VBMA Film Course features Asian films about family life

VERO BEACH — The Academy Award-winning Best Foreign feature film for 2008, Departures, will be featured in a new film studies course at the Vero Beach Museum of Art that begins on February 15. The five-week course is titled Love in the Family Way, Part 2: Asia. Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning February 15 and continue through March 15.  Students may sign up for either the afternoon session at 1:30 pm or the evening session at 7 pm as part of the five-week film studies offering.

Departures has been described as an “always tasteful, funny, and profound film.”  It follows a disillusioned young cellist from his disbanded Tokyo symphony orchestra back to his rural hometown where he is challenged to start over.

This Japanese film will be shown in the second of a three-part series of courses about the lives of traditional (and not-so-traditional) families around the world, according to Warren Obluck, the museum’s film studies coordinator.

Two remarkable films from Japan will be included in the course, Departures and Tokyo Sonata. From Viet Nam comes Owl and the Sparrow; from Korea, Old Partner; and from Nepal, Unmistaken Child.

“This grouping of films, all from Asia, touches on real-life questions facing families today,” Obluck stated.  “In Viet Nam, the issue is class and social status.  In Japan, it’s jobs and traditional vs. contemporary attitudes.  In Korea, it’s the very meaning of family itself.  And in Nepal, it’s the nation as family.”

Films are introduced and discussions moderated by Obluck, a former cultural attaché at the American embassies in Rome, Tokyo, and Manila. He is also the 2010 winner of the Indian River County Cultural Council’s Laurel Award for cultural/professional achievement.

Classes are offered in the Museum’s intimate state-of-the-art Leonhardt Auditorium on a 20 x 30 foot screen and utilizing surround-sound audio.

Tuition for the five-week course is $55 ($45 for Museum members).

Students may register in person at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, by phone at (772) 231-0707, ext. 136, or online at www.verobeachmuseum.org.

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