The School of Art + Art History is preparing for its transformation into an outdoor cinema.
For the next three Thursday nights, the UF School of Art + Art History will hold its third annual “Films Under the Stars” series in the Fine Arts Plaza. Each screening is free and open to the public to enjoy beginning at 8 p.m. The films will be cast onto a 16-foot inflatable screen that associate professor Craig Smith will bring out himself.
“We let people bring lawn chairs and blankets and dogs and pizza and whatever, and we hang out there for the evening,” Smith said. “As we get later into autumn, the weather just gets better and better.”
This Thursday will feature the 1988 drama “Dangerous Liaisons,” with an all-star cast including Glenn Close and John Malkovich. The Oct. 19 showing will be Coppola’s 2006 “Marie Antoinette.” The final film, screening on Oct. 26, is director Tetsuya Nakashima’s eccentric Japanese film “Kamikaze Girls.”
This year’s films have been chosen in conjunction with the Harn Museum of Art exhibit “Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment,” which was curated by UF professor and director of graduate studies, Melissa Hyde. Smith and Hyde worked together in the spring to choose three feature films to create a dynamic and thought-provoking pairing with the exhibit.
“We put those together as something that extends public engagement and also student research engagement outside the walls of the Harn,” Smith said. “Since the exhibition has a particular direction and objective related to gender and socialization and cultural development, it makes sense that the films would also share in that.”
Smith described “Films Under the Stars” as a window into the College of the Arts for students of other majors and into the university itself for members of the community outside of UF. Whether you come for one screening or all three and visit the exhibit, Smith said everyone is sure to get something out of it, whether gaining insight or simply being entertained.
“We’re one of the largest universities in the country,” Smith said. “We serve a lot of different purposes both athletically and academically and artistically, and so I hope that ‘Films Under the Stars’ is there to engage persons with what we do in the arts.”