Film-Thinking

Film-Thinking asks how cinema can help us to think the many challenges facing our moment. According to the novelist Jonathan Coe, “A movie is something we should only see when somebody else shows it to us.” In the spirit of Coe’s remark, each Film-Thinking event comprises a curated screening of a film and a post-screening conversation. A pre-circulated Film Note offers a point of departure for the screening and the discussion. The aim of Film-Thinking is to enlarge our sense of the politics of cinema and collectively expand our understanding of film’s capacity for thought. The series is convened by Timothy Bewes, Professor of English. 

Upcoming Events

Details of future events will be displayed soon.

Previous Events

  • This Film-Thinking event featured Zinda Bhaag (Run for your Life, 115 minutes, in Punjabi with English subtitles), a 2013 Pakistani drama film co-directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi. The film focuses on the issue of illegal migration. The screening was followed by a conversation with Ulka Anjari, Professor of English and South Asian Studies at Brandeis University, and Brown University faculty Karan Mahajan, Assistant Professor of Literary Arts, and Vazira Zamindar, Associate Professor of History.

    Film Note

    More Information Film-Thinking, Humanities
  • This second Film-Thinking event featured The Mirror (Aynet), a 1997 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi. The post-screening conversation included Brown University faculty Shahzad Bashir, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, Timothy Bewes, Interim Director of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, and Samine Tabatabaei, Visiting Assistant Professor in Iranian Studies.

    The Mirror
    Iran, 1997 (95 mins)
    Written and directed by Jafar Panahi
    Cast: Mina Mohammad-Khani, Kazem Mojdehi, Naser Omuni, M. Shirzad, T. Samadpour | Production: Jafar Panahi and Vahid Nikkhah-Azzad | Cinematography: Farzad Jadat | Editing: Jafar Panahi | Assistant Director: Hassan Yektapanah | Sound: Mohammad Reza Delpak and Yadollah Najafi
    Language: Persian with English subtitles

    When a young girl becomes lost in the hustle and bustle of Tehran, her journey turns into a dazzling exercise on the nature of film itself. In this ingenious and daringly original feature, world renowned director Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, Crimson Gold) has wrapped a blunt political critique inside the layers of a deceptively simple film. — [from video jacket]

    Film Note 

    Read the conversation’s transcript More Information Film-Thinking, Humanities
  • This first Film-Thinking event featured a screening of The Death of Maria Malibran (104 minutes, in German with English subtitles), directed by Werner Schroeter (Germany, 1972), a series of tableaux from the life of the 19th-century opera diva who died at age 28, and a post-screening conversation with philosophy and film scholars Alexander García Düttmann, Gertrud Koch, and Peter Szendy. See the film note.

    Alexander García Düttmann is Professor of Philosophy and the Theory of Art at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. Gertrud Koch is Visiting Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University and Professor of Film Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany. Peter Szendy is the David Herlihy Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature.

    Read the conversation’s transcript More Information Film-Thinking, Humanities