Williamstown, MA—The Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program presents a free screening of Reasonable Doubt (2015, 98 min) at Images Cinema, 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, on Monday, September 12 at 5:30 pm. A related lecture entitled “Thinking in Film” will be held Tuesday, September 13 at 5:30 pm at the Clark’s Michael Conforti Pavilion.
Reasonable Doubt is a multilingual docudrama (with English subtitles) created by Mieke Bal, a cultural theorist, critic, and video artist; she is also the Holly Fellow at the Clark. The film explores the relationship between French philosopher René Descartes and Queen Kristina of Sweden in the mid-1600s. Bal describes the film as “not a biography but a series of scenes that constitute a double portrait.” She will hold a question-and answer session after the film.
In Bal’s free lecture, “Thinking in Film,” she reflects on the way the cinematic mode of making audio-visual moving images lends itself to show, engage, and embody the process of thinking. Films on philosophers generally tend to be either biopics or heavily voiced-over explanations of the thinker's ideas, but in her film Reasonable Doubt, Bal attempts to find cinematic forms that show the thought-process more directly, without the use of voice-over and with character depiction rather than life-story telling.
Mieke Bal was the Founding Director of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (1993–95). In 2005 the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded Bal with an Academy Professorship, a prestigious grant given to senior researchers for exceptional achievement throughout their careers. She works on feminism, migratory culture, mental illness and the history of psychoanalysis, and the critique of capitalism. Her books include Endless Andness, Thinking in Film, Of What One Cannot Speak, and A Mieke Bal Reader. Her video project, Madame B, with Michelle Williams Gamaker, is widely exhibited. As the Holly Fellow at the Clark, her project concerns the cinematic in paintings of Edvard Munch for an exhibition at the Munch Museum, Oslo. The Holly Fellowship recognizes and honors Michael Ann Holly, eminent art historian and Starr Director Emeritus of the Research and Academic Program. The Holly Fellowship is awarded to a humanities scholar whose project explores the visual arts from a critical or historiographic perspective.
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.  
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; open daily in July and August. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.
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