The Pagnol Trilogy

Monday, July 17: Classic Tearjerkers
The Yearling,
Lassie Come Home

Tuesday, July 18: Campy Busby Berkeley
The Gold Diggers of 1933,
The Gold Diggers of 1935

Wednesday, July 19: Satyajit Ray
Pather Panchali,
The World of Apu

Thursday, July 20: Hitchcock
The Lady Vanishes,
Jamaica Inn

Friday, July 21: Odd Men Out
On the Waterfront,
The Third Man

Saturday, July 22: Laurel and Hardy
The Bohemian Girl,
Flying Deuces,
Saps at Sea,
Chump at Oxford

Sunday, July 23: Harold Lloyd
The Freshman,
The Kid Brother

Monday, July 24: More Harold Lloyd
His Royal Slyness,
Girl Shy,
Feet First

Tuesday, July 25: Cowboy Yarns
Bells of Capistrano,
Bells of Rosarita

Wednesday, July 26: Satyajit Ray
Devi, Mandabi

Thursday, July 27: Hitchcock
Foreign Correspondent,

Friday, July 28: Hitchcock
Shadow of a Doubt,
Strangers on a Train

Saturday, July 29: Hitchcock
North by Northwest,

Sunday, July 30: French Drama
Bizarre, Bizarre,
The Earrings of Madame de

Symposium Investigating Film and Society | Johns Hopkins Gazette

Reposted Symposium Investigating Film and Society (Johns Hopkins Gazette)

Symposium Investigating Film and Society

     The Student Council has announced that the 29th annual Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium will look critically at the movies and their relationship to society. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the cinema's birth. 
     Christopher Aldrich, president of the Reel World film series, and Matthew Gross, director of the Snark film series, and symposium co-chairmen, are planning a series of lectures, panel discussions, movie screenings and special events that will provide a comprehensive understanding of cinema's role in the world.

     The Aldrich/Gross proposal was one of 18 submitted for consideration.

     As part of the symposium's planning, Dean of Homewood Student Affairs Larry Benedict has agreed to renovate and upgrade the Shriver Hall film projection facilities. Although details are not yet final, upgrades are expected to include a 40-foot-wide screen (bigger than the one at the historic Senator Theatre) and Dolby surround sound. These and other changes would make Shriver Hall one of the 20 best movie theaters in the country, Aldrich said. 

     The MSE Symposium is completely run by undergraduates. Proposals for a wide range of ideas are submitted in the fall to a Student Council committee. The chairs of the winning proposal then take responsibility for fund-raising--Aldrich expects their budget will  top $55,000--formalizing the program, selecting and inviting speakers, dealing with lawyers and agents, organizing the event and arranging publicity.

     The MSE Symposium is scheduled to begin the last week in September.