Aperture Cinema - Winston Salem, NC | Classics, Cinema & Conversation
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Classics, Cinema & Conversation

In collaboration with Salem Academy and with funding support from Society for Classical Studies, a/perture cinema introduces – “Classics, Cinema & Conversation.”

The objective of this three-part series is to promote cultural awareness, appreciation and enthusiasm for the Classical world beyond the classroom.


The conversation will be led by Lauren Rogers, Dean of Students, Salem Academy and John Oksanish, Associate Professor, Department of Classical Languages at Wake Forest University.


Lauren Rogers believes in a holistic educational practice that encourages students to embrace learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom.  She is often found on campus supporting student growth in their academic, athletic, and extracurricular pursuits. She holds degrees from Barnard College and the University of Georgia, and she has studied classics throughout the Mediterranean as a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  She has led presentations and workshops on adolescent development, international student programming, and Latin instruction at a variety of conferences, including The Association of Boarding Schools, The American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages, The American Classical League’s Annual Institute, and The Small Boarding School Association’s Conference.  In addition to discussing educational and ancient philosophy, she enjoys spending time on the tennis court, making bad puns, and practicing yoga.



John Oksanish holds degrees in Classics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (B.A., M.A.T.) and Yale (M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D). Prior to pursuing the Ph.D., he worked for HarperCollins Publishers in New York and taught secondary school Latin (Walpole, Mass.). He regularly teaches courses in Epic, Latin Historiography, Latin Epistolography, and the CLA seminar on Cicero. A dyed-in-the-wool New Englander of Eastern European and Québécois extraction (inter alia), he has come to view a spring in the Carolina Piedmont as a (more or less) fair trade for autumn in western Mass. Dr. Oksanish specializes in the prose literature of the late Republic and early Empire, though he has published research on topics ranging from Vergil’s pastoral poems to “universal” historiography. He is especially interested in ancient notions of expertise and authority in civic life. His book, currently under contract with Oxford University Press (working title: Vitruvian Men), examines Vitruvius’s De architectura and its ethos of commemorative expertise within the context of Augustan literature and culture; this research has been directly funded by the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) and the WFU Humanities Institute, which also receives NEH funding.



January 31 @ 6:30pm

LA BELLE ET LA BETE (Beauty and the Beast – French) NR, 120 minutes

Highlighting classical, modern, and contemporary myth cycles


Recognized as a classic of French cinema, this 1946 French romantic fantasy film was directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. Beauty and the Beast has had many film versions over the years, yet critics agree that the French version deserves recognition as one of the best films in world cinema. Beauty and the Beast is a version of the Cupid and Psyche myth.


February 28 @ 6:30pm


Highlighting Black History Month with a focus on African-American art and the role of Classics


The 1959 romantic tragedy film made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus and starring Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello. It is based on the play Orfeu da Conceição by Vinicius de Moraes, which is itself an adaptation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in the modern context of a favela (“slum”) in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval.



March 7 @ 6:30pm

RUBY SPARKS – R, 104 minutes

Highlighting the role of class, gender and identity in ancient and modern society


Ruby Sparks is a modern take on the ancient myth of Pygmalion, most familiar from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which tells the story of the sculptor who fell in love with one of the statues he had carved.  Instead of a sculptor carving a statue, Ruby Sparks modern-day myth revolves around a tall, skinny, bespectacled novelist named Calvin. Calvin’s debut novel turned him into a cultural superstar, but afterward, he was stricken with a severe case of writer’s block. Depressed and in therapy, he suddenly starts dreaming about a fantasy woman, Ruby, who inspires him to write again. One day, she shows up in his living room, and he discovers he can control her every move, every aspect of her personality.


Classical conversations following each film will introduce the film series and the enduring impact on classical myth and Greco-Roman civilization in film, culture, and our contemporary world.




General Admission – $12.50

Seniors – $8.50

Students – $7.00