In the July 6, 2008 issue of the New York Times, Op-Ed columnist Frank Rich wrote a piece entitled “WALL-E for President.” The column described the cultural significance and striking poignancy of “WALL-E” at the time of its summer release. Rich called specific attention to the highest gas prices in history, the stock market’s deepest June drop since the Great Depression, the ongoing war in Iraq (five years and counting) and the general terrible economic events that turned out to be what looks like the beginning of the end of, um…money, as we know it? Whew…If you thought the world was ending when “WALL-E” was released this June, just look at it now my friends. But wait! There is hope. The Wesleyan Film Series has two films remaining on the first installment of the fall ’08 calendar! And man, did we really save the best for last. And, folks, that’s saying a lot. Let’s reflect on the cinematic treats we have blessed you with so far this fall…
We cheered and roared along to “Jurassic Park” in joyous reminiscence of our childhoods…were thrilled by “Badlands,” “Iron Man,” and that new “Indiana Jones” movie with the aliens at the end of it…we meditated upon masterpieces such as “Metropolis,” “Un Chien Andalou,” “L’Age D’or” and “Yojimbo”…and, most importantly, about 300 of us did some type of heavy psychedelics and came to “Fantasia”…and giggled like five year olds. Ahhh, the good ol’ days. I hope all of you have appreciated what was one of the most diverse, eclectic and kick-ass calendars that the Wesleyan Film Series has ever seen. You came out in droves to some films that are very rarely screened, and that is cool. But allow me to say this: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
That’s right, folks, Part two of the fall calendar is absolutely fucking awesome.
Two words: Halloween Week. Four films to DIE for.
On behalf of the fine, beautiful, intelligent, amazingly sexy members of the Film Board, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our celluloid-craving hearts for a great first half of the semester! And now, without further adieu: the final two films on the calendar a.k.a. the BEST two films on the calendar…
2008. USA. Dir. Andrew Stanton. 98 min.
FRIDAY, Oct. 17, 2008. 8 p.m. ONLY $5!
Director/writer/producer/voice actor/genius Andrew Stanton once made a little show for the Cartoon Network named “Two Stupid Dogs,” and it was badass. Now he churns out visual masterpieces at Pixar Studios. And Pixar Studios, ladies and gentlemen, is the beautiful frontier of cinematic entertainment. “WALL-E “is Stanton’s brainchild/lovebaby/environmental robot dream. And it is by far one of the best films of 2008. The premise: The future. Humans have grown disgustingly fat and lazy and completely destroyed the Earth’s atmosphere with pollution, so they leave Earth and forget to turn off the last robot. The result is a heartwarming tale that happens to be, simultaneously, the harshest criticism of the United States that has been ever released into
mainstream cinemas, as well as a computer generated cinematic masterpiece. If this film is the future of cinema, then it is a very, very bright future indeed. A quote from Frank Rich’s column from this summer:
“Mr. McCain should be required to see Wall-E to learn just how far adrift he is from an America whose economic fears cannot be remedied by his flip-flop embrace of the Bush tax cuts (for the wealthy) and his sham gas-tax holiday (for everyone else). Mr. Obama should see it to be reminded of just how bold his vision of change had been before he settled into a front-runner’s complacency. Americans should see it to appreciate just how much things are out of joint on an Independence Day when a cartoon robot evokes America’s patriotic ideals with more conviction than either of the men who would be president.”
That was sooo three months ago. But “WALL-E” is—obviously—as poignant as ever. And he is just so fucking cute.
ALL ABOUT EVE
1950. USA. Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz. 138 min.
SATURDAY, Oct. 18, 2008. 8 p.m. FREE!
40s/50s babe Bette Davis stars as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star in this masterpiece. Things really go to shit, though, when Eve shows up. The doe-eyed Anne Baxter plays Eve, a younger, supposedly aspiring actress, who is in fact plotting to steal Davis’ career. Cat-fighting at its finest; they really don’t make ’em like this anymore. Come see a beautiful, underappreciated example of the Hollywood Golden Era. You will be wishing you were your mom’s age.