“Experimental Intimacies: The Films of Eva Stefani”
Michelson Theater, Department of Cinema Studies, NYU, 2018

Since completing the Certificate Program in Culture & Media and receiving her MA from NYU’s Department of Cinema Studies in 1991, Eva Stefani has made over 30 films exploring the complexities, contradictions, joys, and hardships of life in the margins in contemporary Greece.

Her observational documentaries have engaged with a wide swath of Greek society — immigrants and emigrants, street vendors, poets, sex workers, artists, orphans, the sick and the elderly, the incarcerated — always with the same care, gentle humor, and humble eye that reflect the deep intimacy she builds with her subjects. A sharper critical edge characterizes her experimental films, which often make subversive use of archival footage, to tangle with larger questions of ancient heritage, national symbols, and gendered experience.

In this screening, Stefani returns to NYU to show a selection of short- and medium-length films, spanning over 20 years, exploring womanhood and the female body.

Eva Stefani is Associate Professor of Film History and Theory at the University of Athens and Visiting Professor at Freie Universität Berlin. She has a PhD in Visual Anthropology & Ethnographic Film from Panteion University, Athens. Her work has screened at festivals and venues around the world, including IDFA, Cinema du Reel, the Margaret Mead Festival, and documenta 14. In 2019, she will be one of three artists featured in the Greek Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.

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  “Dark Matter: The Films of Sarah Christman, Matt Town and Carolyn Lazard”
Peephole Cinema, Brooklyn, NY, 2015

The cosmological concept of dark matter has served as a useful metaphor to describe the hidden structures underlying a variety of social worlds. As Gregory Sholette writes about the art world, its “dark matter” functions as an invisible twin to the visible world — a largely unseen body of people, places and practices that exists in parallel to, and even conditions, the visible world, but can only be sensed or known through its effects. Here, we apply the concept of dark matter to our experience of the city, its built environment, its social structures. In these films, we glimpse this invisible city.

Sarah Christman, Outside Over There
Matt Town, Protest
Carolyn Lazard, The Blues

See more: www.peepholecinema.com/brooklyn-current/

  “In the Valley of the Uncanny: Humans and Humanoids”
Panel presentation with Graham Burnett, John Bell, Allison de Fren, Asif Ghazanfar, Laurie O’Brien, UnionDocs: Center for Documentary Art, Brooklyn, 2013

Puppets, robots, cyborgs, sex dolls, automata. These not-quite-human beings alternately – sometimes simultaneously – attract, move and repulse us, populating the social landscape as our toys, our tools, our companions and our fantasies.

In the 1970s, Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori first used the term “The Uncanny Valley” to describe the profoundly unsettling sense of the non-human in these human-like beings. Building on Freud’s definition of the uncanny as the feeling of strangeness in something familiar, Mori’s theories have since become influential in fields as diverse as puppetry, psychology, animation and video games.

Our guests take us on a tour of the Uncanny Valley, exploring the horrors as well as the pleasures of the not-quite-human. John Bell traces a history of the uncanny in puppetry; Allison de Fren shares her short documentary on robot fetishists; Asif Ghazanfar discusses his research on the Uncanny Valley effect among monkeys; and Laurie O’Brien introduces us to Toby the Puppet. Together, they examine and indulge in the enduring human fascination with the humanoid.

See more: www.uniondocs.org/2013-01-12-the-uncanny-valley-humans-and-humanoids/

  Rob Todd and Rebecca Meyers screening
Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard, 2008

  darla’s choice cuts, screening
Cambridge, 2006

Darla’s Choice Cuts is a series of monthly screenings that take place in alternating and unlikely locations in the Boston area. Darla’s provides an intimate and informal setting to view underground, experimental and otherwise undershown films.

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