Tribute to a Master

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Photo by Georges Biard

Dickinson will show select films starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a tribute to the late Oscar winner’s contributions to stage and screen. The three-part retrospective series will be held on consecutive Mondays, beginning with The Master on Feb. 10 and followed by Charlie Wilson’s War on Feb. 17 and Synecdoche, New York on Feb. 24. All films will begin at 7 p.m. in Althouse Hall, room 106, 45 North College Street. The series is free and open to the public. 

Dickinson professors will lead audience discussions following each of the films, which were selected to showcase Hoffman’s depth and versatility as an actor. In the 2012 film The Master, he plays Lancaster Dodd, the leader of a religious movement, who A.O. Scott of The New York Times wrote, “could have been a familiar type: a charming, slippery, charlatan. Mr. Hoffman made him more than that.”

Hoffman’s performances in The Master and as CIA agent Gust Avrakotos in the 2007 biographical film Charlie Wilson’s War earned him two of his four career Oscar nominations. In 2005, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Capote. Hoffman also received three Tony Award nominations. 

In a Feb. 5 article about Hoffman’s performance as Schenectady theater director Caden Cotard in the 2008 film Synecdoche, New York, Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, wrote, “There’s no better way to celebrate Philip Seymour Hoffman’s life than to keep alive the films he created while he was here.” 

Dickinson professors leading the discussions are Todd Wronski, professor of theatre & dance; Ed Webb, assistant professor of political science and international studies; and Greg Steirer, assistant professor of English and film studies. The series is sponsored by Dickinson’s Student Senate and its Public Affairs Committee. For more information, e-mail

Also, on Feb. 27, New York Times bestselling author Kay Jamison will present the Morgan Lecture: Mood Disorders and Creativity. For more information, visit The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues.  

Published February 7, 2014