Film News

Posted on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 by Brook Hinton

John Waters in Conversation -- a CCA milestone [photo: Jim Norrena]

Legendary film director John Waters (Pink Flamingos (1972); Female Trouble (1974); Polyester (1981); Hairspray (1988); Cry Baby (1990); Serial Mom (1994); A Dirty Shame (2004)) made a special guest appearance at CCA as part of the Film Program’s Cinema Visionaries Lecture Series.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Jim Norrena

A documentary short by Yoni Klein and Alka Joshi

Blink once for finalist, twice for student Academy Award.

In almost as little time as it takes to blink, Yoni Klein's (2012 Photography) and alumna Alka Joshi's (MFA 2011 Writing) documentary short, Blink, made the film festival rounds in 2011, screening at almost a dozen film festivals across the United States as well as in London at GFEST, the Gaywise Festival! Now the film has just been announced as a regional finalist in the 39th annual Student Academy Awards competition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy) and the Academy Foundation!

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Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012 by Jim Norrena

Exposure to industry events such as Sundance Film Festival is invaluable for CCA's film students

What do the Academy Awards, Michael Moore, and CCA have in common? More than you might imagine, thanks to Film chair Rob Epstein (himself a proud recipient of two Oscars!) and Film faculty member Brian Benson, who this semester arranged not one but two exceptional "on location" trips that afforded film-loving CCA students coveted access to high-profile industry events.

First Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the premiere film festival for independent filmmakers; then Oscar "DOCS!" in Los Angeles, an Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences special event held just prior to the Academy Awards, featuring panel discussions with the year's nominated documentary short subject and documentary feature filmmakers.

This year's event was hosted by maverick documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Hardcover, 168 pages, $29.95

Tanya Zimbardo (MA Curatorial Practice 2005), SFMOMA's assistant curator of media arts, coauthored this book chronicling and illustrating more than 100 SECA Award recipients from the late 1960s to the present, including CCA alumni Squeak Carnwath, Desirée Holman, Mitzi Pederson, Laurie Reid, Leslie Shows, and Kathryn VanDyke, among others. Featured faculty include Rebeca Bollinger, Kota Ezawa, Thom Faulders, Chris Finley, Donald Fortescue, Amy Franceschini, Clay Jensen, Jordan Kantor, Shaun O'Dell, Maria Porges, and Mary Snowden.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Kota Ezawa: Upstairs, Downstairs
University of Idaho, 2010
Paperback, 36 pages

This is the catalogue for Film faculty member Kota Ezawa's exhibition Upstairs, downstairs at the University of Idaho, Prichard Art Gallery in 2010. The catalogue was cowritten by Ezawa, CCA Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian, and Roger Rowley. It presents work in a number of different forms using older technologies as well as new media. The artist selects from sources such as news stories, lectures by prominent figures, fiction and nonfiction film, and even the history of photography for particular elements that comment on our media overloaded environment.

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Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Film Program alumni sustain the college’s mission by shaping culture through the practice and critical study of the arts and striving for lifelong creative work.

An arts education has never been more relevant or more valuable. Today, creative people are recognized as necessary to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. And CCA students, alumni, and faculty are at the cutting edge of every creative field, working in industry and the community, and founding enterprises of their own.

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Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 by Clay Walsh

Congratulations to this year's juried R.A.W. Video (real artists at work) contest winners! The contest, open to all current CCA students, challenged contestants to create a two-minute (maximum) high-resolution digital film (including audio) with “In and Out of the Studio" as the required theme.

The goal was to encourage students to pick up their digital camcorders and highlight their community at CCA—whether in the classroom, studio, residence hall—or away from the college altogether. And the goal was definitely met several times over!

2011 R.A.W. Video Contest Winners

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Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Film faculty member Lynn Marie Kirby with students at CAFA

What began in 2008 as a visit by CCA President Stephen Beal to the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing is now blossoming into a productive relationship between the two schools. This fall CCA enrolled six more undergraduate students from CAFA’s International Foundation Course; they join the first four students who began their studies at CCA in fall 2010.

In the first foray into faculty exchanges, David Hisaya Asari (Graphic Design) and Lynn Marie Kirby (Film) spent spring break 2011 at CAFA. An IFC instructor visited CCA in August. And Furniture faculty member Christopher Loomis is in Beijing now teaching for the semester.

What inspired this relationship between the two schools and what are the plans for the future?

Laying the Groundwork

In October 2008 President Beal was invited to participate in a forum on international art education, as part of CAFA's 90th anniversary celebration. He was impressed with the 4,000-student institution and its leaders, many of whom have ties with U.S. institutions. President Pang Gongkai was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. Vice President Xu Bing, well-known artist and recipient of the prestigious MacArthur “genius” award, lived and worked in New York for more than 10 years. Dean of Design Min Wang completed his graduate work in design at Yale and worked for more than 20 years in the United States, including a stint at Adobe before forming his own firm in San Francisco.

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Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Silver Curtain, 1997

Remembering Larry Sultan, Photographer and Friend

In June 2011 Photography faculty members Jim Goldberg and Todd Hido (MFA 1996) discussed the influence of their friend and teacher, photographer Larry Sultan, (1946–2009), who taught at CCA for 20 years!

Heroes & Mentors: Jim Goldberg & Todd Hido On Larry Sultan was published online by Photo District News on August 3, 2011:

Todd Hido: When did you meet Larry and what did you learn from him?

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