Murray State's Cinema International Presents "Ema" This Week
Murray State's Cinema International presents Ema, a 2019 Chilean film directed by Pablo Larraín, this Thursday, September 9th, and Saturday, September 11th, at 7:30 pm on the third floor of the Curris Center. Cinema International director Dr. Thérèse St. Paul speaks to Tracy Ross about the upcoming presentations.
From the MSU Cinema International website:
"From famed director Pablo Larraín (NO, Neruda) comes Ema. A reggaeton dancer sets out on an odyssey of personal liberation in this incendiary drama about art, desire, and the tearing of the conventions of patriarchy and bourgeois family structures.
Ema stands as a harbinger for the 2019 spirit of revolution. Beautifully filmed and powerfully acted, Ema puts a thoroughly distinctive spin on its story of emotional trauma and self-discovery."
"Pablo Larraín has been known for movies that are very provocative, in a way, or have a political intent. This is a different kind of movie because it focuses on a young dancer, Ema," St. Paul explains.
"It's a psychodrama. This young person suffers an emotional trauma dealing with adoption that goes wrong. So, she throws herself on some escapist route through reggaeton, but also on a path of self-discovery."
St. Paul continues, "it seems like Larraín wanted to make a movie about a modern woman and the many conflicts that a modern woman faces. This is epitomized by the reggaeton dance."
The dance itself, St. Paul explains, is a vehicle for comparing high culture and low culture within Chilean society. Ema's husband is a choreographer, and she chooses reggaeton. "There's this opposition, always this tension," St. Paul says.
"The film has this focus on the dance aesthetics, but there's also a sort of dream-like element in the plot. It's very original. It's a nice look at the energy of this young generation, which has its own codes, its own fashion. It's a bit trashy and elegant at the same time. The film shows that. It's very dynamic."
St. Paul says the discussions following the film screenings will focus on the heroine/anti-heroine dynamic. "Her actions—were they destructive or constructive? Her polysexuality is also a tool. Is it a tool to subvert the bourgeois family? Larraín wants to make us think."
MSU Cinema International presents Ema on Thursday, September 9th, in the Barkley Room on the third floor of the Curris Center. On Saturday, September 11th, the screening will be in the Curris Center Theater (also on the third floor).
Both screenings are at 7:30 pm, free, and open to the public. For more information on MSU's Cinema International program, including how to donate, visit their website.