Sadia Shepard ’97 will close out the 2010 Independent Filmmaker Series with a showing of her documentary, The September Issue, which details the creation of a single issue of Vogue. Sponsored by the Film Studies Department with special support by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the series brings critically-acclaimed filmmakers to campus to show and discuss their work. Shepard was profiled in The Hartford Courant.
The free presentation is at 8 p.m. in Goldsmith Family Cinema on Thursday, 4-29, and is open to the public.
All through April, outstanding independent films and their filmmakers will be featured as part of Wesleyan’s 2010 Independent Filmmaker Series. The free-of-charge series is open to the public and begins April 1 and runs each Thursday night through April 29 at 8 p.m. at The Center for Film Studies’ Goldsmith Family Cinema. Noted independent directors, producers and writers will discuss their films then show them for the audience.
In The San Francisco Chronicle, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth reviews Daring Young Men: The Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948-May 1949, a new book by Richard Reeves. The book details one of the seminal moments of the early Cold War chess match between The United States and The Soviet Union as Stalin sought to starve the Western sectors of Berlin into submission. The U.S. responded with an improbable plan to fly into Berlin everything the city’s residents needed to survive. Roth states: “Today, when the United States struggles with two wars only grudgingly supported by some of its citizens, Reeves’ account is a welcome reminder of the importance of a military willing to take risks to preserve freedom. ‘Daring Young Men’ brings to life a moment when altruism, guts and know-how inspired our country and saved a city.”
The Boston Globe recently profiled Amanda Belichick ’07, an up and coming coach in women’s lacrosse. Belichick, a history major, is currently an assistant coach at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass.
Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education was featured in stories appearing in The Boston Globe, The Associated Press and on WNPR recently. The grant-funded pilot program, founded by current Center Fellow Russell Perkins ’09 and Molly Birnbaum ’09, provides for-credit “high caliber liberal arts education” to a small group of selected inmates at the Cheshire Correctional Institute. Perkins is also a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship winner.
In The San Francisco Chronicle, President Michael S. Roth reviews Ken Gormley’s new book, The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr. Roth says that while the book comes in at 789 pages, “it’s a great read that reveals the core dynamics of historical events that influence (and plague) American political life to this day.”
Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and a senior member if the U.N.’s IPCC panel, discusses the economic implications of polar ice melt with ABC’s Bill Blakemore ’65. Some estimates have the costs of polar ice melts and ensuing rising seas at $2.4 trillion over the next few decades. Yohe says that there have been more than 300 studies on the dollar costs of global warming with varying outcomes projected. Yohe points out more than 88% of the studies show negative implications and heightened dollar costs over the long term.
Jeffrey Deitch ’74 has been named the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California. Deitch was a studio art major at Wesleyan and has made a career as a renowned art dealer in New York City.
In The Los Angeles Times, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth reviews Louis Menand’s latest book: The Market Place of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University. Roth says the slim tome examines some of the challenges and conditions faced by universities and colleges today. This includes the question: “How do you create a general education program required by all undergraduates?” There is also an examination of the faculty and the process by which they become college-level educators.”This slim volume of loosely linked essays doesn’t offer any solutions to the resistance to innovation at America’s best universities,” Roth writes, “but it does show how we have created professional academic conformity.”
The 52nd annual Grammy nominations were announced and include works by three Wesleyan alumni. Desire, by Tierney Sutton ’86, was nominated for “Best Jazz Vocal Album.” The group MGMT (Ben Goldwasser ’05 and Andrew Vanwyngarden ’05) was nominated “Best New Artist,” while their song “Kids” from the album Oracular Spectacular received a nomination for “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.” Winners in all 109 Grammy categories, voted on by members of the Recording Academy, will be announced Jan. 31.
The Producer’s Guild of America has announced that the 2010 Vanguard Award will go to Joss Whedon ’87. Whedon, the producer of the TV shows “Dollhouse,” “Firefly,” “Angel,” and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the Internet sensation “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog,” is also a renowned director and screenwriter. The award is presented for “achievements in new media and technology.” Whedon will receive the award at the 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Jan. 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.
Previous Vanguard Award recipients include George Lucas, James Cameron, John Lasseter, MySpace CEO and co-founder Chris DeWolfe and president and co-founder Tom Anderson, and YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Will Wright.