The eighteenth annual Russian Film Symposium will screen twelve recent Russian films (8 on subtitled DVD in David Lawrence and 4 large-screen projections at the Melwood Screening Room). Each film will be introduced by one of the invited scholars (3 from Russia, 2 from the UK, 2 from the US, and University of Pittsburgh faculty) and after the screening there will be a discussion with the members of the audience. There will also be two roundtable discussions for the participants.
Because the Symposium for this year focuses on re-makes of films that have become well-known domestically and internationally, these paired films provide an ideal venue for an examination of the ways human characters and characteristics have been represented in the past and are being represented in the future. Re-makes are not simply a reiteration of an original model; invariably each film is the product of its own time and represents the prevailing views and attitudes, not just to the world at large, but to the individual beings involved in dealing with daily events. And since views of and attitudes towards the concept of one's own and others' humanity are mutable and contingent on changes in the socio-political reality, the paired films provide concrete demonstrations of the shifts and changes in this concept.
In addition, by looking at the representation of "being human" across a variety of filmic genres (tragedy, comedy, melodrama, thriller, etc.) the Symposium's discussions will be able to avoid arriving at an overly simplified (and, therefore, one-sided) understanding of how humanity is conceived. Similarly, because the original films span a range of decades, the framework for conceptualizing "being human" will have a historical scope that is broader than merely comparative.
This event is also sponsored by the Dietrich School Office of the Dean, the Humanities Center, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Graduate Program for Cultural Studies. For more information, click here or contact Vladimir Padunov at firstname.lastname@example.org.