Monday, August 25, 2008

UIS to host foreign and independent film series

The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield is sponsoring an Independent and Foreign Film Series on Friday nights this fall. All films will begin at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on level one of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Films include:

September 12Saint of 9/11 (USA 2006) An iconic image from September 11 shows a team of rescue workers carrying a priest's body from the rubble of the World Trade Center. The priest was Father Mychal Judge, beloved chaplain with the New York City Fire Department. A compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten, Father Judge wrestled with his own private demons while touching others in "powerful and miraculous ways." This film is not rated.

September 19 – Persepolis (France 2007, animated) This story of a childhood coinciding with regime change and war is based on the bestselling graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. Growing up in Iran, young Marjane was a tomboy, but when she was 10 years old her world changed overnight. Girls could no longer go to school with boys, and in public they had to cover themselves in long dark robes. Then a relative is killed in the Iran/Iraq war and Marjane's parents send her to school in Austria. Though she is safe there, she never quite fits in. Rated PG 13.

September 26 – Ten Canoes (Australia 2007, in Aboriginal English) The film interweaves two stories set in Australia's distant past. In the first story, a group of men, led by a tribal elder, head into the forest to gather bark for canoes. Because the elder knows that one of the young men has taken a fancy to one of the elder's wives, he tells the group a story about the old laws, and a young man who had no wife. This film is not rated.

October 3 – Arctic Tale (USA 2007) A "heartbreaking" documentary of life on the arctic tundra that puts a face on the effects of global warming, this film is essentially aimed at children, but the message is sobering. Rated G.

October 10 – Kinky Boots (UK 2006) Charlie Price has inherited his father's failing shoe factory, and with it the realization that soon he will have to lay off many of its loyal employees. Enter Lola, a female impersonator in teetering high heels, and everything changes as the two men set out to conquer the "brave new world of sexy, cross-dressing footwear." Rated PG 13.

October 17 – 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama (USA 2006) Filmmaker/explorer Rick Ray spoke at length with the Dalai Lama during a private visit to his monastery in Dharamsala, India. Some of the questions Ray asked were: How do you reconcile a commitment to non-violence when faced with violence? Why do the poor often seem happier than the rich? Must a society lose its traditions in order to move into the future? The result has been described as "part biography, part philosophy, part adventure, and part politics." This film is not rated.

October 24 – I'm Not There (USA 2007) This experimental take on the life of Bob Dylan features six actors – including Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Cate Blanchett -- portraying different aspects the legendary musician's life and work. Rated R.

October 31 – Dr. Strangelove (USA 1964) Stanley Kubrick's comic masterpiece starring Peter Sellers (in three roles) has been called "the funniest, most poignant black comedy ever made, a vicious satire on the farcical aspects of the military and the cold war." Rated PG.

November 7 – Taxi to the Dark Side (USA 2007) An in-depth look at the Bush administration's use of torture in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay. The title is taken from the true story of an Afghani taxi driver, mistaken for a terrorist and killed during a torture session conducted by American troops. Rated R.

November 14 – 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (Romania 2007) Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, this "excruciatingly intense" drama is set in Communist Romania in the 1980s. Abortion and contraception are illegal, but a pregnant college student and her roommate turn to a black-market abortionist for help. The film realistically portrays the rough and gritty situations in which two young women must make decisions and deal with their consequences. This film is not rated.

November 21 – The Birds (USA 1963) Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller, loosely based on a story by Daphne du Maurier, begins as a light comedy, then slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people with increasing viciousness. Rated PG 13.

For more information about any of these films, contact the UIS Office of Student Life at 206-6665.