First and foremost, we must offer our dear, devoted readers our most sincere apologies. We are very sorry for the weeklong Wesleyan Film Series news deficiency. One of our Cinefiles writers, who shall remain unidentified, was in Chicago, supporting the University at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, and returned too late last week to complete the column on time. Please forgive us for this lapse in productivity. We promise we are back on track with our regularly scheduled programming, and we will try not to disappoint you in the future.
Wescam season is (finally) upon us! Are the nerves keeping you vigilant? Are you hyper-alert as you walk around each corner of campus aware that any moment could be a potential meet-cute? Same. In light of this joyous season, we at the Cinefiles HQ have been thinking about films that feature romances formed in the most unlikely of circumstances and cinematic romances that sparked with the aid or intervention of technology. Some obvious examples include classic Tom-and-Meg rom-com “You’ve Got Mail” and Spike Jonze’s “Her.” We clearly haven’t really thought outside the box with this one so if you’ve got any tech-inspired or unlikely contextualized romance film recommendations, leave them in the comments below so we can do the necessary research to improve our chances of Wescam success. Thanks, we appreciate you looking out for us.
We’ve got to say, even with the added competition of Wescam, the Wesleyan Film Series is looking like a winner. We are beyond excited about the beginning of the Queer Asian Cinema mini-series opening with “The Handmaiden” on Wednesday. This movie is one of our absolute favorite releases of 2017 so far, and it was even featured on one of our Wesleyan Film Board applications. It’s a sensory experience and a dazzling and dizzying film that is sure to stay with you well after you leave Goldsmith. Also on the docket this week is “The Spirit of the Beehive,” a captivating, slow-moving, and brilliant film, and a staple and prominent feature of the Spanish cinematic landscape. Hot tip: If you want a chance to hear the great and glorious Lisa Dombrowski talk about this movie in depth you should take Global Film Auteurs with her in the fall—it comes highly recommended by the Cinefiles staff. We’re showing “The Lego Batman Movie” in 3D on Friday, which is bound to have all the bells and whistles. Closing the week is “Lawrence of Arabia,” a classic of gargantuan proportions. Missing this bad boy on the big screen would be a real mistake. Gosh, on reflection, this week will have a ton of showstoppers. You are so welcome.
2016. South Korea. Dir: Park Chan-wook. With Kim Min Hee. 144 min.
Wednesday, April 26. 8 p.m. Free.
The trailer makes this film look like a potential horror. Be intrigued, but don’t be fooled. It’s been described by some as an erotic thriller. Perhaps that’s more accurate. But who cares about the genre? Honestly, all you need to know is that it’s a must-see. Set in 1930s Korea, every detail is lovingly crafted to make this beautifully composed film. “The Handmaiden” is a visual delight that won’t surprise anyone familiar with Chan-wook’s work. Aside from supreme aesthetic beauty, it is an intelligent character study. It is also absolutely exhilarating.
“The Spirit of the Beehive”
1973. Spain. Dir: Victor Erice. With Ana Torrent. 97 min. 35mm print.
Thursday, April 27. 8 p.m. Free.
Beautiful wide shots of the vast expanse of the Castilian countryside. Two sisters growing up. Two parents self-isolating. A naturalistic (or not?) slice of rural Spanish life. Frankenstein. How did we get here? It’s 1940s Spain, and we are in a small village following the day-to-day life of Ana, a quiet little girl with a large imagination. The Criterion Collection calls it a “bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life.” Truthfully though, it is a masterpiece. It is hauntingly still, moving, and important. A compelling portrayal of a young girl’s fascination with a classic tale and the ways in which solitude, silence and active imagining can be transformative. We will cry if we think about how magnificent it is for too long.
“The Lego Batman Movie”
2017. USA. Dir: Chris McKay. With Will Arnett. Animated. 104 min. 3D.
Friday, April 28. 8 p.m. $5.
Still remember the tiny Batman from “The Lego Movie”? On Friday night, the Dark Knight returns (in the form that “nobody cares about”)! This time, the Caped Crusader has to go up against his all-time archenemy, Joker, who plans to rule Gotham City by teaming up with other supervillains. Watch Bruce Wayne battle the greatest enemy and how he deals with his newly adopted orphan who is eager to help him with the crime-fighting business. Just like “the Lego Movie,” this one is as unconventional it is hilarious, a must-see for anyone interested in revisiting the legend in Gotham.
“Lawrence of Arabia”
Saturday, April 29. 8 p.m. Free.
Buckle up for this gargantuan masterpiece on Saturday night! Nominated for 10 Oscars in 1963, “Lawrence of Arabia” is regarded by many as one of the best movies in history. For instance, Steven Spielberg sees it as the very inspiration of his filmmaking career and his personal favorite of all time. The film tells the story of British writer T. E. Lawrence’s life during World War I in the Arabian Peninsula. Perhaps one of the most interestingly complex characters in the film history, Lawrence tackles various personal conflicts throughout the three-and-a-half hour film.