International Film Series

Four From ’14

August 24, 2014


Jonathan Glazer, UK, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 6:30pm, CLO110

“In Under the Skin, a deeply creepy and mysterious noir from filmmaker Jonathan Glazer, Scarlett Johansson is this quite literal femme fatale, robotic, hypnotic, trolling Scotland – cities, villages, the cold rocky shores – for prey. Who she is and where she’s from are questions that get answered, to a degree, as she moves through her nights and days… Under the Skin definitely gets under your skin. If you want spooky, allegory-free sci-fi, the film works that way – an alien among us, trying to come to terms with this odd new context, and with her increasingly empathic urges. (The more she lingers, and commingles, the less sure she is of her own being.).”
–Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer



read more ... Four From '14

April 8, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 6:30pm, CLO110

The New World, dir. Malick, USA, 2006

presented by Prof. Wendy St. Jean (History)

“The New World” strips away all the fancy and lore from the story of Pocahontas and her tribe and the English settlers at Jamestown, and imagines how new and strange these people must have seemed to one another…Malick strives throughout his film to imagine how the two civilizations met and began to speak when they were utterly unknown to one another. We know with four centuries of hindsight all the sad aftermath, but it is crucial to “The New World” that it does not know what history holds. – Roger Ebert

Thursday, April 18, 6:30pm, CLO 110

Black Robe, dir. Beresford, Canada, 1991

Presented by Tanya Stabler (History)

A fiercely realistic drama of frontier Quebec, “Black Robe” mucks about where the new age western “Dances With Wolves” dared not put its pretty paw. In this portrait of 17th-century Canada, there is nothing much to indicate the presence of 20th-century filmmakers — no revisionist apologies, no polite courtships, no clean clothes, no cute animals… Beresford directs from Brian Moore’s adaptation of his own novel, the saga of a Jesuit missionary’s attempt to bring Christianity to the natives of New France. -Rita Kempley, The Washington Post Friday


The Other Conquest, dir. Carrasco, Mexico, 1999.


Salvador Carrasco’s “The Other Conquest” takes place within the folds of history, telling a fictional story with a backdrop of all-too-real events. It’s an epic tale of ideas and cultures clashing, told on an intimate level… Strong performances… bring a reality to the film that almost makes one feel like a witness as these events unfold — a moment when the Aztec gods seemed to fail their people, but actually became part of a new Christianity. -Luis Carrasco, El Paso Times

This event is being held in conjunction with the closing ceremony of the photography exhibit, “In The Shadow of Cortes”, sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures.

read more ...

September – Film Noir

September 5, 2011

Wednesday, September 7 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm


1943 – Italy – Directed by Luchino Visconti

Often considered one of the first examples of Italian neorealism, Luchino Visconti’s first film was this adaptation of James M. Cain’s steamy novel The Postman Always Rings Twice [...] Although the melodramatic story is a far cry from the post-war social statements of such later neorealist classics as De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948), the movie began to feature some of neorealism’s defining characteristics: above all, an emphasis on outdoor shooting and natural light and a relentless focus on the lives of the poor. Ossessione caused a sensation not just because of its lurid subject matter but also because Visconti’s realist style makes you practically feel the heat and dirt and sweat of the film’s environment. – Robert Firsching (RT)

Thursday, September 15 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm


1955 – France – Directed by Jules Dassin

One of the great crime thrillers, the benchmark all succeeding heist films have been measured against, it’s no musty museum piece but a driving, compelling piece of work, redolent of the air of human frailty and fatalistic doom. [...] Playing like a French version of the earlier “Asphalt Jungle” (which Dassin claims he didn’t see till after he shot this), “Rififi” balances touches like the imaginative use of children’s toys with a madonnas-or-whores attitude toward the women who cross its tough guys’ path. It’s a film whose influence is hard to overstate, one that proves for not the last time that it’s easier to break into a safe than fathom the mysteries of the human heart. – Kenneth Turann (LA Times)

