By Ye Yuan
On the sixth floor of the B building, not accessible via the commonly used escalators, lies a mysteriously hidden boutique cinema.
Stepping on to the sixth floor was like walking into another dimension. The usual student clutter of desks and computers is replaced by fibrously painted white studios either filled with rows of easels or strangely beautiful objects.
It’s a perfect fit for Monash Film department’s newly renovated cinema, where Associate Professor Deane Williams plans to hold monthly showcases of alternative films that are hard to find in commercial cinemas.
For its opening screening this week, Associate Prof Williams chose the recent martial arts filmThe Grandmaster, by famed Hong-Kong second-wave filmmaker Wong Kar-wai. “In film studies, Wong Kar-wai’s a big name,” says Prof Williams.
“We use quite a few of his films in our teaching. “Everyone’s talking about this film as a ‘back to form’; My Blueberry Nights, his previous film, was not received so well and did poorly at the box office.”
Mostly known for his portrayal of drama and romance, this is Wong’s first dabbling in the realm of martial arts.
“In recent years, one of the things people have been saying is that martial arts films have become a bit predictable and what Wong’s done … was turned it into a very epic and highly stylized choreographed film, which seems to be less about the fighting then about the way in which they are represented,” Associate Prof Williams said.
“One of the key scenes is … it’s not a fight scene, the Grandmaster Yip Man is trying to knock a cake out of his hand … so it’s more about the choreographing, the shooting and the very complicated special arrangements that he constructs with his camera and editing.”
Critics have found many technical pleasures in the film.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine said: “You leave this deeply flawed, deeply beautiful film with no doubt that you’ve seen an indisputable cinematic grandmaster in action.”
However, martial arts fans might be sorely disappointed as the film is less about the action and more about the artistic depiction of the action.
The new film venue at Monash was previously used as a video promotions studio. With the arrival of the digital age, the room’s function was rendered obsolete, and it had been out of use for five or six years before being rediscovered and revamped by the film department.
Films to be shown will usually run as supplementary to course content, providing students with further insight on key issues.
Future screenings on the list include the Pussy Riot documentary, Made in America and Sweet Grass.
The Cinema of Sean Penn to launch in St Kilda
Monash University’s Associate Professor Deane Williams, an expert in film and screen studies, will celebrate the launch of his new book, The Cinema of Sean Penn: In and Out of Place at Readings, Acland St, St Kilda on February 25 at 6pm.
PhD Scholarships in Australian Film, Television and Media History
Three full-time, funded, scholarships available for PhD candidates to undertake research into Utilitarian Filmmaking in … Continue reading PhD Scholarships in Australian Film, Television and Media History
Public Lecture: Lesley Stern – How Does (the) Cinema Feel About (the) Animal?
On Thursday November 12th, renowned film scholar Professor Lesley Stern presented a public lecture at … Continue reading Public Lecture: Lesley Stern – How Does (the) Cinema Feel About (the) Animal?
Getting to know … Therese Davis
Monash University film lecturer Associate Professor Therese Davis is co-writing a book about Australian Indigenous filmmaking with Dr Romaine Moreton, who is a philosopher and Indigenous filmmaker.
New Directions in Screen Studies
A group of Monash Film and Screen Studies postgraduates have been especially busy over … Continue reading New Directions in Screen Studies
Calling all students! AFI membership offer
Want to attend free advanced screenings of Australian film and TV? Want to chat with … Continue reading Calling all students! AFI membership offer
Martin launches Mise en Scène and Film Style
Adrian Martin, an Adjunct Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University, launched his book, Mise en Scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art, on February 26.
CFP – Cinema at the End of the World
International Conference 16–19 November 2015 Call for Papers Every day hundreds of people travel back … Continue reading CFP – Cinema at the End of the World
CFP – New Directions in Screen Studies
Call for Papers New Directions in Screen Studies: A National Conference for Postgraduates and Early … Continue reading CFP – New Directions in Screen Studies
Under Construction Seminar Series 2015
2-4 pm in Room H805/06.Caulfield Campus. First Monday of every month during Semester Next Session: … Continue reading Under Construction Seminar Series 2015
Symposium – Digital Media as Method
The Digital Media as Method symposium was convened by Deane Williams. Held November 13-14 2014, … Continue reading Symposium – Digital Media as Method
Visiting scholar Thomas Elsaesser on Film Theory in the Digital Age
Affect and Appropriation: Film Theory in the Digital Age October 13, 2014. Australian Centre for … Continue reading Visiting scholar Thomas Elsaesser on Film Theory in the Digital Age