Here’s a note to you future scholars digging through the Olin archives: mark Sept. 27, 2016, in bold on your Cinefiles timeline. The digi-drought is over…we got an email! Our first Film Freak has thrown down his glove and entered our annual Cinefiles Superfan Search™. His name is Luke, and in response to last week’s question, here’s what he has to say about his favorite use of email on the silver screen:

“in the big short when Christian bale emails everyone that they aren’t allowed to take their money out of his thing”

When we got this message, Joseph had to pinch Jonah to prove it wasn’t a dream. Luke went on to recount a tale that had us breathless by the time we reached his statement of intent. We were almost unable to make out Luke’s words as we rubbed the tears of joy from each other’s eyes. Luke, thank you. We’re ecstatic knowing that you’re “ready to lay it all down” in this contest.

Any other would-be Superfans, don’t feel too left out; you’ve still got months to write in and earn your title. We’re gonna make it easy for you this week, though. Here’s a flurry of questions that are dying for your answers. (Just a heads up, they get harder as they go along, and remember, we’re at

  1. What’s your favorite snack that you’re not allowed to eat in the Goldsmith, and why?
  1. How many weekly readers does Cinefiles attract?
  1. Dale is about to head to the Goldsmith for a night at the movies, but they don’t know what to wear! Name the crucial garments that Dale needs in order to maximize their cinematic experience. (Hint: does “AC” mean anything to you?)
  1. Bickle up De Niro fans, this one’s for you! Which crustacean did De Niro base his Travis Bickle character on? (The answer to this one might surprise you!)
  1. Every week of the Film Series has a theme. What’s the conceptual glue holding this week’s four flicks together?

“”The Great Dictator

  1. USA. Dir. Charlie Chaplin. With Chaplin, Paulette Goddard. 125 min.

Wednesday, Sept. 28. 8 p.m. Free.

Upon emerging from the hospital after a two-decade recovery, a Jewish barber and veteran finds his country in the hands of a fascistic ruler who just so happens to look exactly like him. A year before the United States had entered the war, Chaplin capitalized on his similar appearance to Adolf Hitler to critique the leader of the Third Reich and warn of the dangers of Nazi tyranny. The first in the Film Series’ three-part series titled “Political Shenanigans,” “The Great Dictator” pulls off a risky blend of slapstick comedy and political satire that culminates in a stirring, humanist appeal to the viewer.


“In a Foreign Land” (“En Tierra Extraña”)

  1. Spain. Dir: Icíar Bollain. Documentary. 72 min.

Thursday, Sept. 29. 8 p.m. Free.

With “En Tierra Extraña,” our Thursday series bleed together; as our series of “Contemporary Cinema from the Hispanic World” begins, our European Immigration series comes to a close. Since Spain’s economic crisis began, over 700,000 Spaniards have left the country in search of a better life. With this film, Spain’s highest-profile female director tackles this very current issue. With a critical eye, Bollain captures articulate, moving expressions of the frustration and anger felt by expatriates.


“The Lobster”

  1. Greece/UK. Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos. With Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz. 119 min.

Friday, Sept. 30. 8 p.m. $5.

A newly-divorced man (Farrell) is shipped to a singles’ retreat where he has 45 days to find a new partner or else be transformed into an animal of his choosing. By setting this darkly-comedic allegory in a fully-realized dystopic world where hotel guests are forced to watch skits demonstrating the boons of couple’s life and single people survive in militant packs in the forest, Lanthimos stretches and deepens what might seem to be an inane premise into an affecting examination of the pressures and politics of romantic attraction.

“La Grande Illusion”

  1. France. Dir: Jean Renoir. With Jean Gabin, Erich von Stroheim. 114 min.

Saturday, Oct. 1. 8 p.m. Free.

Hailed as one of the greatest films ever made by one of the most widely-influential directors of cinematic history, “La Grande Illusion” is not to be missed. This antiwar masterpiece is derived from Renoir’s own experience during World War I. One of the very first prison escape movies, “La Grande Illusion” is striking as a meditation on the collapse of the old order of European civilization.

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