Free art discussion and screening of the Oscar-winning film "Pollock" is part of American Studies film series at Fairfield University

Image: Pollock"American Identity: Visions and Revisions," a film series sponsored by the American Studies Program at Fairfield University, continues on Monday, March 10 with "Pollock," a searing look at the life and times of mercurial visionary artist Jackson Pollock. The film will be screened at 7 p.m. in the Multimedia Room of the University's DiMenna-Nyselius Library. Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., professor of art history, will set the scene with a presentation on Pollock's work and legacy prior to the screening and take questions from the audience after the film.

Directed by Ed Harris, "Pollock" (2000), features Oscar-winning Marcia Gay Harden opposite Harris in the title role. The film traces the artist's complicated relationship with his wife, the artist Lee Krasner, as well as the freedom from his own personal demons he found in the blank canvas. It was praised by critics for memorable scenes that capture Pollock in the act of creation.

"Pollock's style was so singular, so joyfully athletic in its execution, that we believe, more than in perhaps any other film about an artist, that we're witnessing the creation of actual works," wrote critic Owen Gleiberman for Entertainment Weekly.

Dr. Eliasoph was invited recently to lecture about the tensions in American painting between traditional realism and avant-gardist abstraction at the Pollock-Krasner Studio Home in East Hampton, N.Y. "Considering intensive scholarly interest which only fuels astronomical marketplace values for Pollock paintings, the film elevates this anguished genius into a mythic character of iconic magnitude," he said.

The film series concludes for the spring semester on Tuesday, April 8 with "Milk" (2008) presented by Gwendoline Alphonso, Ph.D., assistant professor of politics. Directed by Gus Van Sant, the film features Oscar-winner Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Petrino at

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950,

Posted on March 3, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 196

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