Monday, November 5, 2007

Tuesday, November 6

UWM Union Theater / Experimental Tuesdays
7pm *FREE*
We will live to see these things:
An Evening with The Speculative Archive
Artists David Thorne & Julia Meltzer in person!

The Speculative Archive generates acts of research and observation that re-collect existing data and narratives into serial, provocative, and revealing new combinations. Tonight's program will include the five-part documentary video We will live to see these things (2007), with each of the video's sections offering a different perspective on what might come to pass in a place – specifically Syria – where people live between the competing forces of a repressive regime, a growing conservative Islamic movement, and intense pressure from the United States.

Wednesday, November 7

Noon at Alterra
Coffee with DocUquarium guest filmmaker Maria Finitzo (Terra Incognita)
Alterra Coffee Roasters – 2211 N. Prospect Ave.
Join us for an intimate chat with the filmmaker.

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DocUquarium Series – every Wednesday September 5-December 5
“Dive deep” into the newest independent documentaries this fall as filmmaker/professor Brad Lichtenstein opens up his film 301 class to the public. Nine premieres, guests every month and deep explor ation guaranteed. Check the complete schedule at and the blog at

This Week’s DocUquarium:
UWM Union Theater
7h30pm *FREE*
Terra Incognita
(Maria Finitzo, USA, 100 min, 2007)

Director Maria Finitzo in person!

Terra Incognita tells the story of Dr. Jack Kessler, the current chair of Northwestern University's Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurological Sciences, and his daughter, Allison, an undergraduate student at Harvard University. When Kessler was invited to head up the Neurology Department at Northwestern, his focus was on using stem cells to help cure diabetes. However, soon after his move to Chicago, Allison--then age 15, was injured in a skiing accident and paralyzed from the waist down. In the moments following the accident, Dr. Kessler made the decision to change the focus of his research to begin looking for a cure for spinal cord injuries using embryonic stem cells. The film follows the constantly evolving interplay between the promise of new discoveries, the controversy of modern science and the resilience and courage of people living every day with devastating disease and injury.

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Basement Cinema
Mitchell Hall - Room B91

Basement Cinema is a student-run series of B and unusual commercial movies.
More information at
This week: Stunt men, that crazy breed of individuals willing to risk life and limb, to make someone else look cool. Tonight, Basement Cinema celebrates this anonymous celebrities by putting them in the spotlight.

8pm FREE
The Devil at Your Heels
(Robert Forteir, 1981, 105 minutes)

Ken Carter is the Canadian equivalent of Evel Knievel, in fact he’s even better than Evel. At least Ken thinks so. To prove his greatness Ken plans to drive a rocket-powered car off a ramp and jump the St. Lawerence River. It’s a distance of one mile and the jump will not only send Ken hurtling from Canada into American, but it would put him history books. That is, if he makes it. The Devil at Your Heels is a documentary that feels like a mockumentary, so buckle yourself in and get ready to laugh as one crazed Canadian finds excuse after excuse on why he shouldn’t attempt this jump, all the while proclaiming himself to be the greatest daredevil ever.

10pm FREE
Stunt Rock
(Brian Trenchard-smith, 1978, 86 minutes)

Quickly proving that plots are a tired convention this wild 70’s film slams together mystic rock performances and death defying stunts because, really what else do you need for a kickass film. Between daredevil stunts and performances by the theatrical rock outfit Sorcery, real life Australian stunt man Grant Paige tries to explain to a blonde reporter just what it is that makes stunt men like himself do the crazy things they do. It’s a hybrid film. One part cheesy narrative, one part stunt show, and one part rock concert. Or, as the tagline puts it - Stunt Rock is a death wish at 120 decibels!

