The City Dark–A Film Screening and Director’s Talk

THE CITY DARK A Film Screening and Director’s Talk

February 28, 2:30 PM, Paley Library

Join us to watch The City Dark, filmmaker Ian Cheney’s exploration of how we, as dwellers of contemporary cities, relate to the night sky. After moving to light-polluted New York City from rural Maine, he asks: “Do we need the dark?” Exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawai’i, tracking hatching turtles along the Florida coast, and rescuing injured birds on Chicago streets, Cheney unravels the myriad implications of a globe glittering with lights. After the film, enjoy refreshments and a participate in a panel with Cheney and Temple scholars Barry Vacker of BTMM and Jonathan deJonge of Community and Regional Planning.

  • About the director: Ian Cheney is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker. He grew up in New England and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Yale. After graduate school he cocreated and starred in the Peabody Award-winning theatrical hit and PBS documentary King Corn (2007), directed the feature documentary The Greening of Southie (Sundance Channel, 2008), and co-produced the Planet Green film Big River (2009). Ian maintains a 1/1000th acre farm in the back of his ’86 Dodge pickup, which is at the center of his film Truck Farm (2011). He has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Men’s Journal, and on CNN, MSNBC, and Good Morning America. In 2011, Ian and longtime collaborator Curt Ellis received the Heinz Award for their environmental advocacy. An avid astrophotographer, Ian travels frequently to show his films, lead discussions, and give talks about sustainability, agriculture, and the human relationship to the natural world.
  • About our faculty panel: Barry Vacker is a scholar and practicing filmmaker whose interests include how utopia, dystopia, and human destiny have been represented in art, media, technology, and culture. He uses an “arts and sciences” approach to creatively and critically theorize the intersection of media, philosophy, culture, and technology, all of which combine to shape models of utopia, dystopia, and destiny around the world. He has published numerous articles and book chapters, edited a textbook anthology, and engaged in the production of experimental projects across a variety of mediums. His recent publications include the text for Peter Granser’s photography book Signs (Hatje Cantz 2008). His recent experimental media projects include the first three volumes of the Theory Zero book series (Zero Conditions, Crashing into the Vanishing Points, and Starry Skies Moving Away, 2009), as well as the documentary Space Times Square (2007), which he wrote and directed. Space Times Square was awarded the “2010 John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in the Field of Media Ecology” by the Media Ecology Association. The film has screened in numerous festivals and conferences around the world: Brussels, Beijing, NYC, Hamburg, Dallas, Philadelphia, Paris.
  • Jonathan de Jonge is a scholar at Temple University, School of Environmental Design, Department of Community and Regional Planning. De Jonge participates in and teaches a course, People, Places and Environment, where he facilitates a Think Tank on Land and Food. A community advocate, de Jonge serves on the Upper Moreland Township Planning Commission and chairs the local Environmental Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Pennypack Greenway Council. A native of the Netherlands, where he received his education, he majored in history. A world traveler, de Jonge spent many years in Australia and the surrounding areas.
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