Public Screenings

Gish Film Theater 2017-2018 Schedule
The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Film Theater
Bowling Green State University

Gish Film Theater and Gallery

Located in Hanna Hall, 1st floor, Bowling Green State University. Park in Lot A, corner of South College Drive and E. Wooster St.

Tuesdays at the Gish

Sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Film.

All films are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday nights, the Gish Film Theater is THE place to be. With classics, cult favorites, quirky indie films and cutting-edge documentaries, Tuesdays at The Gish is for fans and connoisseurs looking for film treasures off the beaten track.

Fall 2017

Lion  (2016) U.S. and Australia, 118 minutes, Director: Garth Davis

Hosted by UFO/BGReel

Introduction by Kathleen Kollman, doctoral student in American Culture Studies

Coming-of-age stories, with their terrifying and heartwarming moments, have been part of American cinema from The Kid (1921) to The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2013). Similarly, coming-of-age films like The 400 Blows (1959) and Whale Rider (2002) have enriched international cinema. This international co-production continues the tradition, and is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel), who searches for his family in India after being separated from them at age five.  

The Virgin Suicides  (1999) U.S., 97 minutes, Director: Sofia Coppola

Introduction by Kathleen Kollman, doctoral student in American Culture Studies

This coming-of-age film, starring Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnet, is about five sisters and the group of boys who become fascinated by their troubled lives. While released in 1999, the film can be discussed in relation to current-day debates surrounding the series 13 Reasons Why. Director Sofia Coppola, who later won the Best Screenplay Oscar for Lost in Translation (2003), explains that reading The Virgin Suicides novel is what prompted her to become a filmmaker.

Stagecoach  (1939) U.S., 97 minutes, Director: John Ford

Introduction by Anna McKibben, curator of the film/politics/culture blog Start Focus End

Now recognized as a film that exemplifies the best of studio-era Hollywood, Stagecoach stars sultry, award-winning-actress Claire Trevor and American icon John Wayne, whose swaggering but self-effacing performance as the Ringo Kid made him a star. The film is the first of John Ford’s signature westerns set in Monument Valley and one of the reasons people see Ford, along with William Wyler, Frank Capra, and Howard Hawks, as a director who shaped Classical Hollywood Cinema.     

BGSU student screenplays, 90 minutes, Curator: Stephen Seiber

Moderated by Stephen Seiber, film production major and Honors College student

This event features staged readings of two student screenplays. Thoughtful discussions involving the author, the audience, and the performers follow each reading. The conversations will explore the authors’ visions to facilitate revisions that will strengthen story structure, characterizations, tone, dialogue, and the translation into actual production.

BGSU student films, 90 minutes, Curator: Daniel Williams

Moderated by Daniel Williams, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Film

Cineposium is an event for screening and critiquing student films created in courses Cinematography, Editing-Image-Sound, Sync-Sound Production, Applied Aesthetics for the Moving Image, and Capstone Projects in Film. The event is enlivened by the opportunity for the filmmakers, the audience, and members of the film faculty to engage in a dialogue about the film majors’ individual and group projects.

Seconds  (1966) U.S., 106 minutes, Director: John Frankenheimer

Introduction by William Avila, doctoral student in American Culture Studies

Seconds, perhaps foreshadowing films like Face/Off (1997) with Nicholas Cage and John Travolta, or American Beauty (1999) with Kevin Spacey, is about a middle-aged banker who makes a Faustian bargain to get a new life and becomes (after cosmetic surgery) a painter played by matinee-idol Rock Hudson. A dystopian slow-burner, Seconds is must-see for James Wong Howe’s striking cinematography. Like Stagecoach, the film belongs to the collection of films archived in the National Film Registry.

The Babadook  (2014) Australia, 93 minutes, Director: Jennifer Kent

Introduction by Mohamadreza Babaee, doctoral student in Theatre

People who have seen this suspenseful award-winning horror film by actor-writer-director Jennifer Kent have called it a fairytale, a psychological drama, and a compelling exploration of grief, isolation, and loss. Starring acclaimed actress Essie Davis, the film takes us into the lives of a single mother and her young son as they each contend with their inner demons. See if you can find traces of influence by iconoclastic directors David Lynch and Lars von Trier.

