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Murray State's Cinema International Presents "Ema" This Week

MSU Cinema International Fall 2021 banner
Cinema International
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Murray State University
Murray State Cinema International's Fall 2021 screenings take place on Thursdays and Saturdays in the Barkley Room and Curris Center Theater, respectively, at 7:30 pm.

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.

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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