The Princeton Garden Theatre will screen Su Friedrich’s new documentary I Cannot Tell You How I Feel and her 2005 short diary film Seeing Red on Thursday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Cinema Today series organized by Professor of Visual Art Joe Scanlan and Mike Kamison, programming director of the Garden Theatre. Friedrich will participate in a Q&A session immediately following the screening.
For I Cannot Tell You How I Feel, Friedrich has taken up the camera again in her ongoing quest to film the battleground of family life. Her mother Lore — who played the lead in The Ties That Bind (1984), a film about her experiences growing up in Germany during the Second World War — plays the lead again, this time kicking and protesting against being moved at the age of 94 from her home in Chicago to an “independent living” facility in New York. Friedrich and her two siblings fill out the supporting roles, cajoling, comforting, and freaking out.
In Seeing Red, three elements run parallel, overlap, diverge, lock horns and in various other ways give voice to the notion that a color, a melody, or a person has multiple characteristics that cannot be grasped by, or understood within, a simple framework.
Tickets are free for Princeton University students, faculty, and staff — PUID will be needed to pick up your tickets at the box office that evening. Tickets for the public are available at the Garden Theatre Box Office in person or online.
“By candidly confronting personal struggles, Friedrich’s films invite reflections on broader, often universal concerns. This is again the case with her latest, I Cannot Tell You How I Feel, which offers a moving, tragic, frequently funny, and profoundly empathetic consideration of mortality and filial responsibility.”
– Giovanni Marchini Camia, FANDOR
“There’s been a recent, very interesting micro-trend among female experimental filmmakers. In the past few years, we’ve seen films by Chantal Akerman (No Home Movie) and Beth B (Call Her Applebroog) that see each filmmaker dealing with her relationship with her aging mother, and how her mother’s past reflects upon the director’s present. Su Friedrich’s I Cannot Tell You How I Feel, world premiering tonight at BAM Cinematek, is a thoughtful, richly felt addition to the genre.”
– Dana Reinoos, SCREEN SLATE
“I can tell you how I feel about I Can’t Tell You How I Feel, Su Friedrich’s new film: it is aesthetically unpretentious, ethically adult, and carefully crafted—and precisely as long as it should be. Its candidness about dealing with aging relatives is an engaging antidote to the usual myths, cartoons, and melodramas about aging so common in movies and on television. As participant director and narrator (in both voice-over and visual text), Friedrich is by turns wryly good-humored, self-involved and self-aware, pained, frustrated, and compassionate. For those who remember The Ties That Bind (1984), Friedrich’s breakthrough film about her mother growing up as an anti-Nazi German in the 1930s and 1940s, watching the feisty Lore Friedrich deal with moving to the strange new world of assisted living has particular poignancy.”
– Scott MacDonald, film scholar and author of CRITICAL CINEMA
Cinema Today, the Lewis Center for the Arts’ new film series, invites some of the world’s most exciting directorial talents to the Princeton Garden Theatre. Featuring contemporary filmmakers eager to share their work, insights, and experience with the Princeton community. Some screenings are stand-alone, while four evenings include a film screening and a freewheeling question-and-answer session with the directors. Through discussions of formal aesthetics, narrative techniques, and social commitments, the series tackles many pressing issues at the heart of cinema today.
The series is supported through the John Sacret Young ’69 Lecture Series fund. Sacret Young is a 1969 graduate of Princeton and an author, producer, director, and screenwriter. He has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards and seven Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, winning two WGA Awards. He is perhaps best known for co-creating, along with William F. Broyles Jr., China Beach, the critically acclaimed ABC-TV drama series about medics and nurses during the Vietnam War, and for his work on the television drama The West Wing. Young has also received a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award, and his original mini-series about the Gulf War, Thanks of a Grateful Nation, was honored with his fifth Humanitas Prize nomination.