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Utopian Cinema #2: L'an 01 & Metallurgy of the Subject

****Every Wednesday & Saturday from 20:00 - 22:00****
(21:00 on August 17)

Full schedule & class description below.

2nd SCREENING: L'AN 01 &

L'an 01 (1973, Jacques Doillon w/ Alain Resnais & Jean Rouch):
A series of comedic vignettes depicting the first year of a post-revolutionary society: financiers throw themselves off of skyscrapers, prison guards spontaneously release all prisoners, roads are turned into gardens, people throw away their house keys, a boy adopts the hobby of collecting now valueless paper money, etc.

Metallurgy of the Subject (2013, Dean Kenning - Q&A with director over Skype):
The animation Metallurgy of the Subject, part of a larger project of the same name, stems from an attempt to think through recent philosophical re-conceptions of 'community' and 'communism' by Jean Luc-Nancy, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben and others, through an allegory of alchemical sacrifice and transmutation.


For at least 40 years, cinematic depictions of dystopia have been more or less ubiquitous in our culture. The converse, however - films about utopia - are extraordinarily rare throughout film history.

This dearth of specimens is probably the reason why films depicting utopia have rarely been considered alongside one another or theorized as a genre.

But we want to do just that.

Twice a week throughout the month of August, we will watch a selection of “utopian” films and then discuss them as a group.

How do these films mark the societies they depict as utopian? What cliches do we notice? What moments of originality strike us? How is the depiction of utopia conditioned by the time, place and circumstances in which the film was made? How is spectator or narrative interest created around a subject that implies the absence of conflict? How do the films' aesthetics relate to their political perspectives? Is there something utopian itself about the way the film is constructed?

Lastly: I would like to take notes during the discussion portion of the class, and at the end of the month use these notes as the basis to create a short zine on the subject. This would serve as a document of our investigations together and as a starting point for anyone else interested in Utopian Cinema. Any other participants would be welcome to contribute reflections on the films we watched, or artwork or writing inspired by them. Free copies would then be printed up and distributed during the last week of the school.

Wednesday, August 3, 20.00:
(in conjunction with the Decolonizing Utopia working group)
• Lost Horizon (1937, Frank Capra)

Sunday, August 7, 20.00:
• Metallurgy of the Subject (2013, Dean Kenning - Q&A with director over Skype)
• L’An 01 (The Year 01) (1973, Jacques Doillon w/ Alain Resnais & Jean Rouch)

Wednesday, August 10, 20.00:
(in conjunction with the Decolonizing Utopia working group)
• Mdree-Bahree Land of the Sea (2015, Miriam Haile - Q&A with director in person)
• The Last Angel of History (1996, John Akomfrah and the Black Audio Film Collective)

Sunday, August 14, 20.00:
(in conjunction with the Decolonizing Utopia working group)
• Ah, Liberty! (2008, Ben Rivers)
• Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012, Benh Zeitlin)

Wednesday, August 17, 21.00:
(in conjunction with the Decolonizing Utopia working group)
• Born in Flames (1983, Lizzie Borden)

Sunday, August 21, 20.00:
• Hook (1991, Steven Spielberg)

Wednesday, August 24, 20.00:
• Celebration (2005, Helena Muskens & Quirine Racké)
• Wasteland Utopias (2010, David Sherman)

Sunday, August 28, 20.00:
• Films produced in the Practical Filmmaking workshop
• Mister Lonely (2007, Harmony Korine)

Earlier Event: August 7
People's Kitchen: Sister's Cuisine
Later Event: August 8
Creating Our Own Foodsharing Network