CitySpace At Home: Pass The Remote, It's Movie Night!

“What do you want to watch tonight?”

*scrolls for an hour*

“Too...many...options...”

*gives up and watches "Friends"*

We at WBUR CitySpace empathize and we’re here to help whittle down the options. Since we opened, we’ve hosted some great movie and TV screenings as well as conversations with their creators. Check out the options below!

Chidi Teaches Us How To Be Good

“The Good Place” creator Michael Schur and actor William Jackson Harper joined us at CitySpace one week before the premiere of the final season of their show to talk ethics and moral philosophy with Colby College philosophy professor, Lydia Moland.

About “The Good Place”: From creator Michael Schur, comes a unique comedy about what makes a good person. The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife, and thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place (which is definitely where she belongs). While hiding in plain sight from Good Place Architect Michael (Ted Danson), she's determined to shed her old way of living and earn her spot.

"The Good Place" Season 1 trailer (available via NBC, Netflix or Hulu):

Erin Lee Carr Dominates The Documentary Game

Carr was one of our first guests in CitySpace in conversation with Here & Now co-host, Jeremy Hobson. At the time, she was there to discuss her book, “All That You Leave Behind” and her two-part documentary, “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter”, about the Massachusetts texting suicide case that captured national interest.

She was scheduled to return in March to discuss “At The Heart Of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnasticas Scandal” but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. She has also since released “How To Fix A Drug Scandal,” a four part series about how two Massachusetts state police lab chemists – Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak – tampered with drug evidence and triggered a massive scandal, featuring WBUR host and reporter, Deborah Becker.

"How To Fix A Drug Scandal" trailer (available via Netflix):

"At The Heart Of Gold" Trailer (available via HBO):

"I Love You Now Die" trailer (available via HBO):

On Artistry and Collaboration with Philip Glass and Godfrey Reggio

In collaboration with Global Arts Live, Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive, moderated a discussion with Godfrey Reggio, the iconoclastic director of the Qatsi Trilogy ("Koyaanisqatsi", "Powaqqatsi," and “Naqoyqatsi”) and the films’ composer, Philip Glass. The event preceded a live-scored presentation of "Koyaanisqatsi” at the Orpheum Theatre the next day.

About the films: A singular artist and activist, Godfrey Reggio is best known for the galvanizing films of The Qatsi Trilogy. Astonishingly photographed, and featuring unforgettable, cascading scores by Philip Glass, these are immersive sensory experiences that meditate on the havoc humankind’s obsession with technological advancement has wreaked on our world. From 1983’s Koyaanisqatsi to 1988’s Powaqqatsi to 2002’s Naqoyqatsi, Reggio takes us on a journey from the ancient to the contemporary, from nature to industry, exploring life out of balance, in transformation, and as war, all the while keeping our eyes wide with wonder.

Koyaanisqatsi Trailer (available on Kanopy):

How Sound Affects Ocean Life

Dr. Leila Hatch, Marine Ecologist, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA joined us for a conversation with Barbara Moran, WBUR Senior Producing Editor, Earthwhile, after a screening of the documentary, “Sonic Sea.”

About the film: Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. "Sonic Sea "is a 60-minute documentary about the impact of industrial and military ocean noise on whales and other marine life. It tells the story of a former U.S. Navy officer who solved a tragic mystery and changed forever the way we understand our impact on the ocean. The film is narrated by Rachel McAdams and features Sting, in addition to the renowned ocean experts Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Paul Spong, Dr. Christopher Clark and Jean-Michel Cousteau. "Sonic Sea" was produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Imaginary Forces in association with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Diamond Docs.

"Sonic Sea" Trailer (available on Vimeo):

A Celebration of American Muslims

Yasmin Amer, producer of WBUR's Kind World podcast, moderated a conversation with Rais Bhuiyan, founder and president of World Without Hate, Richard McKinney, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and activist and Joshua Seftel, the filmmaker who told their stories for the Emmy-nominated series of films, "The Secret Life of Muslims."

About the films: "The Secret Life of Muslims" is a series of short-form, first-person documentary films that uses humor and empathy to subvert stereotypes and employs a cutting-edge distribution strategy, making it available on TV, radio, the internet, and at live events from NYC to LA. Featuring a diverse set of American Muslims from a wide range of ethnic and national origins speaking directly to their own respective experiences, the series illuminates the existing complexity and diversity of America’s 3.3 million Muslims, while pointing to a common shared humanity. The first season has been viewed more than 56 million times in our effort to contribute to a dialogue of tolerance and peace in contentious times.

You can watch the films here.

The Power of the Arts to Transform Lives

Jay Paris and Anna Myer are co-founders of beheard.world, a Boston-based non-profit using film, performing arts and advocacy campaigns to give people and communities transformative ways to be seen and heard, came to CitySpace to screen and discuss their film “Lenox Street”.

About the film: Lenox Street follows the lives of 19 teenagers from one of Boston’s most violent neighborhood with 39 major school infractions as they enter a three-month performing arts workshop and then go on stage around the city. The film looks at the power of the expressive arts to transform teenagers, particularly teens who are struggling with their identities and place in the world.

"Lenox Street" Trailer

Calling All Cephalopods to the Stage!

"Nothing quite says a summer evening like basking in the shade of an octopus’s garden."

Science Friday’s video producer Luke Groskin shared a series of short films and talked all-things cephalopods with‎ Carrie Albertin and Bret Grasse, both from The Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, and aquarist and octopus wrangler Bill Murphy from the New England Aquarium. And they even brought a cephalopod friend with them!

About the films:  Three hearts, eight arms, can’t lose. Cephalopod Week is back with our annual celebration of these amazing creatures, from the cunning cuttlefish, to the superb squid, to the outstanding octopus, featuring four original short films from Science Friday.

You can watch the films here.

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Alex Schneps Twitter Events and Programming Manager, WBUR CitySpace
Alex Schneps is events and programming manager for WBUR's CitySpace.

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