Cinema Club Discussion Moderators
Matthew H. Bernstein is currently a Professor and Department Chair of Film Studies at Emory University, where he has taught since 1989 and currently also runs the new undergraduate minor in media studies. Matthew received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987. He researches and teaches courses on Hollywood, Japanese cinema, nonfiction film, postwar European cinema, and African-Americans in film. He has written a film producer biography titled, Walter Wanger, Hollywood Independent (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), co-edited Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film (Rutgers University Press, 1987) and John Ford Made Westerns: Filming the Legend in the Sound Era (Indiana University Press, 2000). He also edited Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era (Rutgers, 1999), and fall 2010 will see the publication of another anthology, Michael Moore: Filmmaker, Newsmaker, Cultural Icon (University of Michigan Press). His most recent book is Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and TV, published in 2009 by the University of Georgia Press. He is serving as co-chair of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival from 2011-2012. Since 2005, he has served on the National Board of Film Preservation, which advises the librarian of congress on film preservation issues and on films to be names to the historic registry of American films. He also serves on the editorial boards of Cinema Journal and the Journal of Film and Video, and he is Book Review Editor for Film Quarterly. His reviews and essays have appeared in those journals and in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, Film History and Post Script, as well as several anthologies. Twice awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Matthew's current book project is with Dana F. White, also of Emory, Segregated Cinema in a Southern City – a history of film-going in Atlanta – of which the Key Sunday Cinema Club and The Cinema Club are important chapters. For more information, click here.
Mike Budd is a semi-retired professor of film studies at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. He continues to teach courses like Documentary Film and Video, Asian Cinema, and Women and Film. He has published books on the German Expressionist film classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (as well as the DVD commentary on the restored version of the film); television and commercial culture; and Disney. In addition to his teaching and research, he enjoys travelling with his wife, Suzanne Sheber (the Boca Raton Cinema Club Manager), attending film festivals, and visiting grandchildren.
Linda Dittmar, Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, has been teaching film and literature for four decades. In recent years she has also taught film overseas in Paris, Tel Aviv and India. In addition to many articles and book chapters, her publications include From Hanoi to Hollywood: The Vietnam War in American Film and Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism. This winter she will be lecturing in India for the Fulbright Foundation.
Brittain Smith (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is a graduate of the Institute for Teaching Film as Film, directed by professors Rick Rentschler (Harvard) and Anton Kaes (Berkeley). Currently a freelance writer, he is former assistant professor of German at Boston University, where he taught courses in Weimar Cinema (Pabst, Lubitsch, Lang, et al.) and in New German Cinema (Wenders, Herzog, Fassbinder, et al.). He is a manuscript editor for the journal Film Criticism and has directed film festivals at Allegheny College and at Loyola University.
Patrice Petro is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies, and English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also serves as senior international officer for the campus. As Director of the Center for International Education at UWM, she also is faculty director of the campus-wide Global Studies Program, which offers an innovative undergraduate degree which focuses on major issues in globalization (including film studies, new media, and world cinema). She is the author and editor of six books, including, among other titles, Joyless Streets: Women and Melodramatic Representation in Weimar Germany, Aftershocks of the New: Feminism and Film History, Global Cities: Cinema, Architecture, and Urbanism in a Digital Age, and Rethinking Global Security: Media, Popular Culture, and the War on Terror. She is President of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS). Founded in 1959, SCMS is a professional organization of college and university educators, filmmakers, historians, critics, scholars, and others devoted to the study of the moving image. As the largest and most prestigious scholarly association in the nation devoted to film and media study, the SCMS is dedicated to strengthening the ties between the academic community and those who interact with it, from the media industry to the government to the public at large; and to promoting the preservation of our film, television, video, and other media heritage.
Gilberto M. Blasini is Associate Professor of Cinema & Media Studies, and English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he currently serves as Director of the Cinema and Media Studies Program. He holds a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master's and Doctorate in Critical Studies in Film and Television from the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Blasini is also faculty advisor to the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UWM. He has written and taught extensively on post-1967 U.S. cinema, Latin American and Caribbean cinema and culture, U.S. television, discourses of race, gender and sexuality, and Puerto Rican performance art and contemporary dance.
John MacKay studied at the University of British Columbia, the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, and Yale University. He is now an assistant professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale, specializing in Russian film, 19th and 20th century Russian literature, and the theory of film and literature. He has translated essays on film by Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Rudolf Arnheim, Siegfried Kracauer, and Imre Kertesz, and is currently working on a project about Dziga Vertov and the documentary tradition.
Michael Kerbel received his graduate degree in film from the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is Director of the Yale Film Study Center — which houses the University's extensive film and video collection — and is Lecturer in Yale's Film Studies and American Studies Programs. His courses at Yale include U.S. Cinema from 1960 to the Mid-1970s and The Films of Woody Allen, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese. His publications include two books on film actors and articles on film and television for The Village Voice, Cineaste, Film Comment and others.
Peter L. Stein
Peter L. Stein has a producing career in media and the arts that spans theater, television, museums and film. Since 2003 he has been the Executive Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the first and largest of its kind in the world and a recognized leader in using film to foster cross-cultural understanding. For 11 years he was executive producer at KQED (PBS/San Francisco), where he wrote, directed and produced a wide range of series and programs for national public television, garnering such prestigious honors as the Peabody Award (for his documentary The Castro) and numerous regional Emmy awards for historical, cultural and environmental programs. From 1999-2003 he was Deputy Director for Programming at the Jewish Museum San Francisco. Peter is an accomplished public speaker, appearing on such programs as NPR's "Fresh Air" and "Weekend Edition" and numerous television news and interview programs. On the other side of the microphone, he frequently moderates public panels and discussions for Bay Area theaters, museums, and media organizations, and has written film-related features for the San Francisco Chronicle. Peter is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University, and a third-generation San Francisco native.
