Well, we have agreed to work on too many senior film theses. That’s right: Thesis season has begun! For all those film folk out there in their final year at Wesleyan hoping to make a short to take with them into the big bad world, whoa, did you dream big. But we’ve got you! We’re here to help out in anyway we can, potentially in more ways than physics will allow. Could we possibly have committed to more projects than we have earthly hours in the day? Check back in with us in December, and we’ll let you know if it was all too ambitious. In the meantime, let’s band together and get stuff done!

On the non-filmmaking front, we’ve got some splendid screenings and events for you in the coming weeks. If you’re not in the business of early mornings and grueling test shoots, no worries; there are some spectacular already-completed films at the series for you to enjoy this week. We have finally moved into the final week of this month’s calendar, and that means two things: 1. If you’ve let the weeks fly by without sparing a moment for the films series, you should use this week to redeem yourself by coming to all four of our screening days, and 2. Many delightful, delectable and devilish moving pictures are about to become available to you on the big screen. We cannot tell you how excited we are to share the upcoming calendar with you. We are confident that it is packed with films to fit all tastes and preferences.

Speaking of special preview screenings, we have one for you just around the corner, and boy, is this one a blast! Next Monday, Oct. 16, we are hosting a super special FREE sneak peek screening of A24’s new release “Ladybird.” The film is directed by Mumblecore sweetheart Greta Gerwig and features Academy Award-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan, as well as our very own Beanie Feldstein ’15! In addition to the screening itself, Beanie will also be hosting a Q&A after the film. Check out the Facebook event, peep the posters around campus, watch the trailer, and be sure to show up to the Goldsmith Family Cinema at 8 p.m. next Monday.

Before any fancy special preview screenings, we’ve got a fabulous list of films at our regularly scheduled times this week. On Wednesday we have a screening of Raoul Peck’s 2016 documentary on James Baldwin hosted by members of Wesleyan’s student of color publication, “The Ankh,” which will be followed by a discussion and Q&A. On Thursday, “The Fireman’s Ball” will mark the end of our short but sweet Czech mini-series. “Baby Driver” will screech onto our screen on Friday, followed on Saturday by the stunningly strange 1969 “Funeral Parade of Roses.”

“I Am Not Your Negro”

2017. USA/France/Belgium/Switz. Dir: Raoul Peck. Documentary. 93 min.

Wednesday, Oct. 11. 8 p.m. Free.

“I Am Not Your Negro” is a documentary about the late and great James Baldwin, a man who continues to inspire those with a penchant for justice and intellectual curiosity, who made great strides for many people in this country, particularly black and queer folk, and whose written word and spoken storytelling breathes life into every new generation of activists, artists, and academics. This film is based upon the unfinished manuscript of Baldwin’s memoir “Remember This House,” which includes his personal recollections of prominent civil rights leaders. The film is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and features interviews, newspaper articles, and found footage to bring to life Baldwin’s brilliant words. This screening will be hosted by The Ankh and will include a discussion afterwards.

 

“The Firemen’s Ball”

1967. Czech. Dir: Miloš Forman. With Jan Vostrcil. 71 min.

Thursday, Oct. 12. 8 p.m. Free.

With a raffle and a beauty contest, the volunteer fire department of a Czechoslovakian town in the 1960s invites its townspeople to a grand party held to celebrate a former chief’s birthday. As all kinds of troubles arise throughout the evening, the party organizers scramble to make sure everything looks alright in front of the former chief. Whether you empathize with the characters’ pain as party hosts or enjoy the satirical look at the artificial facade of Communism, this colorfully delightful New Wave film has held a memorable position in history. Despite being banned forever in the Czech Republic following the Soviet invasion in 1968, it was selected for official submission to the Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film.

“Baby Driver”

2017. UK/USA. Dir: Edgar Wright. With Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey. 112 min.

Friday, Oct. 13. 8 p.m. $5.

A car chase movie with a soundtrack designed before its action storyboard, “Baby Driver” is the melodious outlet of Edgar Wright’s talents after his cooperation with Marvel on “Ant-Man” broke off. It follows Baby, a driver in Atlanta who always manages to get away from a police chase with the right song turned on. Baby thinks he’s out of the game when he falls in love with a waitress at a local diner only to be reeled back in by his crime boss. Composed of tightly choreographed chase scenes and mercurial relations between multiple characters, it is a paragon of combining viewers’ adrenaline and distinctive directorial styles.

“Funeral Parade of Roses”

1969. Japan. Dir: Toshio Matsumoto. With Shinnosuke Ikehata. 105 min.

Saturday, Oct. 14. 8 p.m. Free.

A striking view of a Japanese subculture of the late 1960s, this film explores the life of femme-presenting/cross-dressing “gay boy” Eddie as he navigates the queer, avant-garde underground Tokyo of his dreams and nightmares. The film is apparently a loose adaptation of the story of Oedipus Rex with evident inspiration from French New Wave cinema, and is also said to have influenced Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange.” “Funeral Parade of Roses” is a beautifully weird and carefully crafted punk piece that continues to provoke dialogue today, especially in the canon of international queer cinema. Matsumoto prevents us from ever understanding Eddie by merely observing his actions, and viewers can never be confident that we truly know any of the characters in this fact-or-fiction merging meltdown. What we do know is we can’t look away, and it’s an enthralling cinematic journey well worth your time.

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