Jason Silverman is the Cinematheque Director at the Center for Contemporary Arts, one of the masterminds behind Sembene!, a documentary about African director Ousmane Sembene, and one of the architects of CCA’s soon-to-be-over Auteur series, which has explored some of cinema’s most talented directors. He’s eveything lovable about film, so we said, “Hey man, tell us about movies.”
Why are you so into movies, Jason Silverman?
I’m interested in storytelling in a broader sense, and movies are a huge part of how we have that conversation. There’s a lot of commodity-driven storytelling that exists one way or another to sell you something, whereas there’s all these other amazing movies—and novels and art—that exist not for the money, but for the story ... I hope to increase awareness of that.
Tell us a little about the Auteurs series
For most of cinema’s history, there have been artists working outside the profit-driven model, and theirs are the films that continue to speak to us today. When you see a film like Sembene’s Black Girl played in a theater that also has newer movies ... take Love & Friendship, which we recently played, you can see there’s this continuum of film. The series started up at St. John’s College, and while they won’t have the seminars this year as they have before, we’re very happy to show the films.
Is there anything in the series left that you would call “don’t-miss”?
Well, there are only two left, so I would say to see them both. I mean, anytime you can see an Ingmar Bergman film like Thirst in 35mm, you should do it. The Godard film, Band of Outsiders, is a film-lover’s film made at a time when there were a lot of creative rules to be broken. It’s lively and weird and energetic, and all that comes across in the film.