Against the turmoil of Lebanon’s 1975 Civil War, this largely autobiographical coming-of-age drama, written and directed by Ziad Doueiri, follows an Arab family struggling to survive as their world is blown apart. Lebanon, 105 min., color. In Arabic and French with English subtitles.
Set in 1881, just before the start of British colonial rule, this film directed by Shadi Abdel Salam tells the true story of an Egyptian clan that has been robbing tombs for three thousand years. When Antiquities Service officials find mummies on sale in the open market in Cairo, mayhem ensues. Egypt, 102 min., color, in Arabic with English subtitles. Critically acclaimed as one of the best Egyptian films ever made. Introduced by Farbod Honarpisheh, Postdoctoral Associate, Film & Media Studies, Yale University.
This Turkish drama, directed by Metin Erksan, features Müşfik Kenter as a poor painter who falls in love with the image of a female singer while at work in one of the large villas on Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands. What happens when she appears in the flesh? Sevmek Zamani is a remarkable example of the Turkish new wave that has rarely been screened or written about outside Turkey. 1:25 min., black-and-white, in Turkish with English subtitles. Introduced by Farbod Honarpisheh, Postdoctoral Associate, Film & Media Studies, Yale University.
A collaboration between filmmaker Avijit Mukul Kishore and architect Rohan Shivkumar, this documentary explores Indian modernity, the citizen, and the architecture of the home through four buildings made over the course of a century: the gigantic Lukshmi Vilas Palace in Baroda; Villa Shodhan in Ahmedabad, designed by Le Corbusier; Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad; and public housing in Delhi designed for Pakistani refugees. 54 min., in Hindi and English with English subtitles. Introduced by the filmmaker, with Q&A.
Ali Mirsepassi, Albert Gallatin Research Excellence Professor of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies in NYU’s Gallatin School and Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, will present this documentary, which he co-created with Hamed Yousefi. The film explores the life and thought of Iranian philosopher Ahmad Fardid (1910-1994) in his intellectual crusade to halt rising Western influence in Iran. 85 min.
In 1983, television producer and journalist Joseph Lovett successfully pleaded with ABC's 20/20 executives to create the first investigative reports on AIDS for network TV. He will show selected video clips (50 min.) and discuss the responsibility and the difficulties of reporting on a plague during a decade of discrimination.
Directed by Joseph Lovett, this film documents gay life in New York—from Greenwich Village to the Fire Island Pines—during the decade of liberation and sexual abandon following Stonewall and before the outbreak of AIDS. Gay men cruised the streets, frequented gay bars, and had loads and loads of sex. Only twelve years after Stonewall, AIDS brought this unprecedented era of sexual freedom to a close.
Perry Mason (1957–1966, CBS-TV) is known for its formulaic plots—attorney Mason (Raymond Burr) defends an innocent client and forces the real murderer to confess in a courtroom finale. With its stylish noir filming, outdoor locations, and deep background characterizations, the series arguably also featured a prescient queer subtext. Burr was a gay man who led a covert life, but on the show, Mason is consistently paired with his investigator, Paul Drake (William Hopper), in harmonious, sometimes domestic contexts—especially notable in the episode we'll screen: The Case of the Borrowed Baby (1962).
Years before they moved to Hollywood, four young German filmmakers—later noir masters Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer, and future Oscar winners Billy Wilder and Fred Zinneman—collaborated on this effervescent, sunlit silent about city dwellers enjoying a weekend outing in Weimar-era Berlin. Combining documentary footage with dramatic storytelling, this experimental film became a mainstream hit, presaging both Italian neorealism and the French New Wave. 73 min., black-and-white, silent.
Co-sponsored by NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò; Center for Applied Liberal Arts, School of Professional Studies; and Grey Art Gallery. Co-presented by The Criterion Collection. RSVP to casaitaliananyu.org. (Non-member RSVP does not guarantee a seat.)