I’m happily convinced that, as we move toward the close of the aughts, Hollywood is beginning to experience a second Wesleyan surge. The first happened in the 1990s with a rush of Wesleyan graduates from the 80’s taking a firm grip of commercial cinema’s delicate parts. Graduates Michael Bay, Paul Schiff, and Joss Whedon, among many others, found great success and paved the way for a new batch of Wesleyan grads from the 90’s. The class of 1993 has proven particularly noteworthy, with James Longley (“Iraq in Fragments”), Jacob Bricca (editor of “Lost in La Mancha” and adjunct assistant professor of Film Studies), and Mark Bomback (writer of “Live Free or Die Hard”). Bomback will be at our Friday screening of “Live Free or Die Hard” to discuss the film and sit for a question-and-answer session.

USA, Dir: Len Wiseman. 2007
TONIGHT Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. $4

Yippie-kay-yay motherfucker. (Hi mom, hope you like the article.)
ALSO: Special guest speaker screenwriter Mark Bomback ’93.

Italy, Dir: Alberto Lattuada. 1962
SATURDAY Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. FREE!

This film is a welcome addition to our heavily American calendar. “Mafioso” is from the late and very not-famous Alberto Lattuada, who began making films in the 1940’s. Lattuada was actually a working mentor of Federico Fellini, and the two directors worked together on the film “Luci del Vatrietà,” Fellini’s first project as a director. Lattuada was a highly prolific filmmaker, but he never tapped as strongly into the international film community as Fellini. “Mafioso” is Lattuada’s best known film. An Italian film about the Italian mafia, though seemingly redundant, is interesting because almost all popular films about the Italian mob are American films.

Ireland, Dir: John Carney. 2007
WEDNESDAY Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. $4

This pseudo-musical was shot on almost no budget and released to a very limited number of theaters, but it has grown through excellent critical reception and good word of mouth. It’s a film that I can imagine seeing with my Grandmother, although I used to go to the movies with my Grandmother specifically in order to clandestinely see R-rated movies.
And if that doesn’t seem like a good endorsement, then you’re obviously a bad person.

USA, Dir: Jim Jarmusch. 1989
THURSDAY Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. FREE!

My personal favorite of Jim Jarmusch’s films and his first color film, “Mystery Train” has one of the best casts ever. Steve Buscemi, Joe Strummer, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins all make really great and funny contributions to this film about one dreamy Tennessee night in the ghostly shadow of Elvis. Cinematographer Robby Müller is an absölüte genius and the film glows from start to finish. We have a 35mm print that I’m sure will be gorgeous. I’m also curious to see if the extended opening sequence that is nearly entirely in Japanese is going to be subtitled on the print. It really doesn’t matter that much, but it might be funny to see people flocking for the doors when they think the film is in un-translated Japanese.

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