The library will again hold its foreign film screenings and discussions as a series of virtual events, led by Gerard Amsellem, an artist, educator and filmmaker who has made the study of international films his passion. Scheduled for 7:00 PM one evening each month from September through December, the series will cover the following films:
September 21st: Antonia's Line (Dutch)
October 18th: Frantz (French)
November 15th: Ida (Polish)
December 13th: Transit (German)
All four of these films explore how war and conflict can affect a community, even many years after the conflict has ended; each film was selected for its excellence as an independently made film.
Although the library will not provide in-house screenings of these movies due to the pandemic, Springfield Library patrons have free access to all four films through the library’s participation in hoopla. People interested in viewing these films are encouraged to watch them in advance of each of the scheduled programs.
These films are accessible through hoopla to residents of other communities that belong to the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium (LMxAC). In addition to Springfield, other libraries in Union County that are members of LMxAC include Elizabeth, Kenilworth, Plainfield, Roselle and Roselle Park. Residents of other communities may check with their libraries to see if these films are available for viewing through digital or streaming services or in DVD format.
Raised in France, Gerard Amsellem moved to the United States in 1982 after having studied painting at the University of Paris and after having earned Master’s Degrees in both French Literature and Art History. He then studied film at the Tisch School at New York University. He is passionate about getting people to understand film as an art form and teaching them how to “read” a film. Each of the four sessions that Mr. Amsellem will present will cover the history of cinema in the country being spotlighted, followed by a discussion of the film itself, including the background of the director. This will be followed by a question and answer session with those in attendance.
This program is made possible by funding from the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Funding is also provided by a generous donation from the Friends of the Springfield Free Public Library.