Q&A: Richard Suchenski GRD ‘11, Graduate Chair of Cinema at the Whitney

Q: What aesthetic does this year’s program follow?

A: It’s the best, most diverse yet. Thanks to a series of co-sponsorships with Yale departments and programs, as well as support from cultural organizations and embassies in New York, we have been able to add a significant number of special mid-week screenings — the highlight being the Ozu retrospective.

Q: What is the goal of the Cinema’s relationship to Yale and New Haven?

A: The mission is to show great films of various kinds in their original format, and to try to foster a meaningful dialogue among the various people — students, faculty and community members — who attend our screenings. We are trying to encourage a broad, open film culture that includes Bergman, Kurosawa and Howard Hawks as well as directors who haven’t really gotten their due.

Q: What has your audience come to expect?

A: My sense, based on verbal and written feedback, is that what our audience values most is the chance to see films that they might otherwise never have the chance to see, and certainly not on film in a theatrical environment. That’s increasingly rare, and I think it’s one reason that in addition to community members and students, our audience frequently includes visitors from Philadelphia or Providence.

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