ROSENDALE – The Rosendale Theatre announces a March programming extravaganza: “A Celebration of Women’s Experimental Films” and new “Science on Screen” offerings, both programs are available through the virtual cinema portal. In addition, they have some suggestions for film watching around St. Patrick’s Day in mid March. These programs were uniquely developed by the Rosendale Theatre and includes an afternoon gallery walk-thru of feminist films, videos and artwork.
March is Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day (March 8). For the weekend of March 12-14, the theatre will host a mini-festival titled “Women in Experiment: Carolee Schneemann and Barbara Hammer.”
Schneemann and Hammer are major American filmmakers who have influenced visual and filmic arts. Schneemann is known for her multimedia works (film, performance, installation, painting) focused on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. Hammer, feminist filmmaker and pioneer of queer cinema, made over 90 moving image works, as well as performances, installations, photographs, collages and drawings.
These filmmakers were friends and mutual admirers, born in the same year and died within 10 days of one another. They were connected to the local area — the Women’s Studio Workshop, the Woodstock Film Festival, and the Rosendale Theatre — are poignant for us locally, but their international reach as artists and mavericks speaks freedom and creativity out loud and in all languages.
This Rosendale Theatre program, made possible through a FilmWatch grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars people). The program will exhibit several films of both Schneemann and Hammer online and host online discussions dedicated to each filmmaker. Both worked in frank imagery celebrating human bodies and topics in women’s lives that should probably be mentioned, as perhaps not suitable for all audiences.
For the panels, two stellar line-ups of filmmakers, curators, biographers and critical theorists will meet to discuss the works of these artists on March 13. Schneemann panel at 4 p.m. and Hammer panel at 7 p.m., both live on March 13.
From 3-6 p.m. on March 14, the Rosendale Theatre will be open for the first time in one year to present an in-theatre screening of short films by both filmmakers. The theatre will become a gallery in which standing, physically- distanced audience members can move through displays of images, videos, artwork and ephemera.
The entire schedule of films and events as well as pricing and payment packages will be available at rosendaletheatre.org.
Special support was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
March is also National Science on Screen month, and the Rosendale Theatre will present an unique program called “5 Ways of Looking at 2 Films: ‘The Boy who Harnessed the Wind’ and ‘William and the Windmill.’ While the films will be viewed using Netflix and Kanopy, the Theatre has produced a series of original programs featuring insights and activities born from engagement with the films, one a feature production and one a documentary. The content-rich, short programs will be available from March 15-31 at rosendaletheatre.org. On March 24 all of the experts featured in the shorts will meet for a live “Ask the Expert” session beginning at 7 p.m.
“5 Ways of Looking at 2 Films” focuses on the experience of William Kankwamba, a teenager from an agricultural village in Malawi who figures out how to build a windmill from a library book that irrigates failing crops and saves a poor village from starvation. Supplementary material includes background information on Malawi, focusing on issues of social justice; a piece on book donation programs and how that particular book William used reached his village library; a lively report from a STEM school where students have responded to the “William Challenge” and created innovative solutions to local problems; a tour of a green energy lab from SUNY New Paltz; and a discussion on the differences and similarities between feature and documentary filmmaking. This program should be of special interest to teens, their teachers, local environmentalists and science enthusiasts.
The “Science on Screen 2021” series at the Rosendale Theatre continues in April with a discussion entitled, “Mysteries of the Brain: Role of Science, Humanism, and Curiosity” to be held in connection with the film, Awakenings.
“Science on Screen” is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre and Sloan Foundation.
The third new project on the website continues out of the interest created by the January-February Italian Cinema Classics series. In March, the Rosendale Theatre is presenting an online Irish Cinema Classics program. It starts on March 15 to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17. Films will be recommended to view on other platforms (Amazon Prime primarily), and Ted Folke and Howard Menikoff, our local film professors, will provide a pre-recorded Zoom chat discussing Irish cinema.
For more information visit rosendaletheatre.org.