Landau Lecture debuts at CPP

By Christopher Galvan

Cal Poly Pomona Professor Emeritus Saul Landau was remembered on Wednesday at the first lecture in the Saul Landau Lecture Series, which aims to preserve his memory and contributions to journalism, filmmaking, human advocacy, literature and education.

The new lecture series debuted with a private screening of Landau’s last film, “La L_҄Ócha Continua,” a collaboration with filmmaker John Alpert on the Cuban lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender revolution. The event was held in the Bronco Student Center, Centaurus.

Arlett Carmona, a fourth-year anthropology and biology student and president of the Anthropology Society, organized the event. She thinks of Landau as a profound part of CPP history.

“[La L_҄Ócha Continua] is about the sexual revolution in Cuba, which is something that most journalists or filmmakers wouldn’t touch, especially in Cuba,” Carmona said.

“He was draw to these things. He was unafraid, and that’s the way we should all approach the world we live in.”

Landau was a renowned filmmaker and journalist, conducting the first and only interview with Salvadore Allende, the revolutionary Socialist president of Chile.

Landau’s work exposed the radioactive power of domestic nuclear testing, the impact of American imperialism in the Middle East, and the personable, human and rarely publicized side of Cuba.

After serving as a history professor at CPP beginning in 1996, Landau went on to become the chair of digital and media studies. His lecture series, Campus Forum, welcomed his extensive network of colleagues and friends to the university to discuss the popular and the controversial.

Landau documented and interviewed many members of the Fidel Castro regime during an excursion with the Cuban president, and developed such a strong bond with the communist leader that he was invited back to film a second iteration. His work in bringing personality and sense to “Fidel” caused theaters in New York and Los Angeles to be bombed and burned. His work provided a less demonizing angle, and displayed the leader as both poetic and sensitive.

Landau died from bladder cancer on Sep. 9, 2013. He had retired from the university in 2006 to further pursue his passions.

“He didn’t shout out his achievements, so many people were not as aware as I was of the deep body of work that he involved himself with,” said his son Greg Landau. “He worked tirelessly on issues with his own contributions as well as on many types of media programs for students. Here at Cal Poly Pomona, he trained a great number of students and many went on to do great things.”

An avid filmmaker, explorer and friend to many, Landau was a cornerstone of intellectual curiosity during his professional and teaching career.

“All my films try to teach people without preaching too hard,” Landau told the Washington Post in 1982. “I try not to be too tendentious.”

Throughout his career Landau found ways to project objectivity and passion to encourage contribution without ostracizing intellect.

He dedicated personal time and attention to his students, and some say he graded a little generously in the hopes that his passion would pass curiosity and drive into the next generation of great writers, historians, and leaders.

Anthropology Professor D.D. Wills feels that Landau will leave a lasting impression on campus for educators and students.

“He loved his career so much, and had a very unique kind of enthusiasm for teaching,” said Wills.

“He wanted to fix things if he could; he wanted to solve problems”it was important for him.”

Saul Landau Lecture

The Poly Post

Saul Landau Lecture

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