Since 2004, Rod Armstrong has been a Programming Associate with the San Francisco Film Society. Prior to this, he served as editor-in-chief for the popular film-related website Reel.com where he wrote hundreds of reviews and conducted many interviews with luminaries such as Charlotte Rampling and Tilda Swinton. Reaching back as far as 7th grade, he was interviewed for a local newspaper; when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he replied, "A movie critic." The love for cinema goes back that far!
Diane is professor emeritus at St. Louis Community College, Meramec, adjunct professor at Webster University where she leads upper division film seminars, and President of the University Film and Video Association, an international professional organization. She can also be heard weekly as film critic/reviewer for KDHX (88.1) FM community radio. She is a member on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Film and Video and a member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS). She is the author or editor of many books in film, including; John Sayles: Interviews, and a contributor to many journals including Quarterly Review of Film and Video (QRFV).
Harper Barnes, now a freelance writer, edited the Boston Phoenix and was feature director and chief film critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has written for the Atlantic, Rolling Stone, the New York Times and other publications. He is the author of "Never Been a Time," a history of the 1917 East St. Louis race riot; "Blue Monday," a novel set among the jazz musicians, gangsters, and corrupt politicians of Kansas City in the 1930s, and "Standing on a Volcano: The Life and Times of David Rowland Francis." Francis was the American ambassador to Russia during the 1917 revolution.
David Sterritt is chairman of the National Society of Film Critics, film critic of Tikkun, chief book critic of Film Quarterly, editorial board member of Cinema Journal and Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and weekly commentator for David Sterritt with Films in Focus on WHDD and RobinHoodRadio.com. Before his early retirement in 2005 he was film critic for The Christian Science Monitor for almost forty years, serving twice as chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle during that time. He has a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University and is adjunct professor at Columbia University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, visiting faculty member of the Goldring Arts Journalism Program at Syracuse University, and professor emeritus of theater and film at Long Island University. His books include The Films of Alfred Hitchcock, The Films of Jean-Luc Godard: Seeing the Invisible, Robert Altman: Interviews, Guiltless Pleasures: A David Sterritt Film Reader, Mad to Be Saved: The Beats, the ‘50s, and Film, The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love, and The Honeymooners. He has been a member of the New York Film Festival selection committee, film critic of NPR’s All Things Considered, and a theater critic for Variety. He has served on film-festival juries in Moscow, Vienna, Toronto, and elsewhere, and has lectured at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art. He is now writing a book about Clint Eastwood for Wallflower Press and one on Spike Lee for Polity Books. He lives in Baltimore with his girlfriend and their French bulldog. For more information, click here.
Peter Brunette was the Cinema Club's Artistic Director since the very beginning until his untimely death in June 2010. He was also the Cinema Club's Moderator in Washington DC and Reynolds Professor of Film Studies at Wake Forest University, after teaching nearly three decades at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He wrote or edited eight books on film, including Roberto Rossellini, the definitive study in English of this director's films (Oxford University Press, 1987; republished University of California Press, 1996); Screen/Play: Derrida and Film Theory (Princeton University Press, 1990; co-authored with David Wills); a co-edited book (with David Wills) on visual theory published by Cambridge University Press in 1994, entitled Deconstruction and the Visual Arts: Art, Media, Architecture; and a book on Francois Truffaut's film SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER (Rutgers, 1993). In the fall of 1998, Cambridge University Press published his book The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni and, in January 1999, his edited book, Martin Scorsese: Interviews, was published by the University of Mississippi Press. His book on Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2005. He was also general editor of the Mississippi interview series; nearly 60 books have already been published in this series. After a decade as a film critic for Film.com, indieWIRE.com, and the trade paper Screen International, Peter regularly reviewed films for The Hollywood Reporter up to his death, in addition to being a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and several other newspapers. His final book on film, about Austrian director Michael Haneke, was published by the University of Illinois Press in early 2010. Click here for his memorial page.
Cinema Club Administration
In April 2009, long-time KSCC employee Andrew Mencher commenced operation of The Cinema Club, a continuation of the Key Sunday Cinema Club, for which he most recently served as Lead Film Programmer. Andrew graduated from Skidmore College with his bachelor's degree in Anthropology in 1989 and received his M.A. in Film and Video from American University in 1993, where he produced and directed several award winning short films. He worked for Washington DC's Key Theatre from 1991-97, and was integral in the formation and growth of the Key Sunday Cinema Club, including its expansion in 1998-2001 from DC to cities around the country. He has served dozens of times as a stage 1 jury chair for the National Cine Awards, has three times served as a juror for Washington's FilmFest DC, and has appeared on Public Television (WNVC) as a film reviewer. Andrew helped co-distribute two documentary features, the LOST BOYS OF SUDAN with Shadow Releasing and GO FURTHER! with Abramorama Entertainment and Executive Produced Azaael Jacobs' feature film THE GOOD TIMES KID. Andrew was Film Programmer for Washington DC's Visions Cinema (2000-2004) and in late 2004 joined the staff at Washington DC's oldest film venue, the Avalon Theatre. He currently serves as Director of Programming and Operations for the independent, non-profit Avalon.
Membership Coordinator Susie Mencher
If you call or e-mail with membership-related inquiries, you most likely will communicate with Susie.
How to Join:Select your city from the drop-down menu above to join the club, renew your membership, or learn more.
Testimonials:“The discussions provide so much insight that you miss out on as an average film-goer.”
– Atlanta Member
“I love not knowing what movie I'm going to see when I walk in here.”
– San Francisco Member
“I appreciate the exposure to films that I might not ordinarily see on my own.”
– Milwaukee Member