I'm currently reading the book Kill Process by William Hertling. It's about murder, privacy, hacking, high tech surveillance and data mining. The book is great and I can recommend it to everybody who likes tech thrillers. Hertling gets the technical background and hacker stuff of the story really good together. Angie, the heroine, works at Tomo, the largest and quasi-monopoly Facebook-like social network as a database programmer. Part of the story is her ambition to create an alternative to the centralized privacy nightmare the Tomo service became. So she decides to do something about it and plans to build a distributed, federated social network of networks. She also meets and joins with people familiar with the IndieWeb concept. That's when I was reminded of how good the idea really is.
Includes a recommendation for my article…
More than 400 guests attended Johns Hopkins convocations in San Francisco and Burbank in March, hearing from President William R. Brody and other outstanding faculty speakers about developments at Johns Hopkins. The Southern California convocation, held at the Walt Disney Studios, was hosted by University trustee John F. Cooke, Disney's executive vice president-corporate affairs.
MSE Symposium Unspools Tuesday at Shriver Hall At 100, Why Do Movies Matter? Mike Giuliano ------------------------- Special to The Gazette Not that turf-conscious professors need worry about one of the main campus buildings being converted into a nine-screen multiplex theater, but the movies have arrived on the Homewood campus in a big way. Most immediately, the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, "Framing Society: A Century of Cinema," opens this week to examine the roles of the motion pictures in American society. Its undergraduate co-chairmen, Matt Gross and Chris Aldrich, are no strangers to the subject of film. Each is involved in film classes, student film organizations, film production, screenings and a just-launched magazine. All of which, considered together with the symposium, they hope will provide a new frame of reference at Hopkins for the only art form that proceeds at 24 frames per second. Lest anyone still harbor the prejudice that movies should be accompanied by popcorn and not term papers, young filmmaker Gross is quick to defend the academic worth of their symposium offering. "Chris and I always felt it was an appropriate topic for the symposium," he says. "It wasn't so much deciding whether to do it as how to do it. We want to explore how cinema fits into our culture. Can a particular movie or stream of movies change things in society?" By way of example, he dips into film and political history for the famous anecdote about President Woodrow Wilson's proclamation that D.W. Griffith's controversial 1915 film Birth of a Nation was "like history written by lightning." Gross says, "It's a historical fact that Wilson was one of the first people to give legitimacy to film. Since he went to Hopkins, he's like this guy sitting on top of the ivory tower saying this is a way of reporting history. That legitimizes film as a historical pursuit. And the 100th anniversary of cinema is an opportunity to look back on film in a cultural and intellectual way." Gross adds that a visit to Paris reinforced his sense that the French, whose visionary Lumière brothers began showing movies commercially in 1895, have a much keener sense of film history than do Americans. "It's not just that Americans don't have a grasp of film history. There's not a good grasp of history among the American people," he says. There's yet another reason why Gross believes movies haven't always received the respect they deserve in this country. "Also, possibly, the business of film has gotten in the way somewhat," he says. "Because it is big business--it's a product--some people may not feel it's worth looking at" in an academic forum, he says. Gross looks on this year's symposium as a springboard for a broader discussion, both on campus and in the larger community, of the role played by movies. "The symposium is a way to get everybody who is interested together in one place to talk about movies. Beyond the symposium, we're trying to create at Hopkins a kind of cinematic culture. And we need to expand so that the Baltimore public knows about what's at Hopkins," Gross says. "Being on campus for four years, everything feels so isolated. Many students know a lot about film but not always about what's going on off campus, and people off campus in Baltimore know about film but not about what we have here. "We'd like to integrate Hopkins into the Baltimore community at large. We want to be a regular part of the movie scene. So we want the symposium to act as a catalyst for everything else," he says. One impact the symposium will have on and off campus will result from the outfitting of Shriver Hall with a new 38-foot screen. "The old screen had been subjected to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and other things," says Mary Ellen Porter, special assistant to dean of students Larry Benedict. The film is