A film by Paul Festa (Yale College ’96)
Featuring 8 artists with Yale connections
Screening followed by panel discussion with the filmmaker and
Mark Oppenheimer | Yale Journalism Initiative, moderator
Ronald Gregg | Film Studies Program
Daniel Harrison | Dept. of Music
John Rogers | Dept. of English, “Apparition” cast member
Laura Wexler | Dept. of American studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
In Paul Festa’s unprecedented film Apparition of the Eternal Church, thirty-one artists and thinkers describe what they hear while listening over headphones to Olivier Messiaen’s monumental organ work of the same name. Faced with the challenge of putting this apocalyptic music into words, these mostly nonreligious listeners–who range from filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell and drag star Justin Bond to Yale English professors Harold Bloom and Michael Warner and the late harpsichord virtuoso Albert Fuller–tell a story by turns sacred and erotic, hilarious and harrowing.
Apparition of the Eternal Church has screened throughout Europe and North America at venues including the Library of Congress, San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and London’s Barbican and Southbank Centres, winning international acclaim. (“Remarkable”—The New Yorker; “Stunning”—Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”—Globe & Mail; and numerous awards)
The film owes its existence to my experiences at Yale, where I studied
English and graduated in 1996, and Juilliard, where I studied violin
for three years between my sophomore and junior years at Yale. Out of
the 31 artists in the film, eight taught or studied at Yale. Faculty
(past and present) are Harold Bloom, Wayne Koestenbaum,
John Rogers (pictured above), and Michael Warner. The alumni are Angela Buchdahl (the nation’s
first ordained Korean-American rabbi, currently at the Central Synagogue of
New York), Manoel Felciano (Tony-nominated singing actor),
playwright Karen Hartman (Yale College and Drama School alumna), and
the star of the movie, Albert Fuller, the late harpsichord virtuoso,
who graduated from the music school in 1954.
Q&A with Paul Festa here.