Monday, December 3, 2007

Tuesday, December 4

UWM Union Theater
7pm *FREE*
Byron Hurt Screening of Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes
Presented by the “It's Bigger than Hip Hop” Series

Social Justice: Hip Hop Under a Microscope
An inspiring and enlightening evening with Byron Hurt, filmmaker and anti-sexist activist. The evening begins with a screening of his film, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a "loving critique" of certain disturbing developments in mainstream rap music culture. Hurt will provide his commentary on representations of gender roles in hip-hop and rap music. Please stick around to add your thoughts on the subject during the Q and A.

Sponsored by the UWM Union Sociocultural Programming, UWM Union Programming, the Helen Bader School of Social Work, the Women's Resource Center, Norris Health Center, Cultures and Communities, and the Community Media Project.

For more information, contact Rebecca Grassl, 414-229-3728.

Wednesday, December 5

DocUquarium Series – last screening of the year!!
Don’t forget to viisit the DocUquarium blog at

UWM Union Theater
7h30pm *FREE*
An Unreasonable Man
(Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan, USA, 122 min, 2006)

Guest David Bollier, former Nader Raider and interviewee, in person!

In 1966, General Motors, the most powerful corporation in the world, sent private investigators to dig up dirt on an obscure thirty-two year old public interest lawyer named Ralph Nader, who had written a book critical of one of their cars, the Corvair. The scandal that ensued after the revelation of this smear campaign launched Ralph Nader into national prominence and established him as one of the most admired Americans and the leader of the modern Consumer Movement. Over the next thirty years and without ever holding public office, Nader built a legislative record that is the rival of any contemporary president. Many things consumers take for granted such as seat belts, airbags and product labeling are largely due to the efforts of Ralph Nader and his citizen groups. Cast as a "spoiler candidate" in the 2000 presidential election, he has become a pariah even among former friends and allies. How did this happen? An Unreasonable Man traces the life and career of Ralph Nader, one of the most unique, important, and controversial political figures of the past half century.

Guest David Bollier is a former Nader Raider featured in the film, and he's an author, journalist and a Senior Fellow at University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. A co-founder of Public Knowledge, he advocates for the public domain, especially in the digital realm. He's written several books, including Silent Theft, about the privatization of things that belong to the public, from the sky to seeds to our genes — The Commons.

The film will be screened again at Discovery World on Dec. 6 (see details bellow).

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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: A question that seems to perplex America is “What would happen if a black man entered a white man’s world.” And who better than Hollywood to address such a quandary.

8pm *FREE*
The Things with Two Heads
(Lee Frost, 1972, 93 minutes)

A rich, white bigot is about to die, but he’s got plan. He hopes to graft his head onto another’s body. The problem is the only available candidate is a black man from death row. Ray Milland stars as the bigot and former pro football player Rosey Greer stars as the body. Together they form a bickering odd couple thrown into a series of wild events that play up their racial differences and the comical image of Ray Milland’s head sitting atop Rosey’s shoulders.

10pm *FREE*
Change of Mind
(Robert Stevens, 1969, 98 minutes)

A film so rare in the US we had to get our copy from overseas! Come see a white man’s brain transplanted into a black man’s body. Once David Rowe’s brain is moved into the skull of a black man doctor’s, law officials, even his own wife start to question who David is. Is David a white man with a black man’s body or a black man with a white man’s brain? Even David is unsure of who he is especially when old friends change their attitude towards the new David, even allowing him to become the victim of racism. Made during a moment of high racial tensions in the US, Change of Mind calls into question what makes a man. Duke Ellington’s music provides the score to this film that was a bit ‘a head’ of its time.

Thursday, December 6

Noon at Alterra
Coffee with DocUquarium guest David Bollier (featured in An Unreasonable Man)
Alterra Coffee Roasters – 2211 N. Prospect Ave.
Join us for an intimate chat with this former Nader Raider and interviewee in this week’s DocUquarium film “An Unreasonable Man”.

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Discovery World
An Unreasonable Man
(Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan, USA, 122 min, 2006)

Guest David Bollier, former Nader Raider and interviewee, in person!
Discovery World is located at 500 N. Harbor Drive.

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UWM Union Theater
Seven Masterpieces by Kenji Mizoguchi
Thursday – Tuesday, December 6-11

Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi began his career in the silent-film era and quickly became known for his vehement independence and uncompromising artistry. This series will present seven beautifully restored 35mm film prints, which are unequaled in their pictorial and narrative richness and emotional force. All films are FREE and open to the public. Films are in Japanese with English subtitles. Series organized by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario.

Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
(Zangiku monogatari, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 142 min., 1939)

A majestic and moving Mizoguchi, in which the director refined the style for which he became famous, Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, is set in the nineteenth-century world of Kabuki actors. A young actor is expelled from his family because of his lazy, unprofessional attitude towards the art of Kabuki. He is saved from dissolution by the family's maid, who urges him to perfect his technique. She sacrifices everything for him, and, in the famous final sequence, splendidly shot in the canals of Osaka ; her sacrifice becomes total just as he triumphs as a great actor.

Friday, December 7

Conference / Symposium
From Magna Carta to Sky Trust: The Historical Arc of the Commons
10am - 4pm
Hosted by the Center for 21st Century Studies
American Geographical Library
3rd floor, east wing of UWM Golda Meir Library

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UWM Union Theater
Sansho the Bailiff
(Sansho Dayu, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 123 min., 1954)

In eleventh-century Japan , a family is dispersed: the father is exiled by a cruel governor, the mother is sold as a courtesan, and the children are sent to a remote province as slaves. Rarely did Mizoguchi achieve the balance between barbaric violence and formal beauty that he did here. Miyagawa's cinematography, with its awe-inspiring long takes and complex use of background and offscreen space, lends even the most harrowing sequences an extraordinary eloquence. “The last scene of SANSHO DAYU is one of the most affecting in the history of cinema… SANSHO DAYU is one of those films for whose sake the cinema exists” - Gilbert Adair.

Sisters of Gion
(Gion no shimai, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 69 min, 1936)

Often considered the best Japanese film prior to the war, Sisters of Gion presents a portrait of two sisters working as geisha – one conservative and traditional, the other cynical and rebellious. Their opposing views put them in conflict with each other and their work in a Kyoto teahouse causes various sexual humiliations. The film inevitably leaves its audiences in stunned silence. Sisters of Gion was the only Mizoguchi film that ever won the Japanese award for best film of the year. "The style is sublime; the camera glides through poetic sets as emotions delicately unwind" - Michael Wilmington, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Saturday, December 8

UWM Union Theater
Street of Shame
(Akasen Chitai, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 85 min., 1956)

“The best of all films examining the problems of women in postwar Japan ” - Donald Richie, this overwhelming work was Mizoguchi's last. The “street of shame” runs through Tokyo 's red-light district where the women at the Dreamland salon eke out a living for their families. Mizoguchi's portrait of this group of prostitutes, from a hard-boiled glamour girl to a widow in her forties worried about her fading beauty–was so powerful in its indictment of women's oppression that, a year after its release, it led to a government bill outlawing prostitution. An ensemble of Japan 's finest actresses brings dense emotional life to this unforgettable group portrait.

(Ugetsu Monogatari, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 97 min., 1953)

In a sixteenth-century village, a potter is seduced by an exquisitely beautiful woman who turns out to be a phantom. Mizoguchi's rigorous compositions and camerawork, his use of the mist-enshrouded landscape around Lake Biwa, the intense performances of two of Japan's greatest actresses (Kyo and Tanaka), and the theme of the illusory nature of human ambition and desire: all contribute to a work of infinite beauty and significance. “Simultaneously realistic, allegorical and supernatural, Ugetsu is the most stylistically perfect of all Mizoguchi's work…” - David L. Cook.

Life of Oharu
(Saikaku Ichidai Onna, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 144 min, 1952)

Mizoguchi considered Life of Oharu to be his masterpiece. No film rivals Oharu's exquisite sense of composition, and the implacability of its chronicle of the downfall of a woman. Kinuyo Tanaka, whose career was synonymous with Mizoguchi's for many years, plays Oharu, an imperious court lady of the Edo period who lives in Kyoto . When she is sold to a feudal lord, she is subjected to a series of humiliations and ends up as a broken old streetwalker. “[A]n extremely elegant movie whichever way you look at it: tiny details of movement by the actors, beautiful compositions and photography throughout, single fluid takes often serving to state a whole scene.” - TIME OUT

Sunday, December 9

UWM Union Theater
Utamaro and his Five Women
(Utamaro O Meguru Gonin no Onna, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 87 min., 1946)

A fictionalized account of revolutionary Japanese print artist Kitagawa Utamaro and those who surrounded him, his artwork was considered shocking in 18th century feudal Japan , and in Mizoguchi's film he attracts both admiration from his peers and condemnation from the Shogunate. Utamaro and his Five Women opens with a sweeping, long take of a procession of the very people Utamaro loved to paint, a scene as vividly realized and affective as the artist's own work. Utamaro and his followers find themselves in a string of duplicitous romantic encounters. During a time when both art and emotion are heavily censored the characters lash out, resorting to selfish acts of self-expression that lead to irreversible, devastating consequences.

Life of Oharu
(Saikaku Ichidai Onna, by Kenji Mizoguchi, 144 min, 1952)