U.S. Media Theorist's Experimental Film to Screen at Film Festival in Beijing

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A provocative, experimental film by Philadelphia-based media theorist and writer Barry Vacker, a professor of media studies at Temple University, will be the only American film shown at the Student Film Festival at the Communications University of China (CUC) in Beijing. The film will screen June 9 and 10, 2008, during the program that presents professionally produced works.

A provocative, experimental film by Philadelphia-based media theorist and writer Barry Vacker, a professor of media studies at Temple University, will be the only American film shown at the Student Film Festival at the Communications University of China (CUC) in Beijing.

The film will screen June 9 and 10, 2008, during the program that presents professionally produced works.

Shot entirely from the streets of Times Square, "Space Times Square" (24 min.) is a meditative journey through the mediated cosmos of Times Square. Drawing from philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and media theorist Marshall McLuhan, this film explores the existential conditions of Times Square.

More than an advertising mecca or technological wonder in New York City, Times Square is a microcosm of the electronic big bang -- an expanding media cosmos of voids and nothingnesses, computers and networks, image and information, entertainment and inquisition, iPod people and hive-minds, flash mobs and flat-screens, black holes and vanishing points, cyberspace and outer space.

"I am honored to have my work screened in Beijing," said Vacker. "'Space Times Square's' selection illustrates that its innovative philosophical messages transcend cultures and borders in a global media environment."

The film's first screenings were at the 2007 International Digital Media and Arts Association conference and the 2008 Cinema Du Reel Festival at Centre Pompidou, Paris. The primary distribution, however, honors the film's subject matter--cyberspace. Vacker shares the film via the internet, at no charge, and so far thousands of viewers have watched or downloaded it.

Written and directed by Vacker, "Space Times Square" is accompanied by poetic narration and an original electronic musical score by New York-based musician Brett Sroka. The film was co produced Jo Ann Caplin, a Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and Olivia Antsis, director of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival.

Temple University graduate XiaoLin Yu produced the Chinese version with subtitles with assistance by Peng Wan, a graduate of CUC and an MFA student at Temple University. CUC is the premier educational communications university in China, featuring cutting-edge digital TV and multi-media facilities.

To learn more about the film, visit http://www.spacetimessquare.net. To watch the film, click on "view film" at the Web site, or go to Google Video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2659199116594447000&hl=en. To watch the trailer, visit the web site or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRK820iZ_ZU.

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