Magic & Loss: Coming of Age Onscreen

  • March 3, 2017 — April 30, 2017

In literary theory, the Bildungsroman is a novel in which we witness the formation of an individual who undergoes a profound change due to knowledge gained through experience. Generally speaking, the protagonist in such works is a young member of society and the shift in consciousness that occurs during the story will transform them and hasten their advancement into adult understanding of the world in which they live. With Magic & Loss: Coming of Age Onscreen, we present a collection of films from around the globe intended to draw parallels between the literary convention of the Bildungsroman and the celebrated coming-of-age narrative as it exists in the cinema. Since coming-of-age stories are historically among the most commonly produced in the film industry of any country, our attempt is not intended to be viewed as a comprehensive overview, rather a concentrated journey through a theme as expressed by some of the greatest visionaries of the cinema.


Magic & Loss
will continue in April, featuring the following films: Spike Lee’s Crooklyn (1994), Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank (2009), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood (1962), Michael Cuesta’s L.I.E. (2001), Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher (1999), Lukas Moodysson’s Show Me Love (1998), Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011), Jafar Panahi’s The White Balloon (2009), Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon (2009), and Nicholas Roeg’s Walkabout (1971).

Saturday, April 1

Ivan’s Childhood

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

During World War II, young Ivan (Nikolay Burlyaev) scurries across Soviet and German lines, having been recruited as a spy

Sunday, April 2

Walkabout

Directed by Nicholas Roeg

Abandoned by their father in the Australian Outback, a teenaged girl (Jenny Agutter) and her young brother (Luc Roeg) wander

Sunday, April 9

Crooklyn

Directed by Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s sentimental remembrance of growing up in 1970s Brooklyn centers on a young girl named Troy (Zelda Harris) as

Sunday, April 16

Show Me Love

Directed by Lukas Moodysson

Elin (Alexandra Dahlstrom) lives in the unremarkable small town Åmål, a fact over which she despairs to anyone who will

Sunday, April 16

A Girl’s Own Story

Directed by Jane Campion

Beatlemania has taken hold of three Australian teenagers as they try to navigate the adult world they’re about to enter

Thursday, April 20

Fish Tank

Directed by Andrea Arnold

With the arrival of her 2009 sophomore film, Academy Award-winning director Andrea Arnold (Red Road, American Honey) cemented herself as

Saturday, April 22

The White Ribbon

Directed by Michael Haneke

Something dire is transpiring just below the surface of a charming, pre-World War I German village. A horse and rider

Sunday, April 23

Ratcatcher

Directed by Lynne Ramsay

Taking place during a 1970s garbage strike in Glasgow, Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher follows young James (William Eadie) who lives in

Sunday, April 23

The Grandmother

Directed by David Lynch

In this early short film by David Lynch, a young boy grows a grandmother in his bedroom.

Saturday, April 29

The White Balloon

Directed by Jafar Panahi

Winner of the Camera D’Or and International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Panahi’s first foray into narrative filmmaking,

Sunday, April 30

The Tree of Life

Directed by Terrence Malick

In what was only his fifth feature in almost 40 years, the reclusive director Terrence Malick sets the lives of

A Day with the Boys

Directed by Clu Gulager

Winner of the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival, actor Clu Gulager’s only directorial

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Directed by Elia Kazan

Adapted from the much loved novel by Betsy Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn relays the story of a poverty

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Directed by Benh Zeitlin

A deeply felt exploration of race and class in post-Katrina America filtered through the soaring fantasies and downcast reality of

Bicycle Thieves

Directed by Vittorio De Sica

De Sica’s social drama, along with Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City, is the most emotionally engaging film of the Italian

Boyz n the Hood

Directed by John Singleton

Serving as an early ’90s clarion call to those unaware of how bad conditions of poverty, substance abuse, gang violence,

Evolution

Directed by Lucile Hadžihalilović

After diving below the waves surrounding his coastal village, a young boy claims to have seen the body of another

Fanny and Alexander

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

With his most pronounced cinematic meditation on childhood and memory, Ingmar Bergman abandons the expressionistic and existentially obsessive tendencies that

George Washington

Directed by David Gordon Green

Green’s debut feature masterfully captures the essence of childhood summers spent with kids your own age, free from parental supervision,

Glory at Sea

Directed by Benh Zeitlin

The survivors of a flood construct a vessel with the help of a mysterious man. Together, they set out to

The Black Stallion

Directed by Carroll Ballard

Nominated for two Academy Awards and the winner of a special achievement Oscar for sound editing, Carroll Ballard’s The Black

The Learning Tree

Directed by Gordon Parks

Based on his own autobiographical novel, The Learning Tree was, according to Roger Ebert, the first non-exploitation feature film made

The Reflecting Skin

Directed by Philip Ridley

Someone has been abducting and murdering children in a rural 1950s American town. Seth (Jeremy Cooper) and the other boys

The Spirit of the Beehive

Directed by Victor Erice

A traveling roadshow of the film Frankenstein comes to the small, Franco-era village where eight-year-old Ana (Ana Torrent), her sister