Doha Film Institute is delighted to present ‘Watching the Classics’, an online programme where filmmakers and cinephiles can deepen their knowledge of film history. Presented by renowned scholar Richard Peña—Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University and Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival—this series of lectures/discussions each focuses on an undisputed world cinema classic.
In the monthly sessions, Professor Peña will present a given film within its aesthetic, economic, technological and social/political context, detailing each director’s formal techniques while teasing out the implications of these artistic and technical decisions.
To get the most from the programme, participants are recommended to view the films before each session, and all are readily available through various popular streaming services. After registering, participants in Qatar may request an appointment to view the featured film at our offices by emailing [email protected]
During the lecture, select images and clips will be included for discussion, and participants will be able to send Professor Peña questions, which will be addressed at the end of each session.
Director: Andrzej Wajda
Poland / Polish / 1958 / 103 mins
The revelation of Stalin’s crimes in 1953 at the Soviet Communist Party Congress led in the ensuing years to a period called “The Thaw” in the Soviet Union as well as in its communist “allies” in Central and Eastern Europe. Artists, including filmmakers, threw off the rigid guidelines that had dictated style and content, exploring a variety of themes and topics in ways that would previously have been unthinkable. ‘Ashes and Diamonds’ is surely one of the finest examples of this new tendency. Set on the last day of World War 2, the film follows Maciek, a soldier in what was the Polish Home Army assigned to kill a communist leader in a small city. But Maciek has done little but fight for seven years, and frankly, he’d rather relax a bit—especially with that attractive barmaid. Master director Andrzej Wajda brilliantly captures the personal and political contradictions of a Poland trying to decide which way forward.
Fee: 70 QAR
Fee with our Qatar Museum’s Culture Pass Discount (20%): 56 QAR
This programme is open to applicants over the age of 18. The sessions are best suited for those with some knowledge of filmmaking and who wish to expand their understanding of film history.
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