What We Do in the Shadows  (2014) New Zealand, 86 minutes, Directors: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

Introduction by Michail Markodimitrakis, doctoral student in American Culture Studies   

This mockumentary about vampire housemates in Wellington, New Zealand, evokes the comedic tone of Peter Jackson’s early splat-stick movies. Emblematic of New Zealand’s tradition of dark humor, the film features Jemaine Clement, co-creator in the musical-comedy duo Flight of the Concords, and Taika Waititi, artist, actor, writer, director, and standup comedian. What could go wrong in a household of eccentric vampires trying to get by in the modern world? Join us for this Halloween treat.


Spring 2018

Creed  (2015) U.S., 132 minutes, Director: Ryan Coogler

Introduction by Robert Joseph, doctoral student in American Culture Studies

This sequel to the Rocky franchise stars Michael B. Jordan as the estranged son of boxing champion Apollo Creed, and Sylvester Stallone as an aging Rocky Balboa, who agrees to mentor the son of his longtime friend and rival. Director Ryan Coogler gained recognition for his debut film Fruitvale Station (2013) about Oscar Grant, a young black man killed by a white officer. Creed garnered many awards, including a Golden Globe for Stallone.

Moonlight  (2016) U.S., 111 minutes, Director: Barry Jenkins

Introduction by Dennis Sloan, doctoral student in Theatre

Moonlight is the Oscar-winning film by writer-director Barry Jenkins, who first made his mark with the indie film Medicine for Melancholy (2008). Set in Miami, the story explores Chiron’s life as a boy, teenager, and young adult, and his complex relationships with his childhood friend Kevin, his mother (Naomie Harris, best known as Moneypenny in the Bond franchise), and his surrogate father (Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, best known as Boggs in The Hunger Games films).     

The Fits  (2015) U.S., 72 minutes, Director: Anna Rose Holmer

Introduction by Eileen Cherry-Chandler, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Film

Shot in Cincinnati, largely the West End’s Lincoln Community Center, this micro-budget production marks the debut of writer-director Anna Rose Holmer, a former crew member on Lena Dunham and Catherine Hardwicke films. Intrigued by accounts of dancing mania in medieval Europe, and inspired by videos of the Cincinnati-based Q Kidz Dance Team, Holmer cast Q Kidz dancer Royalty Hightower as the central character and developed the sometimes-surreal coming-of-age story through collaboration with the Q Kidz.  

Short Term 12  (2013) U.S., 96 minutes, Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Introduction by Cynthia Baron, Professor, Department of Theatre and Film

This critically acclaimed drama set in a short-term county group home for teens is by indie writer-director Destin Cretton, who was born in Maui, Hawaii, and whose films include I Am Not a Hipster (2012) and The Glass Castle (2017). Brie Larson, best known for her Oscar-winning role in Room (2015), portrays Grace, a counselor in the group home, whose traumatic childhood gives her unique insights into the experiences of the teens in her care.  

Carol  (2015) U.S., 118 minutes, Director: Todd Haynes

Introduction by Mark Hain, Instructor, Department of Theatre and Film

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s semi-autobiographical novel, Carol is set in New York in the 1950s. Cate Blanchett, who won an Oscar for Blue Jasmine (2013), portrays Carol, a glamorous woman in a strained marriage. Rooney Mara, who received an Oscar nomination for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), plays Therese, an aspiring photographer who falls in love with her. Like other Todd Haynes films, Carol features exquisite performances, lush cinematography, and compelling sound-production design.  

Certain Women  (2016) U.S., 107 minutes, Director: Kelly Reichardt 

Introduction by Taylor Johnson, double major in film and computer science

This film by award-winning writer-director Kelly Reichardt brings together some of the most talented women working today. It features Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine), Laura Dern (Blue Velvet), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), and rising indie star Lily Gladstone. Set in Montana, the film quietly explores the perspectives of a wife in a difficult marriage, a lawyer with a difficult client, a woman who teaches adult education classes, and a young woman who works as ranch hand.    

