There are moments in our history which are as unbelievable as they are a testament to the resilience of humanity in the face of grave danger; the Battle of Dunkirk is one of those stories that audiences are likely surprised not to have seen before. Christopher Nolan’s 2017 film, Dunkirk, is a technically masterful historical drama set during World War II. It takes the true events of the battle and evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 and humanizes it in a way which places the viewer in the shoes of a soldier fighting just to survive.
In an industry abounding with repetitive sequels and generic copies, Edgar Wright’s summer 2017 film, Baby Driver, manages to stand out due to its unexpected premise and positive hype. A young driver, named Baby, constantly listens to music to drown out the noise caused by his hearing impairment. He works for a crime boss named Doc, played by Kevin Spacey, as a getaway driver during criminal heists to pay off a debt, but then he falls in love with a girl who could change everything. Sometimes, you just need a film to simply keep you entertained for about an hour and a half and Baby Driver does just that.
Dr. Rhona Trauvitch is a recent and welcome addition to the faculty at FIU’s English Department. Her courses cover a vast array of topics and interests, such as Literary Tropes in Moving Images (ENG 4132) and Short Stories of Horror and the Weird (LIT 4001). She received her Ph. D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and taught there before coming to FIU.
Have you ever thought about how a film gets projected onto the screen at your favorite theaters? Meet Pablo Blanco, film projectionist for the Coral Gables Art Cinema, who shares with us the love of film stock from boyhood in Cuba working in his father’s theater and the modern film technology he works with now.
In Ancient Greece, audiences gathered by the thousands to share in their appreciation for the theater and to witness stories which conveyed their experiences on stage. Today, the closest anyone can come to that unified assemblage is at the movies. While the latest blockbuster film is playing at your local AMC or Cobb, Coral Gables Art Cinema focuses on films of a different kind. Through their After Hours Program, the Gables Cinema is bringing back “the best films you never saw on the big screen (or maybe you did) from late-night cult classics to foreign favorites and even summer blockbusters every Saturday at 11:45 pm,” as advertised on their website. The big draw for me involves their 35 mm and 70 mm film screenings which set them apart from other independent cinemas. From the screening of Ghostbusters in 70 mm to their screenings of Metropolis and Nosferatu played with an original, live score, Coral Gables Art Cinema is reviving the love and appreciation of film as an art form.
Since 2004, Dr. Frank Luca has split his time as a professor of History at FIU and Chief Librarian at The Wolfsonian. He received a Ph. D. from FIU in 2005 with a focus on Ethnohistory and Colonial Latin America. He has successfully fused his passion for both American history and film with his courses on America and Movies (AMH 3317).