Leonard Hastings Schoff Memorial Lecture Series

given by

ANNETTE INSDORF

Director of Undergraduate Film Studies
Professor in the Graduate Film Program of the School of the Arts

COHERENCE AND RESONANCE:HOW TO READ FILM OPENINGS

I. OPENING-AS-PROLOGUE, Monday, November 10, 2014, 8pm, FACULTY HOUSE

II. OPENING-AS-MISDIRECTION, Monday, November 17, 2014, 8pm, FACULTY HOUSE

III. OPENING-AS-ACTION Monday, November 24, 2014, 8pm, FACULTY HOUSE

Reception immediately following each lecture. Lectures are free and open to the public.


ANNETTE INSDORF’s criteria of value—for the past few decades of teaching cinema at Yale and Columbia—have been internal coherence of the cinematic text, and the film’s resonance (whether cultural, political or aesthetic) beyond the frame. Her point of departure is close analysis of the opening sequences of motion pictures. Using clips from such masterpieces as Apocalypse Now, Cabaret, Hiroshima, mon amour, Sunset Boulevard, and Touch of Evil, she explores how the introduction is the anchor of a rich audio-visual experience.


ANNETTE INSDORF is Director of Undergraduate Film Studies at Columbia University, and a Professor in the Graduate Film Program of the School of the Arts (for which she was Chair from 1990-95). She is the recipient of the 2008 Award for Excellence in Teaching from Columbia University’s School of General Studies. She taught film history and criticism at Yale University from 1975 till 1988.

Professor Insdorf is the author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski; Francois Truffaut, a study of the French director’s work; and the landmark study, Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust. Her most recent book is Philip Kaufman, which Leonard Maltin called “a thoughtful, scholarly study of one of America’s most underrated filmmakers.”

Her commentaries can be heard on many DVDs, and she has interviewed over 100 film celebrities in her popular Reel Pieces series at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y. She has been a juror at the film festivals of Berlin, Galway (Ireland), Locarno, and Jerusalem.

Born in Paris, she later moved to New York where she received her BA from Queens College and her PhD from Yale University as a Danforth Fellow. In 1986, she was named Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. A second honor followed in 1993, when she was “knighted” for her educational efforts, and a third in 1999 when she was promoted to “Officer” in the arts.

On television, Professor Insdorf co-hosted (with Roger Ebert) Cannes Film Festival coverage for BRAVO/IFC; served as host for TeleFrance Cine-Club (a national cable-TV program) and Years of Darkness (an 8-week film series about World War Il shown by WNET/PBS); and she has appeared on 20/20, Charlie Rose, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Good Morning, America, The Sundance Channel, MSNBC, and CNN.


PAST LECTURES

2013
Paige West
Tow Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College and Columbia University

2012
Herbert Terrace

Professor of Psychology, Columbia University

2011
Robert L. Belknap
Professor Emeritus of Russian, Director Emeritus of The University Seminars, Columbia University

2010
Jean Howard
George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities
Staging History; Imagining the Nation

2009
Philip Kitcher

John Dewey Professor of Philosophy
Deaths in Venice:
The Case(s) of Gustav (von) Aschenbach

2007
Douglas Chalmers

Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Representative Government Without Representatives: Seven Reasons to Think Beyond Electing Executives and Lawmakers

2006
Boris Gasparov

Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature
The Early Romantic Roots of Theoretical Linguistics: Friedrich Shchlegel, Novalis, and Ferdinand De Saussure on Sign and Meaning

2005
Robert W. Hanning

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Serious Play: Crises of Desire and Authority in the Poetry of Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto

2004
Lesley A. Sharp

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociomedical Sciences
Bodies, Commodities, Biotechnologies

2003
George Rupp

President, International Rescue Committee
Globilization Challenged: Conviction, Conflict, Community

2002
David Rosand
Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History
The Invention of Painting in America

2001
Partha Chatterjee

Professor of Anthropology
The Politics of the Governed

2000
Lisa Anderson

Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs Professor of Political Science
The Scholar and the Practitioner: Perspectives
on Social Science and Public Policy

1999
Robert Pollack

Professor of Biological Sciences
The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith

1998
Carol Gluck
George Sansom Professor of History
Past Obsessions: War and Memory in the Twentieth Century

1997
Ira Katznelson

Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History Desolation and Enlightenment
Political Knowledge After the Holocaust, Totalitarianism, and Total War

1996
Kenneth T. Jackson
Jacques Barzun Professor of History and the Social Sciences
Gentleman’s Agreement: Political Balkanization and Social Inequality in America

1995
Saskia Sassen

Professor of Urban Planning
Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization

1994
Charles E. Larmore
Professor of Philosophy
The Romantic Legacy

1993
David N. Cannadine
Moore Collegiate Professor of History
The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain, 1700–2000