BGSU student screenplays, 90 minutes, Curator: Brianna Smith

Moderated by Brianna Smith, film production major and author of studio experience production

This event features staged readings of two student screenplays. Thoughtful discussions involving the author, the audience, and the performers follow each reading. The conversations will explore the authors’ visions to facilitate revisions that will strengthen story structure, characterizations, tone, dialogue, and the translation into actual production.    

Thursday Nights International Film Series

The International Film Series brings classic and recent foreign-language films features and occasionally a documentary - to campus to acquaint university and off-campus communities with a selection of world cinema. Sometimes sets of films correspond to a theme or to a course topic, in which case faculty members frequently introduce them. Students of world languages also enjoy seeing films in the original language on a large screen, but all films do carry English subtitles. All films are free and open to the public.


Fall 2017

Mad Detective  (2007) Hong Kong, 89 minutes, Directors: Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai

Introduction by Thomas Castillo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film

Mad Detective exemplifies the stylish visuals, spectacular violence, and outrageous humor that have brought a worldwide cult following to Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai’s crime thriller collaborations. Forced into retirement for his erratic behavior, brilliant but possibly unhinged detective Chan Kwai-Bun is tapped by Inspector Ho Ka-On to lend his psychic abilities to solving a series of crimes. Bun soon discovers that rather than dealing with one criminal, they must vanquish seven villainous spirits.

The Mermaid  (2016) China, 94 minutes, Director: Xingchi Zhou (Stephen Chow)

Introduction by Elizabeth Niehaus, Doctoral Student in American Cultural Studies

Breaking box office records to become China’s highest-grossing film to date, The Mermaid sees hit director Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle) bring his zany comic style to a modern fairytale with an environmentalist message. After their peaceful existence is destroyed by pollution and underwater sonar, a group of merfolk send an alluring mermaid to kill the young businessman responsible. Their revenge scheme hits a snag when mermaid and tycoon fall in love.

Drácula (1931) United States (Spanish language), 104 minutes, Director: George Melford

Introduction by Nick Clark, Masters Student - American Cultural Studies, and Britt Rhuart, Doctoral Student - American Cultural Studies

In the 1930s, Hollywood studios courted Spanish-speaking audiences by filming Spanish versions of certain titles. Perhaps the most famous example is Drácula, shot at the same time as the Tod Browning version starring Bela Lugosi, but filmed at night, after Browning’s crew had left. Maybe the nighttime shooting benefited the production, for many horror fans deem “Spanish Dracula” the superior film. Judge for yourself at this almost-Halloween screening of a horror classic.

The Salesman (2016) Iran, 124 minutes, Director: Asghar Farhadi

Introduction by Mark Hain, Instructor in the Department of Theatre and Film

The Salesman earned Asghar Farhadi his second Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (the first was 2011’s A Separation). After a brutal assault, actress Rana struggles with PTSD, while her actor husband Emad becomes consumed with a desire for vengeance. The couple’s performances in a production of Death of a Salesman provide counterpoint to their own troubled marriage, and Farhadi brings his typical intensity to this edgy psychodrama set in a gritty, crumbling Tehran.


Spring 2018

Persona Non Grata (2015)  Japan, Director: Cellin Gluck

Moving biopic about Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, sometimes called a “Japanese Schindler,” who issued several thousand visas to Jewish refugees in Lithuania before 1941. The film made its U.S. debut at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in 2016.

Earth (1999) Canada/India, Director: Deepa Meetha;  Intro by Dr. Vibha Bhalla - Ethnic Studies/ School of Culture and Critical Studies

This award-winning period drama is set in Lahore (Pakistan) during the 1947 partition separating India and Pakistan. One of the few films to explore the haunting ramifications of Partition, it focuses on the point of view of a young girl torn between allegiances.

Montréal la Blanche (2016)  French-Canada, Filmmaker Bachir Bensaddek 

The story about a former Algerian pop-star who has fled to Canada to escape the Algerian Civil War (late 1990s) and who finds herself in a taxi cab one Christmas Eve in Montreal with an Algerian cab driver and is forced to confront personal questions of assimilation and identity.

