February brings the Wexner Center’s Field & Screen series, returning for its fourth year to explore the issues and pleasures to be found in food and the environment. From wild mushrooms to sushi, the farmer/farm animal bond to the zookeeper/baby wolf bond, the history of environmentalism to the tall and not-so-tall tales of wilderness exploration, the series brings wildly varying views of the fruits of the earth and the way we relate to them.
According to Wex’s Director of Video/Film Dave Filipi, the center’s goal with the series is, “To show great films and to get people thinking about how we interact with our environment, as well as what goes into our mouths and where it came from.”
He says the series came about in 2010 on the heels of the film Food, Inc. and the success of books like Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
“All of the sudden, it seemed like people were talking about ‘free range’ and ‘local foods’ and ‘grass-fed beef’ and things like that. Across the center, we’re always looking for ways in which the arts might intersect with pressing issues of the day, and it seemed like an ideal time to do a series,” Filipi recalls.
“We didn’t plan on doing the series again,” he says. “But it struck a chord with our audience, and we’ve done it every February since.”
Filipi expects Wexner moviegoers to continue to be pleased with the lineup.
“As people become more and more aware and concerned about these issues, it seems interest grows accordingly. Also, Columbus has exploded as a food city, and interest in that regard also continues to grow,” he says.
Filipi has some recommendations for those as interested in what’s on the plate as the environment that generates it. “Foodies should love Now, Forager, Sushi: The Global Catch, and Step Up to the Plate.”
According to Filipi, it’s important to balance issue-oriented features with films of a more artistic nature.
He says, “One danger of showing only straight-forward, information-based documentaries is that one finds themselves preaching to the converted. These films certainly have their place, but I think other approaches can be even more engaging.”
Informational pieces have their place as well, often sparking movement in the community.
“The series has served as a nice mechanism for groups and organizations to come together to share a film and discuss issues relevant to their group,” says Filipi. “We’re always looking for that nexus between the arts and pressing issues, and we hope this series addresses that goal in a creative and engaging way.”
Field & Screen kicks off Friday, 2/1 at 7pm. Local filmmaker Matt Meindl will introduce his short Don’t Break Down, a Super-8 with stop-motion product that imagines the afterlife of garbage. Meindl’s film, which will go on to reside at The Box video space for the balance of the month, is being paired Friday night with Denis Cote’s documentary, Bestiare.
The series extends for the rest of the month, promising documentaries, shorts, tall tales and tasty treats.
The complete Field & Screen schedule:
- Bestiaire, Friday, February 1, 7 pm
Preceded by Don’t Break Down, introduced by Matt Meindl
- Now, Forager, Saturday, February 2, 4:30 pm & 8:30 pm
- Sushi: The Global Catch, Saturday, February 2, 7 pm & Sunday, February 3, 2 pm
- Nuclear Nation, Tuesday, February 5, 7 pm
- Covenant with Panel Discussion, Thursday, February 7, 7 pm
- Step Up to the Plate, Thursday, February 14, 7:30 pm & Saturday, February 16, 4:30 pm
- A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, Saturday, February 16, 7 pm & Sunday, February 17, 2 pm
- It’s the Earth Not the Moon, Thursday, February 21, 7 pm
- True Wolf, Saturday, February 23, 4 pm
- Wild Bill’s Run, (Introduced by director Mike Scholtz) Thursday, February 28, 7 pm
Preceded by short Inside the Whale
Tickets for all screenings are $8 for the general public and $6 for members, senior citizens, students, and children under 12, unless otherwise indicated. The films will be screened in the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Theater, 1871 N. High St. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at tickets.wexarts.org.
Originally published on Columbus Underground