noted as much for its campy content as for its cult following, who make viewing the film an interactive experience replete with vegetables and other substances tossed at the screen. Also added were 35mm film projectors, and there are plans to add "surround sound" equipment next year. These technical enhancements will make the 1,174-seat hall the largest and potentially one of the best movie theaters in the Baltimore area. Existing film series such as the long-running Reel World and Weekend Wonderflix will look better on screen. Porter says the booking of preview screenings and other special programs "will give us a chance to reach out to the greater community in a way we don't now." Better campus screening facilities can enhance both a weekend date for the latest Die Hard movie and a student taking notes on the mise-en-scène in a Renoir film. "In terms of facilities, film is a machine art and machines are a part of it," notes Richard Macksey, a longtime Hopkins professor of humanities and film and an active member of Baltimore's cinema culture. He cites the upgrading of 110 Gilman several years ago as an instance of how film courses prosper when projection moves closer to state of the art. Indeed, the cinematic zeitgeist on campus seems healthy. Last summer saw the birth of yet another film series, The Snark, which offers classics and avant-garde fare. Also recently arrived on the screen scene is the Animation Club. The recently established Johns Hopkins Film Society and its magazine, Frame of Reference, promote film culture at Hopkins, including criticism, theory, history and production. Mardi Gras Baltimore, co-directed by Gross and 1995 graduate Gil Jawetz, will premiere at the symposium at 8 p.m. on Nov. 15. Gross hopes the diversity of symposium speakers will provide the insights and inspiration to support and nourish the confluence of Hopkins' film-related activities. For example, James G. Robinson, founder and CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, will talk about the business of making movies. Veteran screenwriter Millard Kaufman and young director Rose Troche will each talk about their place within that industry. Critic Molly Haskell will talk about the role played by women in filmmaking and criticism. And Thomas Cripps, among the world's leading scholars of black film history, will add his reflections on the representation of blacks in the movies and the social effects of those images. It's a lineup that has won over at least one initial skeptic. "Frankly, I was a little skeptical of it at first because a lot of money goes into [the symposium], and I didn't want to see speakers who'd stand up there schmoozing and then vanish into the night," says English professor Jerome Christensen, who directs the Film and Media Studies program. Established in 1991, Film and Media Studies is a cooperative program of the departments of English, French, German, Hispanic and Italian Studies, Writing Seminars, Humanities and Philosophy. Presently, students may minor in this area, but Christensen expects that the eventual addition of a film production course will enable students to major in Film and Media Studies. Although he says Hopkins "will never be a film school" on the scale of New York University or the University of Southern California, it is taking its place with other academic pursuits at Homewood. "I'm glad [Gross and Aldrich] have used [the symposium] in a way that will be educational," Christensen says. "I'm hoping the symposium will demonstrate the range of opportunities both in terms of careers and the intellectual challenges that contemporary film represents. It also gives us a push to do other things." Christensen suggests the symposium visit of Indian filmmaker Girish Karnad will likely figure into classroom discussions in a course on Indian film being offered in the spring. Undergraduate internships with Robinson also are under discussion. "My aim is to have some institutional pay-off to these things," he says. "Film is especially adaptable to an interdisciplinary approach and it's used for so many pedagogical purposes now," says Macksey of the Hopkins approach to teaching film. Having mentored such future Hollywood talents as Walter Murch and Caleb Deschanel during their student days in the 1960s, Macksey has been a constant advocate for film studies on campus. And what would the students like to see on the classroom screen scene in the semesters ahead? "I'd like to consider how the film study is done at New York University, Columbia, USC and elsewhere and then find a different and original way to go at it at Hopkins," Gross says. "Many of those film schools examine how movies are made and not as much attention is paid to movies as literature. That's something Hopkins can do."
Imagine life without movies.
The moving picture turns 100 this year and some Johns Hopkins University undergraduates who can’t picture life without a big screen have marked film’s centennial by bringing to the Homewood campus an impressive group of movie industry insiders to discuss the powerful medium of film.
