Study Irish Cinema in Dublin, Summer Study Abroad, 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic still prevails globally, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. How long till we reach the light is yet unknown, but the approved vaccinations (Pfizer, Moderna, and soon possibly others) puts “normal” in arm’s reach. So what of the College’s 2021 Study Abroad programs? They are currently “a go.” When we reach March 1 of next year, the Provost, Dr. Suzanne Austin, will make a final decision as to whether or not the College will proceed with its slate of Summer Study Abroad programs.

So with that in mind, I’d like to recommend to anyone interested in Study Abroad, the Irish and Irish-American Studies program’s Dublin, Ireland program, which runs May 30 – June 26. This faculty-led program offers five courses, of which students enroll in two (6 credits total). Among the five courses is Dr. John Bruns’s ENGL 390: Ireland and the Irish Imagination in Cinema, which counts toward Cluster 3 (Specialized Topics in Film & Other Media) of the Film Studies minor. If you’ve already taken an ENGL 390 course, you can still enroll, as students can take up to 6 credits of ENGL 390.

For more information about the program, click this link. Please contact Dr. Joe Kelly if you have any questions.

Dr. Colleen Glenn, Associate Professor of English & Film Studies, to Give Talk on Jimmy Stewart, 11/17

The Department of English’s next Teacher-Scholar Tuesday talk will feature Dr. Colleen Glenn, Associate Professor of English and Film Studies. On Tuesday, November 17 at 4:00pm on Zoom, Dr. Glenn will give a presentation of her work. The talk, entitled “Jimmy Stewart’s War in the West,” deals with the ways in which the Western genre is perfect vehicle for Stewart’s redefinition of his pre-WWII Hollywood persona. It is part of a larger project on the Post-WWII films of Jimmy Stewart. Teacher-Scholar Tuesday is open to all faculty, students, and staff. Join us next Tuesday at 4:00pm. Zoom invite available upon request. Just email the Director of Film Studies, Dr. John Bruns.

The Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival is Next Week!

Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival, in partnership with the Dante Alighieri Society and Italian Consulate of Miami, is proud to announce the 14th edition of the annual celebration of contemporary Italian cinema and culture.

The 2020 event, set for Nov. 18 and 19 at the Charleston Music Hall, will feature four recent movies: Refugees in Cinecittà by Marco Bertozzi (5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18); The Goddess of Fortune by Ferzan Ozpetek (8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18); Say It Loud by Guido Chiesa (5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19); and Champion by Leonardo D’Agostini (8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19).

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an abbreviated festival and prevented organizers from including special guests from Italy or assembling a jury for the purpose of honoring an audience-selected “best film.” Charleston Music Hall will implement strict protocols to ensure the safety of all patrons, limiting occupancy of the 950-seat venue to 250 people, enforcing social distancing rules, requiring the use of masks and choreographing movement throughout the space, among other measures.

Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at College of Charleston students, faculty and staff with a CofC ID get in free. Tickets also will be sold at the box office only on the days of the festival.This year’s festival is co-sponsored by the Yashik Foundation and the Dante Alighieri Society.

Schedule of Spring 2021 Film Courses

Here’s a preliminary list of courses offered Spring 2021 that will count toward FMST credit. Please check back frequently for updates/changes. Click highlighted text for course description (if available).

ENGL 212.03
Cinema: History & Criticism*
Dr. Bruns

ENGL 212.04
Cinema: History & Criticism*
Dr. Bruns
ENGL 212.01
Cinema: History & Criticism*
Dr. Glenn
ENGL 212.02
Cinema: History & Criticism*
Dr. Glenn
ENGL 351
Studies in American Film*
Dr. Glenn
ARST 240
Arab Societies through Film**
Dr. Davidson
MWF 11:00-11:50
Room: TBA

ARTS 235
Special Topics: Video
Art and the Art of Video***
MW 2:00  – 3:50
Sherae L. Rimpsey
CATO 402

ARTS 318
Themes and
MW 4:00  – 5:50
Sherae L. Rimpsey
CATO 414
LTGR 270
Studies in German Film:
Contemporary German Cinema**
MW 3:25 – 4:40
Dr. Koerner
Room: TBA
LTIT 270
Introduction to Italian Cinema**
TR 3:05 – 4:20
Dr. De Luca

LTRS 270
Studies in Russian Film**
Dr. Erman
THTR 288.01
Selected Topics I: Lit & Criticism:
Creating Visual Language in Film***
Evan Parry
MW 5:00 – 6:15/ONLINE
THTR 350.02
Selected Topics in Communication
Production: Screenwriting I***
Rodney Paul Rogers
TR 9:25 – 10:40/ ONLINE
THTR 488
Selected Topics II:
Lit & Criticism: Screenwriting II***
Rodney Paul Rogers
TR 10:50 – 12:05 /

* meets the requirement for Cluster 1 of the FMST minor
** meets the requirement for Cluster 2 of the FMST minor
*** meets the requirement for Cluster 3 of the FMST minor

Happy Birthday to Charleston’s own Bill Murray

Bill Murray turns 70 today. While sightings are scarce lately in Charleston, we hope to to be bumping into him soon (at a time when bumping is safe again). What are your favorite Bill Murray films? Caddyshack? Lost in TranslationRushmore? Ghostbusters? Perhaps there are lesser-known Bill Murray films you have not yet seen, such as Coffee and CigarettesWhere the Buffalo RoamEd WoodTootise. Regardless, tonight’s a good night for some Billy.

Happy Birthday, Bill!…uh, Bill?

Movie-going in the era of COVID-19

Here’s an interesting article from today’s New York Times about the opening weekend performance of Christopher Nolan’s latest mind-bending film, Tenet. It brought in $20.2 million. Consider that last fall’s Joker earned nearly twice that just on its opening day (and $96 million for its opening weekend). So the consensus for Tenet (and for Hollywood)? Not good, but not bad either, considering.

