January 24, 2022
clear sky Clear 11 °F

Grab the popcorn: Harpur Cinema returns with fall lineup

An illustration of film reel and projector equipment. An illustration of film reel and projector equipment.
An illustration of film reel and projector equipment. Image Credit: Pixabay.

From punk rock documentaries to sci-fi and a Korean film feature, the fall 2021 Harpur Cinema lineup has something for even the most discerning cinephile.

“We weren’t able to offer Harpur Cinema last year because of pandemic restrictions, so this is our big comeback!” said Associate Professor of Cinema Brian Wall, who is programming the series with Assistant Professor Kenneth White. “As in our courses, with this program we want to give the audience opportunities to explore types of films they may not be familiar with, so we’ve chosen a very diverse slate.”

Two of the events are in partnership with the Binghamton University Art Museum. Through Dec. 10, the museum is offering an exhibition of punk posters, fashions and memorabilia from the late ’70s and early ’80s called “Now form a band: A punk exhibition in 3 chords.”

“Cinema was an important part of that movement, so when (curator) Claire Kovacs approached us for feedback, we saw a great opportunity to share our respective audiences. Our showings of Repo Man and the program of short films (Associate Professor) Tomonari (Nishikawa) has assembled — Against the Mainstream — look at and even embody punk from some provocative perspectives,” Wall said.

The fall schedule is as follows:

Sept. 24 and 26: Robert Greene’s Bisbee ’17 (2018, 112 minutes)

In 1917, nearly 2,000 immigrant miners, on strike for better wages and safer working conditions, were violently rounded up by their armed neighbors, herded onto cattle cars, shipped to the middle of the New Mexico desert and left there to die. This long-buried and largely forgotten event came to be known as the Bisbee Deportation. Bisbee ’17 documents locals as they play characters and stage dramatic scenes from the controversial story, culminating in a large-scale recreation of the deportation itself on the exact day of its 100th anniversary.

Oct. 1 and 3: Lisa Rovner’s Sisters with Transistors (2020, 86 minutes)

The remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, the film maps a new history of electronic music through the visionary women whose radical experimentations with machines redefined the boundaries of music, including Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Éliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegel.

Oct. 22 and 24: Alex Cox’s Repo Man (1984, 92 minutes)

This program is a special presentation in coordination with the exhibition “Now form a band: A punk exhibition in 3 chords” on view at the Binghamton University Art Museum through Dec. 11. The Oct. 22 presentation will feature a conversation with Cinema Associate Professor Brian Wall and Art Museum curator Claire Kovacs.

Cox’s sci-fi comedy Repo Man stars Harry Dean Stanton as a weathered repo man in a desolate Los Angeles, and Emilio Estevez as the middle-class punk he takes under his wing. The job becomes more than either of them bargained for when they get involved in repossessing a mysterious and otherworldly Chevy Malibu with a hefty reward attached to it.

Oct. 29 and 31: Against the Mainstream: Short films by Sadie Benning, Betzy Bromberg, Abigail Child and Leslie Thornton

Programmed by Associate Professor of Cinema Tomonari Nishikawa, this event consists of low-budget, self-produced short films by female artists that were shot or recorded in their homes and neighborhoods, featuring their friends and acquaintances. Films include Bromberg’s Petit Mal (1977, 18 minutes), Thornton’s Peggy and Fred in Hell: The Prologue (1988, 19 minutes), Child’s Mayhem (1987, 20 minutes) and Benning’s It Wasn’t Love (1992, 20 minutes). This program is a special presentation in coordination with the exhibition “Now form a band: A punk exhibition in 3 chords” at the Binghamton University Art Museum.

Nov. 5 and 7: Tim Sutton’s Dark Night (2016, 86 minutes)

Loosely based around the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., Dark Night uses documentary-style techniques and a cast of nonprofessionals as it follows the activities of six strangers over the course of one day, the shooter among them.

Nov. 12 and 14: Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Life and Nothing More (2017, 114 minutes)

Stressed by her job in a diner, single mother Regina (Regina Williams) is raising her two children in northern Florida. When her 14-year-old son Andrew (Andrew Bleechington) has another brush with the law, she worries he’ll wind up in prison like his father. Méndez Esparza employs documentary-style realism in this snapshot of race, class and the bonds of family in contemporary America.

Nov. 19 and 21: Hong Sangsoo’s The Woman Who Ran (2020, 77 minutes)

The Woman Who Ran follows Gamhee (Kim Min-hee), who has three separate encounters with friends while her husband is on a business trip. Youngsoon (Seo Young-hwa) is divorced, has given up meat and likes to garden in her backyard. Suyoung (Song Seon-mi) has a crush on her architect neighbor and is being hounded by a young poet she met at the bar. Woojin (Kim Sae-byuk) works for a movie theater. Their meeting is polite, but strained; before long, their shared history bubbles to the surface.

About the film series

The Cinema Department began presenting significant films to the University community in 1965, emphasizing foreign and independent films, as well as important works from the historical archive. All foreign films are shown in their original language with English subtitles.

All screenings begin at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall 6; doors open at 7 p.m. Single admission costs $4, and tickets will be on sale during the evening of the screening. Students enrolled in CINE 121, however, can watch the series for free.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required before entry, although face masks are required of all attendees, regardless of vaccination status. All University public health policies will be enforced.

The Cinema Department invites the campus community to come out and see some fascinating films — safely.

“Everything looks better on the big screen, and every film is better when you see it with others!” Wall said.