April 17, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 15

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    Producer Schamus to visit campus

    Lecture, sneak preview of new film on agenda Film producer James Schamus, whose projects include Sense and Sensibility, The Brothers McMullen, Safe, Poison, Eat Drink Man Woman and The Wedding Banquet, will give the John Nuveen Company Fellow Lecture at 4 p.m. Friday, May 2, in the Film Studies Center Auditorium, Cobb 307.

    A sneak preview of a film written and produced by Schamus will be shown at 7 p.m. that day in Max Palevsky Cinema, Ida Noyes Hall. Free passes will be available at the Film Studies Center following the lecture and at Max Palevksy Cinema after 5 p.m.

    Schamus' lecture, "Narrative Rights," will discuss what rights people have over their own biographical stories.

    "Suppose I wanted to buy the rights to your life story in order to make a movie based on those rights," Schamus said, explaining the premise of his talk. "What, exactly, would I be buying from you? How would what I bought from you translate onto the screen? What about the traces or echoes of your life story that will end up on the soundtrack album, theme park ride and plastic action figures I'll inevitably produce along with the movie? And how did you get these rights to begin with?" Schamus will explain how such property rights become legally recognized and organized. He will also discuss the impact of this legal machinery on human interactions in a world that is "taking shape as a field of competing claims to 'ownership' of our experiences and feelings," he said.

    Schamus co-founded the Good Machine Inc. production company in 1991 and has been involved in producing numerous award-winning films. In 1996, the Independent Feature Project honored Schamus and Good Machine partner Ted Hope with the Gotham Award for outstanding achievement in producing.

    His current projects include The Ice Storm, starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Allen, which Schamus both wrote and produced; Frank Grow's digitally created experimental feature Love God; Cindy Sherman's Office Killer, starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, Molly Ringwald and Carol Kane; and The Myth of Fingerprints, starring Roy Scheider, Blythe Danner, Julianne Moore and Noah Wyle.

    Assistant professor of film theory, history and production at Columbia University, Schamus has written on the work of Danish filmmaker Carl Dreyer and is the author of The Apparatus Guide to No-Budget Filmmaking.

    The John Nuveen Company Fellow Program brings leaders in the arts and culture to the University for special presentations and events.

    For more information, call 702-8596.