Doha Film Institute

Watching the Classics

- Doha Film Institute

Richard Peña / USA, Qatar / 2022 / 120 min / Unknown / Unknown / In English / (No Subtitles) subtitles
Themes :

Dates And Timings

  • Mon, Jul 1 - 5:30 PM
    Workshop Online
    Fee: 50 QAR
    Buy Session 3
  • Mon, Jul 29 - 5:30 PM
    Workshop Online
    Fee: 50 QAR
    Buy Session 4
  • Mon, Aug 26 - 5:30 PM
    Workshop Online
    Fee: 50 QAR
    Session 5
  • Mon, Sep 30 - 5:30 PM
    Workshop Online
    Fee: 50 QAR
    Session 6
  • Mon, Oct 28 - 5:30 PM
    Workshop Online
    Fee: 50 QAR
    Session 7
  • Mon, Nov 25 - 5:30 PM
    Workshop Online
    Fee: 50 QAR
    Session 8


Watching the Classics – ‘The 1970s, The 1980s: Decades of Transition’
A monthly lecture series with Professor Richard Peña

Doha Film Institute is delighted to present ‘Watching the Classics’, an online programme where filmmakers and cinephiles can deepen their knowledge of film history. Presented by renowned scholar Richard Peña—Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University and Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival—this series of lectures/discussions each focuses on an undisputed world cinema classic.

In the monthly sessions, Professor Peña will present a given film within its aesthetic, economic, technological and social/political context, detailing each director’s formal techniques while teasing out the implications of these artistic and technical decisions.

To get the most from the programme, participants are recommended to view the selected films before each session, and all are readily available through various popular streaming services.

During the lecture, select images and clips will be included for discussion, and participants will be able to send Professor Peña questions, which will be addressed at the end of each session.

Join us for this chance to revisit some of your favourite films—or to discover works that have helped change the course of film history.

‘The 1970s, The 1980s: Decades of Transition’
Lecture Series Introduction by Professor Richard Peña

“History” rarely organises itself in neatly circumscribed, decades-long segments: tendencies that flower in one period were often already present in an earlier period—while many aspects associated with one era continue long after. Nevertheless, after the extraordinary creative fervour of the Sixties and before the digitalisation of cinema in the Nineties, one can truly see the Seventies and Eighties as decades of transition: no longer the essential audio-visual storytelling medium—having been de-throned by television—the cinema sought new ways of reaching audiences and organising its production.

New voices began to emerge: the Hindi commercial cinema, sometimes condescendingly called “Bollywood,” emerged as a major export cinema, taking over markets long abandoned by Hollywood. Filmmaking in Africa, long stifled due to colonialism, became one of the era’s most important developments, whereas films from both the People’s Republic of China and Australia were now seen at international film festivals as well as in art houses.

In the USA, the studios’ move to the “blockbuster strategy”, in which they produced far fewer films but marketed them more aggressively than ever, opened a space for waves of independently produced films that addressed the lives and concerns of many groups absent from American screens. In short, the Seventies and Eighties proved decades in which the fears over what had happened to the cinema, as well as concerns as what was to come, created an unsettled, turbulent atmosphere that sparked many works whose impact would long be felt across the international cinema.

Join us for this survey of some of the most influential and challenging works of the 1970s and 1980s, the decades that, in so many ways, laid the groundwork for the cinema today.

This nine-part series, ‘The 1970s, The 1980s: Decades of Transition’, will explore a cinematic period of transition, analysing some of its major trends and tendencies as well as offering discussions of some of its most emblematic works. Each session will feature an in-depth analysis of one particular film—highlighted directors include R.W. Fassbinder, Steven Spielberg, Ramesh Sippy, Souleymane Cissé, Chen Kaige, Gus Van Sant, Vasily Pichul, and Jane Campion.

Session 1: Martha, 1974, R.W. Fassbinder, West Germany
29 April 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 2: The Mouth Agape, 1974, Maurice Pialat, France
27 May 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 3: Jaws, 1975, Steven Spielberg, USA
1 July 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 4: Sholay, 1975, Ramesh Sippy, India
29 July 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 5: The Wind, 1982, Souleymane Cissé, Mali
26 August 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 6: Yellow Earth, 1985, Chen Kaige, PRC
30 September 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 7: Mala Noche, 1985, Gus Van Sant, USA
28 October 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 8: Little Vera, 1987, Vasily Pichul, USSR
25 November 2024 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Session 9: Sweetie, 1989, Jane Campion, Australia
TBC January 2025 / 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Doha Time, GMT+3)


Language: English

Lecture Fee - 50 QAR/session

This programme is open to applicants over the age of 18. The sessions are best suited for those with some knowledge of filmmaking and who wish to expand their understanding of film history.

Registration Process:
• To register and secure your place, purchase a ticket online to this event from above session links.
• Your registration will be confirmed once your payment is processed.
• You will receive all necessary webinar links via email reminders before the sessions.


Richard Peña

Richard Peña was the Programme Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival from 1988 until 2012. At the Film Society, Peña organised retrospectives of many film artists, as well as major film series devoted to numerous national cinemas. Together with Unifrance, in 1995, he created Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the leading American showcase for new French cinema. He is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Columbia University, where he specialises in film theory and international cinema and has served as a Visiting Professor at the Sorbonne, Beijing University, UNAM-Mexico City and the University of São Paulo. He also currently hosts WNET/Channel 13’s weekly ‘Reel 13’.