Programs :: Films at the NYSM

The New York State Museum offers a free programs for viewing films about the cultural arts, sciences and humanities. Cinema Sunday takes place the first Sunday of the month and features documentary film topics on natural and social history, science, ecology, artists and art movements plus a selection of some popular family feature films.

Cinema Sunday:
May 4, 2:00 - 3:30 P.M.

The policies and persona of Franklin Roosevelt set the cast of the "modern" presidency.  He was unquestionalbly the most vital figure in the nation, and perhaps the world, during his 13 years in the White House.  Engendering both admiration and scorn, FDR exerted unflinching leadership during the most tumultuous period in the nation’s history since the Civil War.  This is part of the collection: The Presidents.


Cinema Sunday:
June 1, 2:00 - 3:30 P.M.
Encounters at the End of the World
Director Werner Herzog becomes the first director to film on all seven continents as he takes his camera to the Antarctic community of McMurdo Station where a hearty crew of eleven hundred people spend the austral summer. This group of researchers, scientists and assorted adventurers show us life at the bottom of the world as we see that we are not as invincible or as dominant as we like to believe.


Cinema Sunday:
July 6, 2:00 - 3:00 P.M.
Diaghilev and the Bellets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music

This film celebrates one of the most dazzling cultural enterprises of the twentieth century, The Ballets Russes, established in 1909 by the indefatigable impresario Serge Diaghilev, and the fact that it revolutionized the art of ballet.  Combining Russian and Western traditions with a healthy dose of modernism, the company thrilled and shocked audiences with its powerful fusion of choreography, music, design and dance.  Though it was based in Paris, the company toured throughout Europe, the United States, and South America.  Its influence continues to be felt today. (60 minutes)


Cinema Sunday: Two Films
August 3,
2:00 - 2:30 P.M.
John James Audubon: The Birds of America
Without formal training as an artist or a naturalist, John James Audubon became the most successful illustrator of American wildlife in the late nineteenth century.  Audubon embodied the spirit of American exploration not through discovering new territory, but by cataloguing the natural world.  He systematically recorded 435 species of birds native to the American continent in The Birds of America, published 1830-1839.  His work displays such technical mastery that it is difficult to believe he was self-taught.  He revolutionized the techniques used in naturalist images, and he remains the best-known artist of his kind. (29 minutes.)

2:30 - 3:00 P.M.
The Landscapes of Frederick Edwin Church
Church began his career studying with Thomas Cole in the Hudson River Valley.  It was Cole who linked landscape painting to national identity, but Church who popularized landscape painting and raised its exhibition to the level of spiritual experience.  At the height of his career, church’s heroic depictions of the natural wonders of the Americas made him the nation’s most celebrated landscape painter. (29 minutes.)


Cinema Sunday:
September 7, 2:00 - 4:00 P.M.

The Adirondacks
On six million acres in upstate New York, the Adirondack Park is by far the largest park in the lower 48 states. Its land is divided almost evenly between protected wilderness and privately owned tracts creating a pattern of ownership that maintains a delicate relationship between progress and preservation. Through the perspectives of several characters, this program explores the history, seasonal landscape and current state of the Adirondacks. (2004. 120 minutes)


Cinema Sunday:
October 5, 2:00 - 3:00 P.M.
Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction

Call of Life is the first feature-length documentary to fully investigate the growing threat oosed by the rapid and massive loss of biodiversity on the planet.  Featuring leading scientists, social scientists, environmentalists and others, the film explores the scope, the causes, and the predicted global impact of a mass extinction occurring on a scale not seen since the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Recommended for teens and adults. (60 minutes)


Cinema Sunday:
November 2, 2:00 - 3:00 P.M.
American Experience: The Rise and Fall of Penn Station

New York's Pennsylvania Station opened to the public in 1910. The station was a massive civil engineering project, covering nearly eight acres and requiring the construction of 16 miles of underground tunnels. No one could imagine that this architectural marvel built for the ages would be torn down a few decades later. Trace the brief life of New York's Penn Station, whose destruction spurred landmarks preservation. (2014. 60 minutes)


Cinema Sunday:
December 14, 2:00 - 3:00 P.M.
*Due to Chocolate Expo the December film is the second Sunday
The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God
A poignant film by Ken Burns portrays 200 years of Shaker life in America, guided by recollections of three surviving members and archival material. Explore every aspect of a strange, noble sect that produced some of the greatest architecture and furniture in U.S. history. This story of devotion, invention, ingenuity, simple crafts, and dance was filmed at existing Shaker locations, with music re-created from authentic songs. Recommended for teens and adults. (2012. 60 minutes)





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