Magic & Loss: Coming of Age Onscreen

  • March 3, 2017 — March 26, 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.

Friday, March 3

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

Saturday, March 4

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

Sunday, March 5

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

Friday, March 10


Directed by Lucile Hadžihalilović

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

Saturday, March 11

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

Sunday, March 12

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

Thursday, March 16

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

Saturday, March 18

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,

Sunday, March 19

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

Saturday, March 25

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

Saturday, March 25

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

Sunday, March 26

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

Sunday, March 26

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,