The 1995 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, “Framing Society: A Century of Cinema” will be held in Shriver Hall at 8 p.m. on different nights from Oct. 10 through Nov. 16, and is entirely free and open to the public.
James Robinson, founder and CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, will discuss the movie-making business in the series kick-off event Oct. 10. Since 1988 Robinson has produced at least 26 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.
Also during the series, 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 struggle not to be pegged as a “queer” director. Other speakers will discuss the portrayal of African-Americans and women in movies, and one of India’s leading directors will discuss the international movie scene.
Symposium organizers say another highlight will be a lecture given by veteran screenwriter Millard Kaufman. Kaufman, 78, has weathered the ups and downs of the film industry for decades and his colorful, tell-it-like-it-is style is as entertaining as it is enlightening. Besides writing memorable Lee Marvin and Spencer Tracy westerns like Bad Day at Black Rock and Take the High Ground, he is also known for risking his career by fronting the screenplay Gun Crazy for a blacklisted friend during the McCarthy era. Still, Kaufman is probably most famous for creating the quirky and comical cartoon character Mr. Magoo.
During the symposium, Hopkins will also hold the grand opening of the Shriver Hall Theater in Shriver Hall Auditorium, which will be outfitted with state-of-the-art screening capabilities, making it the largest movie theater in the Baltimore-Washington area. In the future, the new theater 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 to honor the university’s eighth president.
Every year since then, a team of two to three students chosen by the student council has arranged and managed all aspects of the series. 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 been drawn speakers like Aaron Copland, Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Bernstein, former senators George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy, Pat Robinson and Isaac Asimov.
This year’s symposium organizers are Hopkins seniors Chris Aldrich and Matt Gross. Gross and fellow Hopkins senior Gil Jawetz have also produced and directed a short film, Mardi Gras, Baltimore, which will premiere during the symposium.
The 1995 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium.
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., Shriver Hall.
U.S. 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.
Friday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
Premiere and screening.
World 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.
(photos of speakers available upon request)
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,
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
Thursday, June 22: Hitchcock
Friday, June 23: Chaplin
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
Wednesday, June 28: Kurosawa
Thursday, June 29: Mixed Bag
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
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Sunday, July 2: Renoir
A Day in the Country,
Rules of the Game
Monday, July 3: Truffaut
The Wild Child,
Jules et Jim
Tuesday, July 4: Fritz Lang
The Crimes of Dr. Mabuse
Wednesday, July 5: Kurosawa
Thursday, July 6: Hitchcock
The 39 Steps,
Friday, July 7: Film Noir
Saturday, July 8: American Classics
The Maltese Falcon
Sunday, July 9: Renoir
La Bête Humaine,
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
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
Bringing Up Baby
Sunday, July 16: The Pagnol Trilogy
Monday, July 17: Classic Tearjerkers
Lassie Come Home
Tuesday, July 18: Campy Busby Berkeley
The Gold Diggers of 1933,
The Gold Diggers of 1935
Wednesday, July 19: Satyajit Ray
The World of Apu
Thursday, July 20: Hitchcock
The Lady Vanishes,
Friday, July 21: Odd Men Out
On the Waterfront,
The Third Man
Saturday, July 22: Laurel and Hardy
The Bohemian Girl,
Saps at Sea,
Chump at Oxford
Sunday, July 23: Harold Lloyd
The Kid Brother
Monday, July 24: More Harold Lloyd
His Royal Slyness,
Tuesday, July 25: Cowboy Yarns
Bells of Capistrano,
Bells of Rosarita
Wednesday, July 26: Satyajit Ray
Thursday, July 27: Hitchcock
Friday, July 28: Hitchcock
Shadow of a Doubt,
Strangers on a Train
Saturday, July 29: Hitchcock
North by Northwest,
Sunday, July 30: French Drama
The Earrings of Madame de
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.