There was an interesting article in The Hollywood Reporter last April about how Hollywood fared during the 1918 flu pandemic, which is also worth the read. In Los Angeles alone, movie theaters lost a reported movie $1 million a week (about $17 million a week today). But by Spring 1919, when the spread of the flu had slowed, the movie theaters re-opened, and people were flocking to see films like Daddy Long Legs, starring Mary Pickford Here’s an image from the film (directed by Marshall Neilan for First National Pictures, and produced by its star). In it we see masked people scatter as a woman sneezes.

What other movies did audiences flock to see in early 1919? D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms and True Heart Susie, both starring Lillian Gish (who had long since recovered from the flu), James Cruz’s The Roaring Road starring Wallace Reid, The Test of Honor starring John Barrymore (Drew Barrymore’s grandfather), and The Knickerbocker Buckaroo, starring Douglas Fairbanks. Also: The Homesteader, directed by the pioneering African American filmmaker Oscar Michaeaux, premiered in February at the Vendome Theatre, Chicago, to a packed house. The highest grossing film in 1919 was George Loane Tucker’s The Miracle Man, starring Betty Compson and Lon Chaney. It earned $3,000,000 (about $46 today).

And did you know that United Artists, the first major independent motion picture company, was founded February, 1919, by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W Griffith? (featured, in that order, below)

Overall, Hollywood had quite the bounce-back after the 1918 flu pandemic. We’ll see what happens in 2021.

Welcome–and welcome back!

It’s a brand new academic year–and an odd one for that. With a combination of asynchronous and synchronous online courses and, in time, hybrid face-to-face/online courses, this semester is presenting and will continue to present significant challenges. As we move forward in the semester, the Film Studies program, in collaboration with the Student Film Club (now under new leadership!), will make concerted efforts to ensure that this is a lively and engaging semester. So stay tuned for news regarding upcoming (virtual) events!

We would like to welcome back our returning Film Studies minors. It’ll be a great joy to see you again (virtually for now)! And we would also like to extend a special welcome to our new Film Studies minors. Hello!! As soon as it is absolutely safe to do so, the Film Studies program will be thrilled to host an open House (which is what we typically do in the Fall term) so that we can all be together. In the meantime, let’s stay safe and make the most of the semester.

Our hats off to the Film Studies Program’s Class of 2020!

Why not keep the good news rolling? While I had thought about waiting a few more days, I was inspired by the stream of good news rolling out today for our Student Film Club and Film Studies minors. On behalf of the Film Studies faculty, congratulations to the graduating class of 2020! While we can’t celebrate with you on the Cistern in May or cheer you on in August, we offer our hearty huzzahs to you here!

Abigail Calvert (History)
Dan Colella (English)
William Dukes (English)
Bailey Fallon (Marine Biology)
Noah Goodman (English)
Dorian Holnes (Communication)
Brittany Lamar (Arts Management)
Keyasia Pride (English-Creative Writing)
Eli Salbia (Communication)
Lindsey Scott (English)
William Simmons (English-Creative Writing)
William Turner (International Studies-Europe Concentration)

Zoey Meecha (Communication)
Taiwo Ojediran (International Studies-European Concentration)
Cass Ronan (Historic Preservation and Community Planning)
Patrick Shannon (Finance)

Announcing the winners of the 15th Annual Student Film Festival!

Why not add more good news to good news? On top of our learning that the Student Film Club was awarded Student Organization of the Year, and that Dan Colella was awarded the Student Organization Presidential award and the Cistern award, here is the announcement for the winners of the 15the Annual Student Film Festival.

Congratulations to Bridget Conway, for her film Untalented Show, winner of Best Film!

Congratulations too, Anthony and Sean Parenti for their film Bob the Builder (Best Film Runner-Up), Noah Goodman, for his film Memories (Best Film Second Runner-Up), and Brittany Lamar for her film, A Dancer’s Shadow (Audience Award).

On behalf of the Film Studies Program, we’d like to thank all the contributors, the judges, and of course the Student Film Club for very quickly and efficiently making this a virtual event. It’s incredible that everyone pulled this off on such short notice. We had hoped to celebrate together at Queen Street Playhouse, but we’ll shoot for next year! You can view all the films on the Student Film Club’s YouTube page here.

Student Film Club and Film Club President recognized for exceptional leadership with SAIL awards!

We’re delighted to announce that the Student Film Club and Film Club President Dan Colella (’20) have received Student Achievement, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL) awards for 2019-2020! The SAIL Awards Program includes the highest awards for exceptional student leadership at the College of Charleston. The Awards ceremony originally scheduled for April 16 in Stern Center Ballroom was canceled, so award recipients were notified this morning via email. The Student Film Club received the SAIL award for Student Organization of the Year, and Dan Colella received the Student Organization Presidential Award. With all the Student Film Club has accomplished this year–holding its annual screenwriting competition, its annual (this year, virtual) Student Film Festival, and giving students opportunities in digital production, and more–it comes as no surprise. The Student Film Club, its leadership (Dan Colella, Eli Saliba, Noah Goodman) and its membership, richly deserve this highest honor. And for those of us who know Dan and have worked with him, we believe the Student Organization Presidential Award couldn’t have been given to a more deserving student. And we are doubly pleased to announce that Dan was also awarded the Cistern award for his work in Student Life! Dan is wildly enthusiastic about the cinema, and this enthusiasm takes him beyond the creative process and serves him well as one of the most gifted student leaders we in the Film Studies program have come across at the College of Charleston. Our hats off to Dan and the Student Film Club!

From left to right: Dan Colella (President), Eli Saliba, and Noah Goodman (Treasurer).