Wednesday, September 21 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

The Element of Crime

1984 – Denmark – Directed by Lars von Trier

Lars Von Trier’s first feature is a futuristic horror-thriller, murder-mystery set in a post-apocalyptic unspecified Northern European location. This moody psychological “whodunit” takes on a surreal look, as it’s shot in an amber sulphurous light in the bombed-out and washed-out hinterlands. The movie has the look of Godard’s Alphaville and Tarkovsky’s Stalker, and also reminds one of Orwell’s literary 1984. It pays homage to film noir by using a similar voice-over to describe its dark moments. – Dennis Schwartz (Ozus)

Thursday, September 29 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

The Man Who Wasn’t There

2001 – USA/UK – Directed by Joel & Ethan Cohen

Set in a sleepy Northern California town in the 1940s, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen’s The Man Who Wasn’t There stars Billy Bob Thornton as Ed Crane, a humble barber who suspects his hard-hearted and hard-drinking wife Doris (Frances McDormand) of having an affair with her boss (James Gandolfini). [...] Filmed in black-and-white by three-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins, the movie was inspired by the seedy crime novels of James M. Cain, putting a distinctly Coen brothers’ spin on the film noir tradition. Though spiked with their characteristic humor, its moody atmosphere hearkens back to the darker moments of Blood Simple and Fargo. – Tom Vick (RT)

read more ... September - Film Noir

April – French Cuisine in Film

March 31, 2011

Wednesday, April 6 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm


2000 – France/UK/Belgium – Directed by Roland Joffé

The picture–which centers on a feast for the king and retinue given by rural inhabitants of a province in Western France in 1671–is for us a banquet for the eyes. This film is franc-ly the most lavish depiction of the French court ever filmed, but it is not only that. “Vatel,” for all its seeming remoteness to the Western nations in the present day, cleverly mocks the ways that the powerful in our own societies deal with those who serve them. The dominant forces will betray us at the drop of a chapeau. They will exploit our labors and toss us to the wolves whenever they are pleased to do so. – Harvey S. Karten (imdb)

Wednesday, April 13 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

Babette’s Feast

1987 – Denmark – Directed by Gabriel Axel

This surprise winner of the 1987 Best-Foreign Language Oscar is a quiet film, with the most unlikely characters to turn it into an international success: Old Danish residents in a far remote town. However, it’s the subject of food, and showing a feast to end all feasts, that endears this movie over to audiences. A gentle film, that depicts cooking as an art form, Babette’s Feast is an upbeat movie, despite the austerity of the characters and their surroundings. The entire ensemble is excellent. – Emanuel Levy (Cinema 25/7)

Thursday, April 21 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

Au petit Marguery

1995 – France – Directed by Laurent Bénégui

Echoes of the Oscar-winning Babette’s Feast resonate throughout this delightful French film about a lavish feast in which family secrets are raised and relationships resolved. [...] The film has been smartly written by director Laurent Benegui, who creates an unashamedly sentimental and moving film with a semi-autobiographical tone, so rich in recognizable and marvelously human characters. The film is brought to life by a superb ensemble cast who interact beautifully under Benegui’s fluid and unobtrusive direction. An appetizing treat and a feast for the emotions, Au Petit Marguery is one of the most entertaining and enjoyable of the recent spate of French films to hit our screens.- Greg King (FilmReviews)

Thursday, April 28 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

The Grocer’s Son

2007 – France – Directed by Eric Guirado

The Grocer’s Son is a pleasant, low-key drama about the healing power of country life. While one could argue that is has been three decades since such a “back-to-nature” theme was in vogue, it makes for an effective background to the story of how one man, when freed from the stresses associated with living in a city, is able to re-connect with his family, the inhabitants of the countryside where he was raised, and the woman to whom he is attracted. And, although the film eschews conventional melodrama, it’s not without an emotional core. – James Berardinelli (Reelviews)

read more ... April - French Cuisine in Film