In an act of good neighbourliness, the UCT Centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS) teamed up with the Labia on Orange (right across the road from its Hiddingh Campus headquarters) for a special screening last week of The Life of David Gale, the first segment of a planned collaboration between the two institutions.
As befits the interests of the Centre, the screening of the new Alan Parker film, which stars Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet and Laura Linney, was followed by a short discussion, led by Professor Lesley Marx, CFMS's director. In keeping with the film's reputation, reviews from students and staff were mixed.
According to Marx, the agreement between the Centre and the Labia is aimed at luring film students back to the Labia and its alternative offerings, and turning the area into a sort of "cultural precinct" with involvement from other Hiddingh- and Cape Town-based departments and institutions. "The Labia used to be the hub of student movie-going, so Ludi Krause [Labia manager] is excited that we've got all these big programmes going with passionate film students."
In return for the CFMS patronage, the Labia will make its facilities available for screenings and discussion.
For the time being, the Centre will be fit in with the Labia's schedule, but Marx plans a more active role for the CFMS in the planning and programming. She hopes, therefore, to host a couple of mini festivals and retrospectives of specific directors' works sometime in the near future.
"So we're going to be terribly alternative and avant-garde."