Movie nights provide visual context for design students

The York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design is inviting the York University community to its final three Art & Design History movie nights, which began earlier this term. The screenings, held Thursdays at 7pm, take place in Accolade West, Room 306. Admission is free.

“We developed this film series to provide some biographical and visual context for the design history that our students are learning,” said Sheridan design Professor Brian Donnelly. “For example, seeing the period costumes and architecture of Vienna in Bride of the Wind helps us understand the designs and posters of the Vienna Secession by artists such as Klimt and Kokoschka, while Moulin Rouge is both an imaginative recreation of Paris night life, circa 1900, and an example of postmodern pastiche in itself. “

Here’s a glimpse of the upcoming screenings:

Nov. 17: Stanley Donen’s Funny Face (1957) is a musical and romantic comedy which tells the story of Audrey, a shy, intellectual bookstore clerk who is swept away into the glamorous world of haute-couture by a fashion photographer and a chic magazine editor. The film features an all-star cast (Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson), great Givenchy clothes and some Gershwin classics.

Nov. 24: Julian Schnabel’s Basquiat (1996) provides an insider’s look at the kinetic New York art world, told through the life story of Jean-Michel Basquiat. A 19-year-old graffiti artist who catapulted to superstardom with his controversial paintings, Basquiat rubbed elbows with the likes of Andy Warhol and Julian Schnabel before burning out permanently at the age of 27. Schnabel, himself a celebrated figure in the art world, makes his directing debut. The film has an illustrious cast, including rock-god David Bowie in a brilliant Warhol impersonation.

Dec. 1: Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi (1983) is a documentary as well as a visual concert of images, set to the haunting music of Phillip Glass. The film opens on ancient Native American cave drawings with chants of “Koyaanisqatsi”, which is a Hopi Indian term for “life out of balance”. It progresses from natural environments to, finally, a manmade environment, devoid of nature and in chaos and disarray. Reggio uses extensive time-lapse photography to make evocative comparisons between different types of physical motion.

For more information about the film series call ext. 55885.