Along with the usual horde of high school seniors, WesFest is bringing a special guest to the film series this weekend. After graduating from Wesleyan, Paul Weitz ’88 went on to direct such popular and acclaimed films as the genre-defining “American Pie” and “About a Boy,” which is probably the only legitimately good Hugh Grant film I have ever watched with my mom. Bring your prefrosh so they can see the sort of fancy folk that comes out this here school.
2011. Denmark. Dir: Lars Von Trier. With Kristen Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg. 130 min.
Wednesday, April 11. 8 p.m. $5.
The newest intense personal epic from Danish auteur Von Trier was one of the year’s surprise cult hits, which ignited lavish praise as well as the usual recoiling. Half chamber drama, half disaster movie, “Melancholia” depicts the possible end of the world as seen through the eyes of a single dysfunctional family. Unfolding in lushly saturated color to the smooth sounds of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde,” the sensual beauty of “Melancholia” matches its pervasive sense of cosmic terror.
SPECIAL WESFEST EVENT: BEING FLYNN with Director Paul Weitz
2012. USA. Dir: Paul Weitz. With Robert De Niro, Paul Dano. 102 min.
Thursday, April 12. 8 p.m. FREE.
Paul Weitz ’88 will be on hand to discuss film, Wesleyan, and his new movie, which is a gritty look at family and urban living. Based on Nick Flynn’s acclaimed memoir “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City,” Weitz’s newest tells the story of a young writer who suddenly encounters his destitute dad, a con man and self-proclaimed poet. Featuring a fantastic cast, including the incomparable Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, and Julianne Moore, this powerful film is not to be missed. Bring your prefrosh.
2004. USA. Dir: Mark Waters. With Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams. 97 min. Friday, April 13. 8 p.m. $5.
Your prefrosh will certainly be excited to see this piercing take on how high school sucks. Wittily written by SNL and 30 Rock’s Tina Fey, this teen comedy classic sets an innocent Lohan against a bratty cadre of popular girls that no one seems to like. As the conflict escalates, so do the laughs. Also, the film series has instituted free giveaways for Friday films, so one lucky viewer will be coming away with a thrilling prize relevant to the film. Don’t miss it, or the plastics on the film board will make snide comments about your hair.
1961. USA. Dir: Samuel Fuller. With Cliff Robertson, Dolores Dorn. 99 min.
Saturday, April 14. 8 p.m. FREE.
Legendary Hollywood badass Sam Fuller rips the cover off of the seething crime world in this take-no-prisoners noir. After seeing a gang of hoods kill his father, stone-faced Cliff Robertson infiltrates the mob and begins a vicious campaign of vengeance. Under ex-journalist Fuller’s no-nonsense approach, the late entry is one of film noir’s most bracingly uncompromising takes on crime and violence.