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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
August 29, 2005

Filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha Shows Film "Night Passage" at Carnegie Mellon

PITTSBURGH—Filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha will kick off Carnegie Mellon University's lecture series "Aesthetics out of Bounds" at 4 p.m. Sept. 12 with the screening of her new film "Night Passage" at the Chosky Theater, Purnell Center for the Arts on Carnegie Mellon's campus. She will discuss the film and her career at 5:30 p.m. This lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture series is sponsored by the Center for the Arts in Society and will provide a framework for a new course offered at Carnegie Mellon this fall titled "Aesthetics Out of Bounds: History and Art Outside the Frame." Each lecturer will also lead a seminar for faculty and students.

"All of the speakers in the series share an interest in the actual process of making and displaying art, but they don't shun serious intellectual reflection on artistic objects and experiences," said Michael Witmore, an associate professor of English who is teaching the fall section of the course. "You see this breadth from our first speaker, Trinh T. Minh-ha, who has written powerful essays about the cultural language of film and its associated technologies, but who is also constantly making films, lecturing on international cinema, collaborating with other artists and scholars, even composing."

Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer and composer. She has received several awards and grants (including the AFI National Independent Filmmaker Maya Deren Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Film Institute and the California Arts Council). Her new film, "Night Passage," pays homage to Kenji Mizyazawa's children's sci-fi classic "Milky Way Railroad."

"Trinh Minh-ha consistently challenges her audiences with each new work, constantly shifting the ways in which she critically engages with the form and spirit of cinema," said Irina Leimbacher from the San Francisco Cinematheque.

In "Night Passage," Minh-ha collaborated with artist Jean Paul Bourdier ("Reassemblage," "The Fourth Dimension") to create a story about three young friends traveling together briefly on the train between life and death. Framed through the train window, Minh-ha and Bourdier created a whimsical and sensual dreamscape, which is coupled with an ethereal music score.

Minh-ha's films have been shown widely in the United States, Canada, Senegal, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Europe and Asia). "Reassemblage" was exhibited at The New York Film Festival (1983) and has toured the country with the Asian American Film festival among other festivals.

Minh-ha has traveled and lectured extensively in the U.S., as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, on film, art, feminism and cultural politics. She taught at the National Conservatory of Music in Dakar, Senegal (1977-80); at universities such as Cornell, San Francisco State, Smith and Harvard; and she is professor of women's studies, film studies and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

Launched in 2000 with a grant from the foundation, the center is a multidisciplinary research and education center that brings together scholars who are interested in studies of culture and society, as well as the history and production of the arts. The center sponsors a regular series of events including panel discussions, faculty presentations and guest lectures. It also brings visiting scholars to campus each year, and it sponsors the university's arts in society minor. The center is a collaboration of the College of Fine Arts and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon and is a part of the university's Humanities Initiative.


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