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Polish film director Ryszard Bugajski speaks to students in the classroom of Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures Anna Krakus (standing). During the Oct. 15 event, he discussed the making of his daring and controversial film <em>Interrogation</em>. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Filmmaker and Rebel

October 22, 2013

In the communist-era Soviet bloc, all forms of artistic expression were subject to censorship and even suppression by the government. This reality gave rise to a dissident, grassroots practice called samizdat in which censored…

From left, Stanley Rosen, professor of political science in USC Dornsife leads a discussion with television and film producer, Zhang Jizhong during the conference. Robert Chi, assistant professor of Asian languages and cultures at UCLA interpreted for Zhang. Photo courtesy of Zhang Jizhong.

Monkey King to become China's Mickey Mouse?

February 28, 2012

International filmmakers and developers interested in partnering with China on business ventures such as constructing theme parks or filming movies are advised to have a deep understanding of the Chinese culture, panelists…

In USC's inaugural science-themed filmmaking competition, USC Dornsife's Kevin Le and USC School of Cinematic Arts' Edward Saavedra, sophomores, took top prize for their short movie, <em>Time</em>, which explains why times moves forward and never back. Shown here is Salvador Dali's 1931 melting clock painting, <em>The Persistence of Memory</em>. Image © 2007 Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Time Flies

February 17, 2012

To learn why time moves only forward one must first understand a fundamental law of physics: the increase of entropy. The law describes the tendency for systems to go from a state of higher organization to disorder. Consider…

<em>Cleopatra</em> was a critical flop, but starred Elizabeth Taylor as the most powerful woman in the ancient world. USC Dornsife's M. G. Lord discusses <em>Cleopatra</em> in her new book, <em>The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice</em> out Feb. 7.

Behind Those Violet Eyes

February 3, 2012

Just for a hoot, M. G. Lord and a group of friends rented a mid-century modern house in Palm Springs, Calif., for Memorial Day weekend. Lord had brought a box of Elizabeth Taylor movies, and popped in a DVD. “We were…

In the Fall special topics course "The Fantastic in Modern East Asian Literature and Film," USC undergraduates and graduate students learned the film <em>Godzilla</em>, created by Japanese film director Ishirō Honda in 1954, represents the United States and Japan’s fears about the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Image credit: 1954 © Toho Co., Ltd.

A Fantastical Take on Reality

January 17, 2012

Watching the film Godzilla with his classmates, USC senior Elton Keung initially saw the scaly creature as nothing more than a monster stomping through the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Keung was surprised to learn that the…

British Academy award winning director Michael Apted (right) discusses using real-life stories in documentaries with Micahel Renov, professor of critical studies and associate dean for academic affairs in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, during the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Student Voices Master Class. Photo by Kim Fox.

A Director to Look 'Up' To

October 14, 2011

For the past 47 years, director Michael Apted has navigated the rough waters of documenting real voices. Unlike actors in feature films, the people in Apted’s Up series don’t rely on scripts or take direction from…

In USC’s first filmmaking competition centered on the sciences, Clifford Johnson and Anna Krylov of USC Dornsife envision entries on any kind of film genre imaginable. What if Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were scientists in the classic romantic comedy <em>It Happened One Night</em>?

It Happened One Night (in the Lab)

September 20, 2011

Envision a romantic comedy with a science-based plot. The leading roles are biologists, let’s say, working in the same lab, using Schizoaccharomyces pombe to find a cure for cancer. Love ensues, followed by some…

Emma Roll shoots footage for her ethnographic film "They Come in Waves." The documentary explores how surf tourism is affecting beach communities throughout Latin America.

Reel Life

September 12, 2011

A year of hard work came to an exciting culmination Friday, Sept. 9, as nine students in the Master of Arts in Visual Anthropology (MVA) program in USC Dornsife debuted the ethnographic documentary films they spent the past 12…

From left, Class of 2011 Master of Liberal Studies graduates Shelly Hacco, Alan Kita, and Tiffany Miller prepare for their presentations at the Fifth Annual Graduate Liberal Studies Symposium at Simon Fraser University. Photo credit Jie Gu.

Master of Liberal Studies Students Selected for Annual Symposium

May 27, 2011

As an actress and fan of Daphne du Maurier’s literary works, Shelly Hacco gravitated to the curriculum she undertook in the Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) course “Acts of Interpretation: Literature, Film, and…

Holocaust survivor Renée Firestone in the film <em>The Last Days</em>. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute has partnered with Comcast to release this documentary film and nine others in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Photo by Geoffrey Clifford.

Remembering Their Stories

April 18, 2011

Watching a visual testimony from a Holocaust survivor is a deeply moving, powerful and unforgettable experience. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, based in USC Dornsife, maintains a historic…