Mieke Bal and Madame B.
International cultural theorist, critic, and artist, Mieke Bal will present a sneak preview of her latest film project, Madame B. (directed by Mieke Bal and Michelle Williams Garnaker), an ambitious, feature-length film adapted from the legendary 1856 novel, Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert. Madame B. draws upon this classic work of literature as an allegory for contemporary mores, and the film offers a radically new interpretation of the text. Visually, Madame B. questions the role of women in a society driven by masculine impulses while, at the narrative level, the film explores ways in which cinematic writing can be turned into visual story-telling.
Co-sponsored by the Davis Museum, the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities, and the Cinema and Media Studies Program, with funding generously provided by the Kathryn Wasserman Davis ’28 Fund for World Cultures and Leadership and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Additional biography: Mieke Bal is Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Professor. She is based at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam. Her interests range from biblical and classical antiquity to 17th century and contemporary art and modern literature, feminism and migratory culture. Her many books include Of What One Cannot Speak: Doris Salcedo’s Political Art (2010), Loving Yusuf (2008), A Mieke Bal Reader (2006), Travelling Concepts in the Humanities (2002) and Narratology (3d edition 2009). She is also a video-artist, making experimental documentaries on migration. Working primarily with the collective, Cinema Suitcase, Mieke Bal makes films that seek to facilitate the self- narration of their subjects rather than constructing their stories for them. This approach enhances the performative quality of filmmaking as a collective process.
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