Cinefiles

, by Scott Varnado,

We are well into our first half of the Spring calendar on the Film Series, and man, what a good time we’ve had so far.  I know that many a mind was melted by “El Topo,” you cried your cute little eyes out to “Breaking the Waves,” and probably made out with your girlfriends/boyfriends in “Clueless.”  But as always, the best is yet to come.  I hope many of you came out last night for the premiere of our Thursday night documentary series.  “The Order of Myths” was just the beginning of our continuing three-part Documentary Series—each presented by the filmmakers and including a Q&A session afterwards.  That’s right, real live filmmakers are coming here, to Wesleyan, to talk to you!  So you better be there. The series continues next Thursday, February 19, with “Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father.”  And boy, you don’t want to miss this film…but more on that later.

There are countless reasons to love the Film Series—seeing a movie for free with all of our friends ranks pretty high up there.  But, the greatest aspect of the Film Series has to be the variety of films that you can see within one week.  So let’s take a moment and thank the film gods (a.k.a. the Wesleyan Film Department) for giving us such an amazing weekly cinema.  This week, the Film Series provides us with perhaps the widest range of titles on this calendar and a seriously epic series of movies.  We’re screening one of the greatest Hong Kong action films from the 80’s, a lyrical French adolescence tale from the 70’s, Guy Ritchie’s newest fast-talking action flick from this year, and “Dear Zachary,” one of the most powerful documentaries in years.  What more could you ask for?  So tell all of your friends, enemies, professors, lovers, ex-lovers, and wannabe lovers: this week, the Wesleyan Film Series is where it’s at!

THE KILLER  

1989. Hong Kong. Dir: John Woo. 111 min.
Friday, Feb. 13, 8 PM. $5

Heads up!  One of the best action films ever made is showing tonight.  A hitman in Hong Kong has decided to give up slaying for pay.  But on his last hit he accidentally blinds a young stripper.  To pay for her eye surgery, he takes on one last hit—leading to, um, trouble.  John Woo’s crime/action masterpiece was heavily influenced by the Japanese crime films of the 1960’s and Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Samourai” —a masterpiece in it’s own right.  “The Killer” was wildly popular upon its American release and remains highly revered—a holy grail of sorts among action fans.  This one of the most acclaimed action films of all time and to see it in the Goldsmith is going to be epic.  Seriously, don’t miss this one.
 

MURMER OF THE HEART

1971. France. Dir: Louis Malle. 118 min.  
Saturday, Feb. 14, 8 PM. FREE!

Director Louis Malle is considered one of the greatest in French cinema, and was certainly one of the most consistent.  He directed beautifully filmed, touching movies for four decades and remains wildly popular among film fans.  “Murmer of the Heart,” one of Malle’s most esteemed works, is the story of a young boy growing up bourgeois surroundings in France.  He experiences sex, scarlet fever, and a stint in a sanatorium, and an interesting relationship to his mother.  This film is oddly innocent and deeply moving.  Perfect for a romantic date before you get smashed at the  Valentine’s party.  

ROCKNROLLA

2008. UK. Dir: Guy Ritchie. 114 min.
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 8 PM. $5

Guy Ritche’s had a hard year.  I mean, his wife who happens to be Madonna left him for Alex Rodreguez, the way I understand it.  But that did not stop him from putting out another kick ass action film.  From the “genius” behind “Snatch” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” comes the tale of another bunch of fast-talking Brit scammers.  Members of London’s criminal underworld jump into action to get there hands on a huge bankroll from a real estate scam.  You can’t go wrong with a movie that features characters named “Mr. One Two,” “Handsome Bob,” and “Johnny Quid.”  This is Ritchie’s most acclaimed film yet.  You’ll love it.

The Documentary Series continues with:

DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER

2008. Dir: Kurt Kuenne. Documentary. 95 min.
Thursday, Feb. 19, 8 PM. FREE!

This documentary is simply stunning.  It is the story that chronicles the events leading up to the death of the filmmakers’ best friend from childhood, presented as a letter to the dead man’s son.  In essence, director Kurt Kuenne recreates a man’s life through a seemingly endless supply of collected photographs and video.  But the events that occur while Kurt is making the film are simply astounding.  This film is at times glorious, at times funny, but most often wrenching.  This highly personal film is truly groundbreaking for the doc genre.  And we are in for a treat, Kurt Kuenne is flying to Wesleyan for one night to present his film at the Goldsmith.  You will not believe how much of himself he put into this film, and to have him here as part of our Documentary Series is an honor.  See you at the Film Series!

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