Thursday, November 8

African Avant-gardes and the Legacy of John Coltrane in Accra
Colloquium/Presentation by Dr. Steven Feld
4-5h30pm FREE
Fine Arts Recital Hall

The presentation will be built around a screening of Hallelujah!, Steven Feld’s documentary that presents the story of a postcolonial and postmodern African version of G. F. Handel’s Hallelujah chorus, as staged and performed by Ghanaba, the legendary Ghanaian drummer who introduced the talking drum to American jazz musicians in the 1950s, together with the Winneba Youth Choir, a leading choir in Africa. Their unique staging of the Hallelujah chorus mixes elements of African, Christian, Buddhist, and Islamic ritual together with formal European concert performance, Afro-Jazz, and Ghanaian song and dance ceremony. The film is in two parts, the first a document of the performance, the second a conversation with Ghanaba about the political, spiritual, and musical aspects of his approach to Handel.

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UNRULY MUSIC: Electro-Acoustic Music Center 25th Anniversary concert
7h30-9h30 FREE
Fine Arts Lecture Hall

Guest artist Steven Feld presents a collaborative work made with artist Virginia Ryan which documents the Atlantic Ocean where it meets the coast of Ghana. The work features video and 5.1 channel sound, and Feld describes it as "environmental sound art meets visual art," incorporating the sound of the ocean as well as music composed and performed by Feld together with two Ghanaian musicians.
"African avant-gardes and the legacy of John Coltrane in Accra, told through two musicians, one who has invented instruments (afrifones, African winds with sax mouthpieces) to play music inspired by Coltrane, the other who has merged jazz cymbals with African hand and stick drums in order to explore an African conversation with Elvin Jones's drumming. This turns all the sterotypes ---about Africans being trapped in either 'traditional music' or pop' to mush!"

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UWM Union Theater
Thursday – Sunday, November 8-11
Turkish Film Series

The best of recent Turkish cinema, from the poetic to the comedic, these films investigate the diverse lives of Turkish people at home and abroad, negotiating both tradition and modernity. All screenings are FREE and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted films are in Turkish with English subtitles. Sponsored by the Turkish American Association of Milwaukee, The UWM Film Department and the UWM Union Theatre.

The Turkish Film Series has been made possible by a generous grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

(Nuri Bilge Ceylan , Turkey , 110 min., 35mm, 2002)

Winner – Grand Prix – 2003 Cannes Film Festival

Mahmut, a successful commercial photographer struggles to come to terms with the growing gap between his artistic ideals and his professional obligations. His tedious workload, and the lingering loss of his ex-wife, leaves him clinging to the melancholic and obsessive routines of his solitary life. Unexpectedly, his distant relative Yusuf arrives in Istanbul and imposes upon Mahmut. The two struggle to connect in this austere story permeated by heartwarming, often comic moments.

Friday, November 9

Exposures: A White Woman in West Africa
3pm *FREE*
Kenilworth Square East
1925 E. Kenilworth Pl. 4th floor
Virginia Ryan and Steven Feld present!

The UWM Film Department, the Center for 21st Century Studies, Cultures & Communities and Voxlox Media present an installation based on Exposures: A White Woman in West Africa, a book of photographs of and by visual artist Virginia Ryan with an essay by anthropologist Steven Feld. After moving to Ghana in 2001, Ryan discovered that she could not take her whiteness for granted, and embarked on a project that transformed her skin into a canvas. For three years, she asked friends and passersby to photograph her as she went about her daily life. When Feld first viewed these documents, he saw in them an “intuitive and reverse anthropology,” a unique contribution to recent debates on whiteness and race in contemporary art and society. Their collaboration is a conversation about photography and race in post-colonial Africa. Ryan and Feld are committed to showing the work in non-art contexts where dialogue about race, gender, class and photographic representation is possible. Join them and local panelists Erica Bornstein (UWM Anthropology), Portia Cobb (UWM Film), Jane Gallop (UWM English), Tom Bamberger (photographer and critic), Mensah Aborampah (UWM Africology) and others as they share their provocative and complex work and explore the questions it raises. Dick Blau moderates.