Goin’ to Chicago (1994) United States, Introduction by Dr. Nicole Jackson

Dept. of HistoryThis documentary chronicles the Great Migration from 1915-1960 by focusing on the personal struggles, including unemployment, sharecropping, and racism, of a group of African-Americans returning home to Greenville, MS by bus from Chicago.

Balseros [Rafters] (2002) Spain, Directors: Carles Bosch & Josep Maria Domenech; Introduction by Dr. Pedro Porben - Dept. of WRLD- Latin American Studies

Filmed in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, and the US, this transnational film gives insight into the “human adventure of people who are shipwrecked between two worlds.” This award-winning documentary tracks the lives of Cubans who fled Cuba by raft during the economic depression of so-called Periodo especial in the early 1990s. 

Ali: Angst essen Seele auf [Ali: Fear Eats the Soul] (1974) West Germany, Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder;     Introduction by Dr. Christina Guenther - Dept. of WRLD - Germany

One of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s masterpieces, this award-winning drama explores the unusual love affair between a young Moroccan guest worker and an elderly German cleaning lady in West Germany of the mid 1970s.

Dear Pyongyang (2005), Japan/South Korea, Director: Yang Yong-Hi;  Introduction by Dr. Ryoko Okamura - Dept. of WRLD

Filmed in both Osaka, Japan and Pyongyang, North Korea in 2004, this deeply moving and intimate documentary features Zainichi (North) Korean immigrants living in Japan and their complex allegiances to family, host country, and their “fatherland.” A daughter interviews her parents as they return to Pyongyang to celebrate her father’s 70th birthday with her brothers.

La pirogue (2012) Senegal, Director: Moussa Touré; Introduction by Dr. Beatrice Guenther - International Studies

A group of African men leave Senegal in a pirogue captained by a local fisherman to undertake the treacherous crossing of the Atlantic to Spain where they believe better lives and prospects are waiting for them.  

Sunday Matinees at the Gish Film Theater

Sponsored by the Gish Film Theater Endowment.

All films are free and open to the public.

The Sunday Matinee Series - The Sunday Matinee Series provides students, faculty, staff and the public with important opportunities to screen classic American and foreign films, with introductions by film historian and author Dr. Jan Wahl of Toledo, Ohio. One film per term, featuring Lillian Gish (1893-1993) and Dorothy Gish (1898-1968), commemorates their respective birthdays.


Fall 2017

Sabotage (1936) England,  88 minutes

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, with Sylvia Sidney, John Loder, and Oscar Homolka

Alfred Hitchcock’s earlier career before he ever came to America had many high points, including The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, and Sabotage, all produced in Great Britain.  With these films he soon became internationally known.  In these he learned to manipulate audiences’ responses and became a major director.

Program will include a short subject.

Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl

Charlie Chaplin At Mutual Studios 1916-1917, 120 minutes

Films directed by Charlie Chaplin, starring Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Albert Austin, and Henry Bergman

One hundred years ago, Charlie Chaplin made what are considered a “Golden Dozen” short films for The Mutual Film Company.   Join us for the story of how Chapin made those films, and why they are considered classics. Clips from each film will be shown, with One A.M. (1916), The Immigrant (1917) and The Adventurer (1917) being shown in their entirety.

Presented by Dr. Ben Urish, a graduate of BGSU’s American Culture Studies doctoral program

True Heart Susie (1919) United States, 90 minutes

Directed by D.W. Griffith, with Lillian Gish and Robert Harron

Which of D.W. Griffith’s films is his masterpiece: is it Broken Blossoms, Intolerance, or The Birth of a Nation?  To some, it may be a smaller work, definitely not a spectacle.  It is True Heart Susie, one of what Griffith called his “short story series,” laid in a mythical America.  One critic referred to Miss Gish’s astonishingly incredible face as “a battleground of emotion.”

Program will include a short subject.

Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl

Bedroom, Parlor and Bath (1931) United States, 85 minutes

Directed by Edward Sedwick, with Buster Keaton, Charlotte Greenwood, and Reginald Denny

It may be Buster Keaton’s greatest achievements lay in the silent era when he was allowed to control the making of each film.  Yet his was a genius that could not be entirely diminished, even by the bosses at MGM.  Buster was able to adapt to this new medium, so now we were able to hear the unique voice that went with the clown’s body.

