POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College will host a free outdoor film series on Thursday evenings throughout the month of June – in conjunction with the Art Center's Thursday "Late Night at the Lehman Loeb" events. The film series begins on Thursday, June 7 at 8:30 p.m. and complements the Art Center's current exhibition, Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film.
The films, each depicting some form of failed utopian ideals, will be screened on the east lawn of the Art Center, weather permitting. (In the case of inclement weather, the screenings will be moved to an indoor location.) The films will include classics such as Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) and Jacque Tati's Playtime (1967), along with science fiction thrillers Blade Runner (1982) and Children of Men (2006).
Each film presents a version of the future that incorporates both utopia and dystopia – exploring the very themes found in the Art Center's exhibition. Metropolis and Playtime depict soaring high-rises, sophisticated technology, and the urban paradise, along with the failure of the city to live up to its expectations. Similar issues are addressed in photographs in the exhibition in the Urban Utopias section of Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film. The films Blade Runner and Children of Men focus on the failures of society to sustain the basic values of humankind, leading to the demise of life, as we know it, and explore a bleak vision of the future.
About the exhibition
The artists featured in Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film, May 25-July 29, explore the notion of an ideal society – a "utopia." They discover that our utopian ideals have often been overtaken by the realities of urban decay, corruption, loss of innocence, disregard for natural resources, and nature's chaotic cycles. Utopian Mirage explores many of these realities through a group exhibition of approximately 50 contemporary works. Artists working in photography and film examine landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, interiors, residential communities, suburbia, as well as fictional scenes that serve as social indicators and metaphors for failed utopian ideals.
About "Late Night at the Lehman Loeb"
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center invites the public to visit during the Art Center's extended Thursday hours from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. "Late Night at the Lehman Loeb" events include special tours, films, entertainment, and refreshments. The Art Center is always free and open to the public.
June Film Series schedule and information
June, 7, 14, 21, 28
Free and open to the public
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie
(845) 437-5632, http://fllac.vassar.edu
Please bring chairs, blankets, food, and beverages. Picnics are welcome. However, no cooking is permitted.
Thursday, June 7
directed by Fritz Lang, 1927
Metropolis is a society of the future in which humans are divided into two completely separate groups: the workers who live underground and the thinkers, who make up the dominant class. Their leader, Maria, who wants to find a mediator between the classes, controls the workers. The Lord of Metropolis, Johhan Fredersen, decides that the workers are no longer necessary, and creates a robot disguised as Maria to promote a revolution of the working class, which would lead to their elimination.
Thursday, June 14
directed by Jacques Tati, 1967
Monsieur Hulot is headed to a meeting with an American official in Paris, but on the way he gets lost in the maze of modern architecture filled with the latest high-tech gadgets. Hulot curiously wanders around Paris causing chaos at every turn as he interacts with a group of American tourists, encounters a night-club/restaurant preparing for opening night, and is witness to a fantastical traffic jam that recalls a never-ending carousel ride.
Thursday, June 21
directed by Ridley Scott, 1982
In a bleak, cyberpunk vision of the future, man has developed the technology to create replicants, human clones used to serve in the colonies outside earth. Replicants are slaves with fixed life spans and have been banned from earth. In Los Angeles, 2019, Rick Deckard is a Blade Runner, a police officer who specializes in terminating replicants. Originally in retirement, he is forced to re-enter the force when five replicants escape from a space colony to earth.
Thursday, June 28
Children of Men
directed by Alfonso Cuarón, 2006
A dystopian science fiction film loosely adapted from the 1992 novel by P.D. James of the same name. The film is set in an apocalyptic United Kingdom in 2027, an era plagued by two decades of global infertility that has left the remaining humans with less than a century to survive. Societal collapse, terrorism, and environmental destruction follow in the wake of impending extinction, with the last functioning government persecuting illegal immigrants as refugees flood the borders. In the midst of the chaos, civil servant Theo Faron is given the task of transporting a pregnant African refugee to the Human Project, the greatest hope for the future of humanity.
About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993. The Lehman Loeb Art Center's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 16,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American twentieth century painters. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with a permanent art collection and gallery, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar's extensive collections.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.