Art School(ed): Finding Vivian Maier this week at the Cable Car Cinema

Perhaps you are well acquainted with Blog’s column, This Week at the Avon. Meet the Avon’s sulky, redheaded step-sister hip, closer-to-sea-level competitor, the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe. Cable Car, located on seabreezy South Main Street, has recently been deemed “Best Art House Cinema in New England” by Yankee Magazine. This week, Cable Car has extended their screening of the new, much-anticipated documentary Finding Vivian Maier through Thursday. This film seeks to unveil the mysterious nanny who also happened to be one of the most prolific street photographers of the 20th century. She created work on par with Diane Arbus, Lisette Model, and Robert Frank, but her fruits of her Rolleiflex were unknown to the world until 2007.


A 26-year-old real estate agent and director of the film, John Maloof, discovered Maier’s work at a storage auction in Chicago while looking for images of the Windy City to include in a book he was co-authoring at the time. Maier had stashed her work away in boxes, and 100,000 negatives and undeveloped rolls of film had remained unseen until Maloof stumbled upon them. The art world and the general public feel immense gratitude towards Maloof because he made Maier’s work known, but, as the film progresses, the problematic nature of Maloof’s nearly tyrannical possession of the work bubbles to the surface. Maloof had no personal connection to Maier before he bid on a trunk of her negatives for $300, but now he is producing (and profiting from) posthumous prints of her work, and receiving international attention because of Maier’s eccentric story. At times, Finding Vivian Maier comes across as a thinly veiled promotional piece for John Maloof, and it makes the viewer wonder what this film could have been if it had been directed by a third party documentarian.

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Art School(ed): RISD Alumni Cheat Sheet, Part 1

HistoryScenario: You find yourself at a house party, and your intrigue is piqued by an unfamiliar collegian across the room, wearing a paint-splattered t-shirt emblazoned with the RISD seal. It’s a classic conundrum: two kids from the opposite sides of town, searching for some common ground. You could initiate conversation with age-old ice breakers—”are your calves so defined from walking up the Hill every day?” or, “is it true that you have 8-hour-long studio classes?!” But why not distinguish yourself as the burgeoning free-thinker you are, and discuss the many artists who walked these streets before you did? Maybe you won’t run into any new RISD kids this semester (they won’t be seeing much daylight as they prepare for their impending final critiques), but why not go home for break and impress your mom with these fun facts about artistic beginnings on College Hill? After all, you live in Providence, the self-proclaimed creative capital of the US, and college has transformed you into a learned sophisticate!

Here is your cheat sheet of some eccentric and accomplished artists who have graced the College Hill grounds currently beneath your feet, after the jump:

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James Franco-Charlie Rose interview now online

For those of you who missed James Franco’s hotly anticipated appearance on campus last month as part of the Ivy Film Festival, Charlie Rose has now uploaded the video. You can watch the full interview here. At about 53 minutes, it can serve as the perfect break from whatever book your nose is buried in.

Photo credit: Emily Gilbert / Herald

Ivy Film Festival brings films, panels, and Sorkin to Brown

Brush up on your MCM vocabulary— the Ivy Film Festival is back in town. Since yesterday, the IFF has been organizing different film-related events across campus. From free screenings to panel discussions with big names in the industry (why, hello, Mr. Franco and Mr. Sorkin), there’s bound to be at least one event that catches your eye and and can provide you with a break during your frantic post-Spring Weekend reality check.

What’s cool about the festival: FREE FREE FREE events, films made by students being honored at the Festival (it IS a film competition, after all), and the opportunity to drool over James Franco as he uses seductive words like diegesis and voyeurism.

What’s not so cool: because the events are FREE FREE FREE, the keynote speeches are going to fill up quickly. Jot down the dates, get tickets if you have to, and get to Granoff early to make sure you can hear Aaron Sorkin talk about how cool it is to be Aaron Sorkin.

The Festival will be going on until Sunday, April 24th. A full list of the events for the week after the jump!

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