The PROFile - Howard Curle

Professor in the faculty of theatre and film

Photo by Alana Trachenko

Howard Curle’s introduction to film course may be one of the most quintessentially University of Winnipeg (U of W) classes there are.

Curle has been at the U of W since 2006, but his passion for film and general expertise on cinema make it hard to imagine a time that Curle wasn’t working in the faculty of theatre and film. 

Curle studied history and sociology in university but eventually realized that film played a big part in his life and focused his attention there. When he saw the opportunity to attend grad school in New York, Curle jumped at it. 

“It was an adventure,” Curle recalls. “New York was a turning point … I don’t know, something about the city makes you work hard.”

After finishing school, he returned to Winnipeg and taught at the University of Manitoba before settling into his current job.

“I love teaching,” he says. “Students are media-savvy … They’re very attuned to it, more so than my generation was when I was their age, so I find they’re more skeptical and as a result, want more than just superficial information.”

Curle’s current research involves film exhibition — in other words, how and where movies are shown.

“When you do a course on film exhibition on a particular city, you end up doing the history of that city,” Curle says. He hopes to publish a book on the topic in the future.

What were your favourite movies this year?: Manchester by the Sea, and Hell or High Water. That’s a curious movie because … it’s a crime story … but also evokes the current economic straits that a lot of working class people are in. It sort of pertains to the political station too because you can see why some folks were voting for Trump.

What was your worst grade?: I failed a geography course … I didn’t apply myself. That’s the phrase they used back then.

What is your superpower?: To increase everyone’s tolerance of others. Introducing other perspectives, other points of view. Getting students to see images of people wearing a different set of shoes. 

What is the last book you read?: A recent collection I liked is called Known and Stranger Things … and The Other Paris. It’s an illustrated history of bohemian Paris.

Published in Volume 71, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 9, 2017)

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