Josh Canzona on Wings of Desire

January 27, 2017

Saturday, January 28 at 9:30 a.m. you can catch a special screening of Wings of Desire at a/perture and engage in conversation about the film with Joshua Canzona afterward.  He is an adjunct professor in the Divinity School at Wake Forest and a doctoral candidate in theology and religious studies at Georgetown.  I have encountered Josh in professional circles and am looking forward to hearing his insights tomorrow.  Before that, I asked him a few questions about a/perture’s Looking at Art Cinema program and about Wings of Desire.

Mary:  How did you get involved in the Looking at Art Cinema program, and what is special about this series of films and talks?

Joshua:  I attended a/perture screenings of Day for Night (François Truffaut) and Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami) when Wake alum and local filmmaker Cagney Gentry hosted the program. I really like French New Wave and the Truffaut selection drew me in but I especially enjoyed the friendly and open conversation after the screening. You do not need to be a film expert to participate in a Looking at Art Cinema event. I ended up having a conversation with Cagney about my interest concerning religion in film and Lawren Desai, the owner of Aperture, thought it would be a good theme to explore in the program.

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Out of Pottersville

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannakuh and Happy Holidays!

This past year has been one of book writing and editing for me. I’ve also done some new (and I hope exciting!) things with my classes.

And, I’ve despaired over the political scene — first in North Carolina then in parts far beyond.

Through all of that, my blog has suffered, but it feels like the time to come back to it.

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HOMELESS at a/perture

August 22, 2016

Tomorrow night – Tuesday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m. – brings the August selection of the Made in the Triad series to a/perture cinema.

I had heard about Clay Hassler’s film HOMELESS for quite some time but never had an opportunity to screen it until now. So glad that I did, and you won’t want to miss this chance (one night only) to see it for yourself.

Gosh close-up

By way of preview, here’s a little interview with Clay Hassler.

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Teachers on TV

July 15, 2016

Two of my current book projects are drawing to a close, the fourth edition of The Hollywood Curriculum:  Teachers in the Movies and an anthology I’ve co-edited, Screen Lessons:  What We’ve Learned from Teachers on Television and in the Movies.

I spend a lot of time thinking about representations of teachers in popular culture and am disheartened by recent trends that undermine the professionalization of teachers.

It used to be that good teachers were idealized and bad teachers were presented as a contrast to them to reinforce the idealization.  Increasingly, as I noted in a recent interview with a journalist from The Washington Post, representations in mainstream media, especially television, have begun to depict educators as incompetent, corrupt, disengaged, crude, and worse.

The latest example is the HBO comedy Vice Principals.  Public education is undermined by the ubiquity of these narratives, and we as a culture suffer for it.

Vice Principals

I don’t long for a return to the most formulaic of the sappy stories but to something that celebrates humanity and gives us a path forward to something better.

Catching Up…

July 6, 2016

I’ve had tunnel vision the last few months to focus on book indexing, editing, and revisions on three projects and have not been posting much.  My viewing and blogging have suffered, but I’m about to catch a breath and start catching up.

While I’ve not been out to the movies as much as I would like, I am indulging in some TV on lunch breaks and before I go to bed — one recent series that dropped a new season and three to catch up on!

Following, find brief takes on Season Four of Orange is the New Black, one of my favorite recent series, and my belated attraction to JustifiedThe Americans, and Bosch.


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HARVEST: Cagney Gentry Q & A

June 21, 2016

Here’s a special treat for Triad viewers.

a/perture cinema will screen Cagney Gentry’s debut feature Harvest on Monday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Made in the Triad film series. The screening is a partnership of a/perture and the New Winston Museum and is sponsored by the Piedmont Triad Film Commission. Ticket and series information is available here.

I’m a longtime fan of Cagney Gentry, as a person and as an artist, and we’ve had many conversations over the years about film. Naturally, I wanted to talk with him after I had a chance to take a look at Harvest.

You can eavesdrop.

Mary: Where did the idea for Harvest come from and how did the process unfold for you to develop it?

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Life of a Baby Gay

April 29, 2016

It’s always exciting when my students begin to engage media outside of class in new and affirming ways.  I’ve subscribed to Clarielle Marsh’s YouTube channel, and after reading my Q & A with her, you may want to check out her work, too!

Mary: Coming out is a process that varies greatly from individual to individual.  Why have you chosen YouTube as a forum?

Clarielle: Back in high school when I first started trying to figure out my sexuality, I didn’t really have anyone I could talk to or ask questions. So of course I looked to the internet for my education. I found YouTube to be particularly helpful because the queer channels and YouTubers I found gave me some sort of image that I didn’t see in my own life and that I couldn’t quite create from reading articles and blogs. The videos I watched on YouTube were not only entertaining, visually appealing, and super accessible, but also really affirming. YouTube gave me hope that I could live openly as a queer person and be happy. I did notice in my early watching though that there weren’t many queer YouTubers of color, specifically ones that looked like me. I started Life of a Baby Gay because I wanted to change that a bit. I think it’s really important in the coming out process and in the process of discovering your identity that you be able to see yourself in the world around you.

Mary: Tell me what inspired the episode opening animation and the name of your channel.

Clarielle: The name “Life of a Baby Gay” just came to me one day as I was thinking about what I wanted this channel to be. When I came out during my sophomore year of college, I gained several really great queer friends and “baby gay” was one of the terms we would use to describe fellow burgeoning queer folk. So the name of my channel was inspired by that really important time in my life and the relationship building that happened for me then. I also think that the name “Life of a Baby Gay” communicates this idea that this channel is intended to be a sort of peek into how one lives openly as a queer person…or at least how I do.

Baby Gay

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