POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – From March 27-June 5 the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center will present a free, weekly, outdoor film series on Thursday evenings -- in conjunction with both the museum's new exhibition "Out of Shape: Stylistic Distortions of the Human Form in Art from the Logan Collection," and with its weekly “Late Night at the Lehman Loeb” program. The screenings will begin at 7:30 on the campus lawn alongside the Art Center, or in Taylor Hall room 203 during inclement weather.
The film series kicks off with a double feature on Thursday, March 27, with the 1932 film "Freaks" by Tod Browning, followed by "Un Chien Andalou" (1929), directed by Luis Buñuel and co-written by Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. Films in the series span several decades, including John Frankenstein's "Seconds" (1966), "Pumping Iron," the bodybuilding documentary famously featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger (1977), "Dead Ringers" by David Cronenberg (1988), "Being John Malkovich" (1999), and Pedro Almodóvar's "Talk to Her" (2002).
“Late Night at the Lehman Loeb” extends the museum's hours every Thursday until 9:00 p.m., for the public to tour the galleries, attend special performances, and enjoy refreshments. Admission to the museum is always free.
COMPLETE RUNDOWN OF THE "OUT OF SHAPE" FILM SERIES
March 27, 2008 [double feature]
Directed by Tod Browning
A traveling carnival’s beautiful trapeze artist seduces and marries the midget leader of the sideshow performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him to steal his inheritance. Freaks explores the dynamics of inclusive social groups and tells the age-old moral that exterior and interior beauty are not always aligned. The film is also notable for its casting of actors with real deformities, rather than using makeup and effects.
Un Chien Andalou, 1929
Directed by Luis Buñuel, written by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí
Buñuel’s famous surrealist short substitutes a conventional plot for a series of expressionistic images. Following Freudian “dream logic,” Un Chien Andalou aims to shock and amaze its viewers with a mix of erotic, puzzling, and disturbing visions. Buñuel and Dalí had one rule in writing the film: "no idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted."
April 3, 2008
Eyes Without a Face, 1959
Directed by George Franju
Eyes Without a Face is a French horror film about a girl who loses most of her face in an accident and her obsessive father who seeks to restore her physical beauty. Like Shelley’s Frankenstein, it features a mad scientist who tries to reign over nature, ultimately failing, and here at the hand of his creation. The film has had a lasting influence, even on American films such as John Carpenter’s Halloween and John Woo’s Face/Off.
April 10, 2008
Directed by John Frankenstein
A man bored with his job and marriage is invited to join a secret organization, known only as The Company, faking his death and providing him with a new identity (and a new actor). While he is originally excited by his new job, friends, and renewed youth, he comes to desire his old life but discovers too late this request to The Company will more than terminate his employment. Seconds uses the human body as a metaphor for capitalist commodities, exchangeable and disposable in the forward motion of the film’s sinister corporation.
April 17, 2008
Pumping Iron, 1977
Directed by Robert Fiore
Pumping Iron is a documentary following three bodybuilders (famously featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger) in preparation for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe competitions. Considered the definitive documentary on bodybuilding, the film considers both the physical transformation and maintenance of these competitive bodies and the politics and psychological aspects of the sport.
April 24, 2008
Altered States, 1980
Directed by Ken Russell
Edward Jessup (William Hurt) is a university scientist obsessed with discovering the origin and meaning of life through direct experience, in contrast to his struggles with the mundane nature of daily life. Jessup begins experimenting with sensory-deprivation experiments using a floatation tank, and travels to Mexico to participate in a ceremony using psychotropic mushrooms with resulting bizarre imagery. Jessup combines his experimentation of sensory deprivation with the mushrooms and undergoes a series of transformations, experiencing biological devolution. Declining from a Neanderthal-like humanoid, to a giant amoeba, and finally into a swirling, primordial mass, only to be rescued by his wife and restored to his humanity.
May 1, 2008
The Thing, 1982
Directed by John Carpenter
An Antarctic research station is infiltrated by an alien creature with the ability to perfectly imitate any organic life form that it physically contacts. The crew of the station comes to distrust each other, as they cannot discern who is human and who is not. This results in many deaths, either by members being transformed into the creature or by each other. Though mostly a genre film on the surface, The Thing thematically contemplates the defining characters of humanity and questions whether we will be our own apocalyptic downfall.
May 8, 2008
The Fly, 1986
Directed by David Cronenberg
Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is a genius, albeit fringe, scientist developing unprecedented work in teleportation. His enthusiasm for the project leads him to experiment on himself prematurely, with disastrous results. As Brundle mutates into a human-fly hybrid, Cronenberg both stuns his audience with his horrific vision of hybridization between man and insect and instills an age-old moral.
May 15, 2008
Dead Ringers, 1988
Directed by David Cronenberg
In Dead Ringers, Jeremy Irons stars in a dual role of identical twins Elliot and Beverly Mantle. The Mantles are successful gynecologists, sharing a practice and dividing the tasks of progress and research (performed by the more introverted Elliot) and their public face (easily maintained by suave Beverly). The twins enter a downward spiral after first competing over the same woman and subsequent drug addictions. Through the setting of medicine and the ideal subjects of identical twins, Dead Ringers explore the physical, emotional, and psychological connections between those who share identical DNA.
May 22, 2008
Being John Malkovich, 1999
Directed by Spike Jonze
Protagonist Craig Swartz (John Cusack) is an unsuccessful puppeteer whose life enters the fantastic when his wife forces him to get a job as a file clerk. Instantly unusual, his employer Lestercorp’s is located on the 7 ½th floor of its building. Stranger yet, one of its doors is a portal into the body of actor John Malkovich. A strange love triangle emerges between Craig and his wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), both interested in Craig’s co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) and both pursuing her from the body of John Malkovich. As the film’s tagline (“ever wanted to be someone else?”) suggests, Being John Malkovich explores identity, appearance, and individuality.
May 29, 2008
Silence of the Lambs, 1991
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Silence of the Lambs portrays the relationship of two now-iconic characters, famous psychiatrist and serial killer Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) and FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), as they unconventionally work together to find another killer, Buffalo Bill. Violence, both committed by the human body and upon it, is central in not only the murders, but in the depictions of cannibalism and the artwork of Buffalo Bill, who uses the flesh of his victims for a surprising purpose.
June 5, 2008
Talk to Her, 2002
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Talk to Her tells the interwoven stories of two comatose women and the men that love them. Using a nonlinear narrative, Almodóvar shows how these characters have come to know each other, how each of the women fell comatose, and their respective fates. Thematically focused on the difficultly of communication between the sexes, infidelity, and loneliness, the film’s originality springs from its combination of traditional storytelling and bizarre dreamscapes.
ABOUT THE FRANCES LEHMAN LOEB ART CENTER
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building’s primary donor, opened in 1993. The Lehman Loeb Art Center’s collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 16,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college’s inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American twentieth century painters. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with a permanent art collection and gallery, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar’s extensive collections.
MUSEUM HOURS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free. The Art Center is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and Sunday. 1:00 –5:00 p.m. Located at the entrance to the historic Vassar College campus, the Art Center can be reached within minutes from other Mid-Hudson cultural attractions, such as Dia: Beacon, the Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt national historic sites and homes, and the Culinary Institute of America. The Art Center is wheelchair accessible. For more information, the public may call (845) 437-5632 or visit fllac.vassar.edu.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.