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Archive for March, 2011

When alumnus Jon Kilik returns to the UVM campus to screen his recent film projects and meet with students, he says that one of his hopes is to “demystify” his professional life. The places Kilik’s work has taken him as a top producer of independent films could easily mystify anyone, particularly undergrads with dreams of a similar career path. He’s worked with some of film’s top directors—from Spike Lee to Robert DeNiro, Robert Altman to Julian Schnabel. Yet, Kilik’s low-key manner and words, free of any trace of big-screen pretense, suggest a career involved with film is possible with talent, chutzpah, hard work, and maybe landing a couple of breaks along the way.

Kilik, UVM Class of 1978, is in Burlington with his latest project, Miral, a film directed by Julian Schnabel. A fundraiser screening for UVM Film and Television Studies drew a full house to Merrill’s Roxy downtown last night. After the film, Kilik answered questions as Professor Emeritus Frank Manchel, whose film classes inspired Kilik and put him on his career path more than thirty years ago, moderated the discussion.

This morning, Kilik, Manchel, and Professor Hilary Neroni, who teaches in the Film and Television Studies program, gave Vermont Quarterly time for an interview/discussion. I put my iPod on the arm of a chair and hit “record” while the film profs asked the questions. It made for a fascinating morning in an alcove of the Davis Center. Look for the results in the next issue of the magazine.

After the discussion wrapped up at 10:30, Kilik and Neroni headed down the stairs in Davis to have coffee with a group of students. With visits to a couple of classes scheduled for later in the day, Kilik’s schedule doesn’t let up, right through another screening of Miral tonight. That event, which will also include a Q and A with Kilik and Manchel, takes place at 6:15 in Billings Lecture Hall and is open to the public. If you missed last night’s showing, make a plan to be there.

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Photographer Bobby Bruderle, a UVM senior, currently has a selection of black-and-white portraits on display in the Davis Center, third and fourth floors. The show, “Honest*,” is Bobby’s first solo gallery opening and features shots of British butchers (and the occasional slab of meat or pig head on a hook) taken during a semester of study abroad last year. Also on display, quiet, straight-forward portraits of costumed revelers in Burlington last Halloween.

Hurry to Davis, because the show is only up through March 25. An opening/closing reception will take place Thursday, March 24, between 4 and 8 p.m. Bobby promises snacks. Probably not meat.

…and if you miss the show, you can catch other work by this talented young photographer in the summer issue of Vermont Quarterly. Throughout his senior year, we’ve had Bobby working on showing UVM through the lens of a student.

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Facebook, Craigslist, no doubt this generation’s UVM undergraduates have many ways to find a ride home. As next week’s spring break approaches, I was reminded this morning of the Plywood Age in student-to-student communications when I walked past the venerable ride board in the basement of Billings. Though the building is no longer used as the student center and today’s students have more efficient ways to find a ride, this handmade beauty still has a niche along a hallway next to the glow of an ATM. How many alumni out there have memories of a friendship that began on the road through a Billings ride-board connection?

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