March 10, 2017

Screening of I Cannot Tell You How I Feel and Seeing Red by Su Friedrich

Filmmaker and Princeton University faculty member screens her most recent film and one from 2005 followed by an audience discussion in the Cinema Today series

The Visual Arts Program in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and the Princeton Garden Theatre will present a special screening of Professor of Visual Arts Su Friedrich’s new documentary I Cannot Tell You How I Feel and her 2005 short diary film Seeing Red as a part of the collaborative film series Cinema Today. Followed by an in-person discussion with filmmaker Friedrich, the screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16 at the Garden Theatre. Tickets ranging from $6 to $11 are available to the public at; free to Princeton University students, faculty and staff with ID at the Garden Theatre box office.

lore friedrich in chicago

A scene from Su Friedrich’s newest film I Cannot Tell You How I Feel

In I Cannot Tell You How I Feel, Friedrich once again takes up the camera to film the battleground of family life. Her mother Lore—who was featured in Friedrich’s 1984 film The Ties That Bind, a film about her experiences growing up in Germany during the Second World War—again plays the lead, this time protesting a move at the age of 94 from her home in Chicago to an independent living facility in upstate New York. Friedrich and her two siblings fill out the supporting roles, as she puts it, “cajoling, comforting, and freaking out.”

“By candidly confronting personal struggles,” notes Giovanni Marchini Camia in a review of the film in Fandor, “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.”

Seeing Red is the filmmaker’s self-revelatory video diary, exploring the visual, verbal, and musical elements that make up the color red. The film questions how a simple color or person can be represented by such a variety of complex and conflicting characteristics, asking: what does “red” truly represent, and what is it making us feel?

The current Cinema Today series has been organized by Director of the Program in Visual Arts Joe Scanlan and Mike Kamison, programming director of the Garden Theatre. The series tackles issues within the film industry today through conversations with four contemporary filmmakers – all of whom have a connection to Princeton. A fall edition of the series included screenings and discussions with filmmakers Charlie Kaufman, Terrence Malick, and Kelly Reichardt, among others.

Friedrich has produced and directed 23 digital videos and 16mm films, including Queen Takes Pawn (2013), The Odds of Recovery (2002), Hide and Seek (1996), Sink or Swim (1990), The Ties That Bind (1984), Gently Down the Stream (1981) and Gut Renovation (2013) which premiered at the Film Forum in New York and was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. With the exception of Hide and Seek, Friedrich is the writer, director, cinematographer, sound recordist and editor of all her films. Her films have won numerous awards, including Best Narrative Film Award at the Athens International Film Festival, Outstanding Documentary Feature at Outfest in Los Angeles, Special Jury Award at the New York Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Grand Prix at the Melbourne Film Festival, the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and Best Experimental Narrative Award at the Atlanta Film Festival. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art and many other institutions. Friedrich is the recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts, an Independent Television Service production grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and a DAAD grant as artist-in-residence in Berlin, as well as multiple grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. Her films are distributed by Outcast Films. She currently teaches film and video production at Princeton.

Future screenings in the Cinema Today series include Princeton alumni Todd and Jedd Wider’s God Knows Where I Am on April 13.

The Cinema Today 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.

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