Before we jump into this week’s Film Series schedule, we want to take a second to pat ourselves on the back. We told you we thought this season’s Film Series calendar would offer you a transcendent experience and if you attended Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s talk last week, you will know that we were right. We truly delivered. His wit and insight was beautiful to behold. He graced us with stories of his young radio show host days, of traveling across the globe, and of the blessed first union of his friendship with Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón and the inception of The Three Amigos of Cha Cha Cha. We were enthralled. We were charmed. And for at least one audience member (*cough cough* Beatrix), we were terrified by his talk of the immense potential and uncharted territory of VR. His closing response to Jeannine’s question, “What is cinema to you?” was insightful, memorable and, you guessed it, transcendent! We were also majorly starstruck by the presence of virtuoso cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, known by close friends as El Chivo, and got to ask him a question or two before blushing uncontrollably and stumbling out of the theatre. Oh, what a night!
For this week, keep in mind that WesFest runs from Wednesday to Friday. More than just a welcome to newly admitted students, it is a memorable celebration of basically everything Wes-related. Now before you get all dazzled and lost among the live music, BBQs in the sun, and performances of all kinds, remember to come by the place that provides the quintessence of Wesleyan’s film culture, the Goldsmith Family Theater. Moreover, it will be even cooler if you invite the visiting admitted students.
On Wednesday we will have “For Heaven’s Sake,” a silent movie with live organ accompaniment by the visiting professor and music maestro Ben Model. This kind of audio/visual collaboration does not happen every week, so it will be a treat for those planning to attend. Thursday will feature the arrival of “Toni Erdmann,” a film that made it big at Cannes this past year. Every European cinema fan should make sure to mark this date in their diary because you do not want to miss out on seeing this on the big screen. Friday will be “Inglourious Basterds,” a film by the much-heralded Quentin Tarantino, who just celebrated his 54th birthday, probably with loads of snappy dialogue, gold watches, blow, and blood.
“For Heaven’s Sake”
Wednesday, April 12. 8 p.m. Free.
Millionaire playboy J. Harold Manners leads a carefree life and is used to solving his problems with writing checks, basically a Bruce Wayne in broad daylight. Initially against the idea of sponsoring a mission, he soon changes his mind due to his affection for Hope, the daughter of the mission’s founder. In the attempt at winning over Hope, Manners also finds himself suspected and hindered by his friends. The 12th highest-grossing film in the Silent Era, “For Heaven’s Sake” contains a large number of hilarious gags, especially two amazing chase sequences.
Thursday, April 13. 8 p.m. Free.
Since its record-breaking critics rating, followed by a shocking snub at Cannes Film Festival, “Toni Erdmann” has undoubtedly become the subject of controversy and expectation. It is criticized by many on the grounds that it is formally monotonous and lacks cinematic charisma. On the other hand, it has equally as many fans – if not more – thanks to a delicately crafted and touching story. Centered around a father tirelessly bringing sparkles to his daughter whose routine life is dominated by the paperwork and meetings, “Toni Erdmann” definitely deserves a chance to be looked at closely on Thursday night.
Friday, April 14. 8 p.m. $5.
Did you know there’s an Official “Inglourious Basterds” Fan Site? I feel like that speaks volumes. “Inglourious Basterds” is a fictionalized history of life in Nazi-occupied France during World War II with some fun accent turns by Michael Fassbender and a whole lot of blood and burns. Creepy Oscar-winning Christoph Waltz will make your skin squirm. You’ll want to be Melanie Laurent’s sidekick. Also, apparently the film-within-a-film was directed by Eli Roth?! Don’t believe us, believe ifc.com.
Saturday, April 15. 8 p.m. Free.
A cynical old woman who writes and mails letters for the illiterate at Rio de Janeiro’s central station (and also tears them apart and reads out loud), Dora takes on the responsibility of helping Josue, a 9-year-old boy, to find his father whom he never knew after his mother passed away in a car accident. An everlasting allegory of distance, search, and hope, “Central Station” is able to communicate with people on a deep level. Because of Salles’ experiences in documentary production, the film also features Brazil’s impoverished rural landscape that gives birth to such lively characters.