Ackland Museum of Art hosts global cult film forum at Varsity Theater
The Ackland Art Museum’s Film Forum at the Varsity Theater on Franklin Street kicked off last Thursday with ‘The Man Who Saved the World’, a film known as Turkey’s ‘Star Wars’.
It is one of four films that make up the series’ spring 2022 theme: global cult cinema.
Audiences will often seek out cult films because they have a dedicated fan base, according to film forum programmer for Ackland and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature Martin Johnson.
“In many cases, the filmmakers were trying to make the movie they wanted to make and it ended up finding an even more popular audience than they had anticipated,” Johnson said.
The Film Forum was co-hosted by Ackland and UNC’s Film Studies Program in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.
“As a non-cinephile, I quickly learned that ‘cult classics’ are beloved films that have a real sense of fun and excitement for a group of people,” said the public programs for the Ackland Lindsey Hale.
The Forum has taken many different forms over the years, Hale said, including virtual watch parties the Acklands have hosted on Amazon Prime and Zoom during the pandemic.
The series debuted in 2011. Previous forums have focused on American female directors, global queer cinema, and American music.
“(The Ackland) had the idea to show a movie and instead of doing it inside of Ackland, the idea was to do it in a theater within the community,” the owner said. of the Varsity Theatre, Paul Shareshian.
The films also reflect what Ackland is currently on display at the museum, Shareshian said.
This spring, the Forum is working in conjunction with an installation in the Ackland’s second-floor gallery that features exhibits of work used in college courses, Hale said.
Visitors can find sample posters from the Ackland Collection on display for a course in film studies research methods that Johnson currently teaches. The class is a collaborative international online learning course with Iain Robert Smith, Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London.
Three other films are part of this spring’s series: “The Big Boss”, “Tears of the Black Tiger” and “Om Shanti Om”. Each screening will be accompanied by a brief introduction from a local film buff, Hale said.
“These movies are all really fun to watch and as we come out of the pandemic, that’s what I really wanted to do with this series,” Johnson said.
Screenings are free and open to the public, and will take place on Thursdays for the next few weeks.
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