A cinema
Credit: Glasgow Guardian

Preview: MSc Film Curation showcase

Across five very special nights, six of the MSc Film Curation students at the University of Glasgow will be showcasing five wildly different films, each curated to the individual curator’s tastes.

After working on their events across the last semester, each MSc student is proud to showcase their achievements: 

On 31 March at 8pm there will be a showing of Mohamad Ali-Talebi’s Willow and Wind (1999) at The Old Hairdressers. It begins with a broken pane of glass and follows the attempts of the boy who broke it to find a replacement, or face expulsion from school. Like Talebi’s other films it uses this slim plot outline (devised by Abbas Kiarostami) to create incredible tension from the simplest and seemingly mundane situations. Curator Joe Creely decided to screen this film “not only because it’s a superb and wildly under-screened film, but also because its combination of allegorical politicised anger, delicately rendered suspense and curious relationship with hope says so much to our strange, precarious era.”

On 6 April at 7:30pm legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog’s Family Romance, LLC (2019) will be shown at the Gilmorehill Cinema. The film tells the story of a Japanese “family member for hire” and the relationship he forms with a girl who hires him to act as her father. Ishii Yuichi, proprietor of the real-life company Family Romance, LLC, takes the lead as a fictionalised version of himself in this film that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. Curator Olly Perrett explains: “Family Romance, LLC is director Werner Herzog’s style as both a narrative and documentary filmmaker distilled to its essence. The first time I saw the film I was left wondering not only how much of it was real, but how much of my own, lived reality was constructed in ways I hadn’t considered. This film received a very limited theatrical run on initial release, so the opportunity to see it on the big screen should not be missed.”

Chinese film Balloon (2019) will be screened at the Gilmorehill Cinema on 7 April at 7pm. The film is written and directed by Tibetan director Pema Tseden, whose work “explores the relationship between Tibetan culture and contemporary society as a Tibetan.” The film depicts a family in the 1990s who are forced to make a series of embarrassing and unpleasant decisions over a condom. It also presents with realism the struggles and conflicts of Tibetan families faced with the dilemma of faith and secular choices. Curator Yifan Liu says: “Based on the traditional Tibetan culture and beliefs, Balloon discusses women’s roles and family relationships. The film’s exploration of reproductive rights and the awakening of women’s consciousness, as well as the confrontation and conflict between traditional beliefs and the true desires of individuals make it a gorgeously intimate family drama mixed with humour and sorrow. Balloon surprised and moved its audiences while bringing us closer to one of the most rural areas in the world.”

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) will be screened at a private cinema at 20 McPhater Street at 7pm, 8 April. The Marvel Universe unites in Infinity War, an epic, action-packed adventure. In addition to the film screening, there will be a discussion session for about half an hour. Curators Wei Kong and Changhai Chen (Kassdan) explain that “Superhero movies are often controversial. However, Infinity War is the most ambitious Marvel film to date, featuring an unprecedented 23 superheroes to enthral audiences worldwide. It grossed $2.048 billion worldwide, placing it fourth in cinema history. While achieving success at the box office, the film earned a high score of 8.5 on the IMDB, ranking it in the top 250 list. We hope to attract audiences to participate in film screenings and post-screening discussions to further explore the relationship between film, art, culture and commercial industries.”

On 14 April at 7pm a very special presentation of the 1966 kitchen sink drama The Family Way will be shown in the Gilmorehill Centre. The night will include a short lecture based around the themes and timeless relatability of the film and then a showing of the newly restored film itself. The film itself follows the lives of a young, married, working-class couple in the mid-1960s. Throughout the runtime of the film we see timelessly relatable issues in play such as love, anger, family issues and depression. Curator Jack Leslie explains his decision to choose this film: “The Family Way is a film that shows a time that has very much passed but which still, in its most basic form, has key similarities to the lives of young, working-class people in Britain today. Through showing this film I hope to show these similarities to a new audience that may not have seen it before and to try and champion the showcasing of young, working-class British people on screen.”

Links to tickets:

31 March – Willow and Wind 

6 April – Family Romance, LLC

7 April – Balloon

8 April – Avengers: Infinity War

14 April – The Family Way


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