Section: Arts

Cinearts’ bondage-themed series challenges convention

Cinearts’ bondage-themed series challenges convention

by Devon Musgrave-Johnson

 

Late last semester, members of Cinearts met to discuss a question that would determine the club’s future: Flowers or bondage?

Established three years ago, Cinearts began by working with the Gund Gallery to curate films for the exhibitions held during the year. Now the group is looking to move in a more independent direction while keeping the curatorial aspects of the club’s founding alive, according to the club’s president Lucy Adams ’16.

In pursuit of this endeavor, Cinearts will be hosting a semester-long series of six films based on one theme: bondage, and its various connotations and iterations.

“Rather than having a random selection of films, we thought that to really present a group of films would be a good way to approach this semester, and make the process a little more fun for us as well,” Adams said.

Once Cinearts made the decision to curate a film series last semester, the group then had to decide on a topic. They considered such themes as “flowers” and “classics,” but eventually settled on bondage.

Cory Koller, visiting assistant professor of drama, the group’s advisor, helped decide the theme for the series. “I think ultimately it was the diversity of selection, potency of the term itself and the versatility available that led to the decision to do ‘bondage,’” Koller said.

The series’s films span 60 years and six countries and include a wide range of topics, from films about hostage situations and Stockholm syndrome to life in a Turkish prison to a woman seeking a divorce in a Jewish orthodox society. And, of course, the series will include a James Bond film.

The first film in the series, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, screened last Friday Feb. 5 in the Community Foundation Theater in the Gund Gallery. The film, written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, stars Antonio Banderas as Ricky, a recently freed mental patient who kidnaps a porn star hoping she will one day fall in love with him.

Rated NC-17, the 1989 film kicked off the series on a strong and provocative note, letting audiences know this series is one that will leave you thinking long after it ends.

“I would say that the film was a very effective way to start off the bondage series,” Will Hunsaker ’19, who attended the screening, said. “Starting with a concrete film about bondage set the tone really well and the movie was overall interesting and fun to watch.”

With one film down, the group is hoping to generate more buzz about the series, according to Cinearts vice president Anna Shinbane ’16.

“From what I’ve gotten so far, people are excited about the series,” Shinbane said. “Obviously, it’s a striking term to be using, but I haven’t gotten any negative reception. We are trying to do this in the most cognizant and appropriate way that we can, and I think people see that and are intrigued.”

Along with the series — next up is Bond in Goldfinger on Friday, Feb. 19 — Cinearts will be hosting a number of one-off events throughout the semester, including a music-themed Valentine’s Day double feature this Saturday and an outdoor screening towards the end of the semester.

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