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UWM Union Theater
Thursday – Sunday, November 8-11
Turkish Film Series

Head On
(Gegen die Wand, Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey, in German & Turkish w/ Eng. St., 121 min., 35mm, 2004)

Winner – Golden Bear – 2004 Berlin Film Festival

Cahit, an alcoholic German of Turkish decent, is hospitalized after driving his car into a wall and meets Sibil who recently attempted suicide. She convinces Cahit to marry her so she can escape her strict Turkish family. Together they navigate between their hedonistic lives in the German underground the staid traditions of their Turkish families in this superbly acted punk-rock melodrama.

(Beynelmilel, Sirri Sureyya Onder & Muharrem Gulmez , Turkey, 106 min., 35mm, 2006)

Using irony and comedy Beynelmilel depicts the lives of ordinary people affected by the 1980 military coup. A curfew leaves a group of local musicians in southeastern Anatolia unemployed until the martial law commander decides to turn them into a modern orchestra. As the orchestra prepares the welcome ceremony for some visiting politicos, Haydar, a university student, and the conductor's daughter plan a protest.

Saturday, November 10

UWM Union Theater
Thursday – Sunday, November 8-11
Turkish Film Series

(Beynelmilel, Sirri Sureyya Onder & Muharrem Gulmez , Turkey, 106 min., 35mm, 2006)
Winner – Fipresci Award – 2006 Cannes Film Festival

Beautifully and meticulously observed, Climates poetically uses landscape to reflect loneliness, loss and the often-elusive nature of happiness. During a sweltering summer vacation, the relationship between middle-aged professor Isa and his younger girlfriend Bahar brutally implodes. Back in Istanbul that fall, Isa rekindles a torrid affair with a previous lover. But when he learns that Bahar has left the city for a job in the snowy East, he follows her there to win her back.

The Borrowed Bride
(Egreti Gelin, Atif Yilmaz, Turkey/Greece , 119 min., 35mm, 2005)

A moving historical drama set in the 1920's, Emine becomes the “borrowed bride” of the mayor's son Ali and under strict rules prepares him for marriage. The pair fall in love and though she tries to keep the borrowed brides' code, he defiantly refuses his families' marriage plans. Atif Yilmaz's 119th and last film before he died caused controversy in Turkey starting fierce debate on whether the tradition of borrowed brides even existed.

Crossing the Bridge: The Sounds of Istanbul
(Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey, 90 min., 35mm, 2005)

Alexander Hacke, of the German avant-garde band Einstürzende Neubauten travels Istanbul with a complete mobile recording studio to capture the exotic sounds and musical diversity, ranging from modern electronic sounds, rock and hip-hop, right down to classical “Arabesque” music. Fatih Akin, director of Head-On accompanies him with his camera for a lively portrait of Istanbul's music scene.

Sunday, November 11

UWM Union Theater
Thursday – Sunday, November 8-11
Turkish Film Series

Two Girls
(Iki Genç Kiz, Kutlug Ataman , Turkey , 107 min., 35mm, 2005)

Based on a popular Turkish novel, Two Girls tells the story of two girls from very different backgrounds. Behiye, a rebellious student despises her conservative family. Handan lives with her single mother, a beautiful woman with more liberal world views. Shortly after meeting, they embark on a secret plan to escape their dysfunctional families. Their intense relationship encompasses all that is wonderful and tragic about youth.

The Play
(Oyun, Pelin Esmer, Turkey, 70 min., 35mm, 2005)

The Play documents nine peasant women living in a remote mountain village in southern Turkey . Their days are taken up by working in the fields, on a construction, and at home. To lighten the burden, these women come together at night to write and eventually perform a play based on their lives.

Ice Cream, I Scream
(Dondurman Gaymak, Yuksel Aksu, Turkey, in Turkish w/ Eng. St ., 100 min., 35mm, 2006)

Ice Cream, I Scream follows the misadventures of an independent ice cream vendor struggling to stay afloat against the larger ice cream shops. In the tourist town of Mugla a gang of boys steal an ice cream cart, but the owner of the cart believes the corporations are trying to ruin him. An over the top comedy that deals with the changing marketplace of small Turkish towns.