VOL. 126 | NO. 138 | Monday, July 18, 2011
A story from The Memphis News
On newsstands throughout the city
Faraway Films on Tap at Indie Series
JONATHAN DEVIN | Special to The Memphis News
Summer sequels and Hollywood blockbusters are dominating the big screen this season, but a slightly smaller screen in Midtown is offering something off the beaten path.
Hollywood meets Bosnia-Herzegovina and a number of faraway cultures in Indie Memphis’ Global Lens Film Series, continuing through the end of August at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art’s auditorium.
(Photos: Courtesy of the Global Film Initiative)
Indie Memphis’ Global Lens Film Series continues through the end of August with new, original films from the farthest corners of the earth.
“The focus is generally films from countries that you don’t often get to see films from,” said Erik Jambor, executive director of Indie Memphis. “It’s foreign language titles from places like Georgia, Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina. So it’s a chance to experience all these cultures.”
That’s right – no battling robots, but all nine films in the series are feature-length, fictional narratives, many of them award winners in their own countries. Some are submitted in the foreign language category of the Academy Awards.
The Global Film Initiative in San Francisco is responsible for bringing the collection of films together, curating them and sharing them with partner groups like Indie Memphis across the country.
For five years Indie Memphis presented the Global Lens series in one weekend in the fall, but last year, with the help of a grant from the First Tennessee Foundation, they began stretching it across the summer enabling more Memphians to see the films.
All films are screened in the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art’s auditorium.
As with most indies, deep subject matter is par for the course – the aftermath of war, elicit cross-cultural relationships, and the sweeping effects of modern industrial life on developing cultures form the tableaus for the various plotlines.
In “Belvedere,” which screens July 24 at 2 p.m. and July 29 at 2 p.m., a widow, searching for the remains of her husband and son, finds a new perspective on life by caring for her extended family. The film takes place about 15 years after the campaign of ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims claimed the lives of thousands in the Balkan conflict. The film was directed by Ahmed Imamovi of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Jambor said that none of the films have been rated in the United States, so parents should use good judgment about suitability for children.
“A lot of these films, like ‘Belvedere,’ deal with the tragedy of war so it’s a heavy subject,” Jambor said. ‘But they’re films that are very close to the hearts of filmmakers. They’re not run through the massive film industries. They’re very personal.”
In “Soul of Sand” (“Pairon Talle”), director Sidharth Srinivasan, explores the divisions of India’s caste system by following a watchman at an abandoned mine who is drawn into a love triangle between a wealthy landlord’s daughter, her lower-caste lover, and a masked murderer. The film will be screened July 28 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 5 at 2 p.m.
Some of the films are a bit more lighthearted though. The series concludes with “A Useful Life” (“La Vida Útil), an Oscar candidate by director Federico Veiroj of Uruguay, about an art-house movie critic forced to move on after bad financial times close the local cinema for good. It screens Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. and Aug. 26 at 2 p.m.
The complete schedule of films is listed at www.indiememphis/globallens.org. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door or by calling the Brooks box office at 544-6208. Brooks subscribers will receive a discount. Indie Memphis subscribers and Brooks VIP Film Pass holders are admitted free.
“It’s for people who like to try new things,” Jambor said. “You see that across independent films in general. A lot of the programming we do tends to be pretty broad, because people like to explore things they don’t know much about.”
The entire series will return to Memphis beginning in mid-November when Indie Memphis partners with the Friends of the Library for screenings at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.