The Film Studies Center will be presenting three film screenings and discussions to celebrate the retirement of Dominique Bluher, Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Department of Romance Languages and Literature, Department of Visual Arts, and the College.
McElwee family legend has it that the Hollywood melodrama Bright Leaf, starring Gary Cooper as a 19th century tobacco grower, is based on filmmaker Ross McElwee’s great-grandfather, who created the Bull Durham brand. Using this legacy as a jumping-off point, McElwee takes us on a journey across the social, economic, and psychological tobacco terrain of North Carolina. A subjective, autobiographical meditation on the allure of cigarettes and their troubling legacy, Bright Leaves is about loss and preservation, addiction and denial—and especially about filmmaking, as McElwee fences with the legacy of the Gary Cooper melodrama. Bright Leaves explores the notion of legacy and how this can be a particularly complicated topic when the legacy under discussion is a Southern one and is tied to tobacco. (Ross McElwee, USA, 2003, 107 min., 35mm)