Program will include a short subject.

Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl

Scott of the Antarctic (1948) England, 110 minutes

Directed by Charles Frend, with John Mills, Derek Bond, and Diana Churchill

The harrowing race to the South Pole between Captain Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen of Scandinavia was a battle for survival.  Which man would be the first to win fame and glory for his country, enduring the cold, the blizzards, the mountains and horrendous hardships?  Were they heroes or fools?  This adventurous docudrama in Technicolor is based on the true story.

Program will include a short subject.

Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl


Spring 2018

Orphans of the Storm (1922) U.S., 130 min.

Directed by D.W. Griffith, with Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut, Monte Blue


D.W. Griffith’s rousing epic drawn from the brutal French Revolution was, in part, inspired by the furor over the Russian Revolution of 1917. In it he used all those elements he’d employed as America’s grand master of film techniques, including cross-cutting, the close-up, panoramic views, and much more.  Also, it reunited Griffith the innovator with both Gishes, Lillian and Dorothy, as sisters in peril.

This beautiful gem of a theater, named for the real sisters, is the perfect place in which to celebrate David Ward Griffith and especially honoring the unique talents of Dorothy and Lillian Gish.

Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl

Scared to Death (1947), U.S., 65 min.

Directed by Christy Cabanné, with Bela Lugosi, George Zucco, Molly Lamont, Nat Pendleton

The movie version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula made Bela Lugosi forever connected to that character.  In his native Hungary, Lugosi had played Hamlet.  Now what was he to do following his Dracula? Unfortunately, he turned down the movie version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein because the monster didn’t speak.  No one would hear Bela’s marvelous voice!  With few exceptions, he then appeared in fascinating potboilers like Scared to Death—incidentally his only film in color.  Natural color.  Every once in a while there’s a film so bad it’s great fun.  And the musical score?  Priceless.  The director, Christy Cabanné, had made some early films with important stars like Douglas Fairbanks and the Gishes.  Cameraman Marcel LePicard lensed one of the most timeless of American classics, The Silent Enemy, about the Ojibway Indians.

Voyage Across the Impossible (1904), France, 15 min.

Hand-painted trick film by Georges Méliès.


The Greatest Man in Siam (1944) U.S., 10 min.

Technicolor cartoon by Walter Lantz


Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl

Earthworm Tractors (1936) U.S., 65 min.

Directed by Ray Enright, with Joe. E. Brown, June Travis, Dick Foran, Guy Kibbee


There’s a major comedian today almost forgotten except for his role in Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemon.  He also played Captain Andy in the MGM Technicolor Showboat with Ava Gardner and Howard Keel.  In the golden period of sound comedies in the Thirties, Paramount could boast of W.C. Fields, Hal Roach, and Laurel and Hardy.  MGM still had Buster Keaton, Sam Goldwyn, and Eddie Cantor.  RKO had Wheeler and Woolsey. And Warner Bros. gloriously had Joe E. Brown—equally one-of-a-kind.  These comedians were all fabulous originals. Brown deserves a fresh look and attention.  He steals, everyone admits, the last scene and last moment of Some Like it Hot.


The River (1937) U.S., 25 min.

Poetic Documentary by Pare Lorentz


Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl

Münchhausen (1943) Germany, 110 min.

Directed by Josef von Baky, with Hans Albers, Brigitte Horney, Leo Slezak, Ilse Werner


When, during World War II, Nazi Germany began to face its darkest hours toward the end of the Third Reich, it occurred to Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels that Ufa, Germany’s giant film company that had produced Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in the silent days, should make something to compete with his favorite fantasies—Alexander Korda’s The Thief of Bagdad and MGM’s The Wizard of Oz. Ufa should create, Goebbels insisted, a film grander, more spectacular than those.  It was decided it would be based on the legendary Baron Munchhausen, the teller of tall tales.  Ufa had successfully developed its own full-color process, Agfacolor, almost as perfect as the American Technicolor and Münchhausen has a terrific musical score by Georg Hoentschel.  Did it take the German citizens’ minds off the war?

Introduction by Dr. Jan Wahl