Escape! Sometimes we seek the darkness of the theater as an escape from our day to day drudgery. Sometimes when we do, the very story on the screen is one of escape. Characters who desperately need to get out of a place, situation or even state of mind. This week on CinemaJaw we tunnel through the walls of Escape Movies!
Joining us is a guest who has made his own contributions to escapism, Andrew Melzer! Andrew is a writer and filmmaker who has been directing comedy shorts since he was 10. He has directed numerous short films and web series that have been featured in film festivals across the US and Canada. His sci-fi-comedy series Greg PRIME won R/webseries’ “Best Web-Series” award and was selected in the Youngcuts International FIlm Festivals Top 10 Grand PRIX. Andrew has also written and produced two animation pilots, most recently The Magic Hour for Nickelodeon. His Latest project, The Street Wizard’s Apprentice is available soon on Vimeo and is currently making the festival rounds. You’d do well to escape into his work!
Art reflects life. We have mentioned this many times as we have explored many genres of film over the years. This week is no exception. Social Movements and Social Issues are often tackled in the movies. Many times it is a documentary, but narrative films also can crystallize a movement or a moment in time. Join us as we explore some of our favorites.
Joining us is a guest who is perhaps himself at the forefront of several issues. Aymar Jean “AJ” Christian is an assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center. Dr. Christian’s first book, Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television on New York University Press, argues the web brought innovation to television by opening development to independent producers. His work has been published in numerous academic journals, including The International Journal of Communication, Cinema Journal, Continuum, and Transformative Works and Cultures. He leads Open TV (beta), a research project and platform for television by queer, trans and cis-women and artists of color. Open TV (beta) programming partners have included the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum of Art, and City of Chicago, along with numerous galleries, community organizations, and universities. He has juried television and video for the Peabody Awards, Gotham Awards, Streamy Awards, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others. His blog, Televisual, is an archive of over 500 posts chronicling the rise of the web TV market, and he has written regular reports on TV and new media for Indiewire, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Tubefilter. He received PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.