Welcome back friends, foes, and film fans! We’ve missed you dearly. We hope you’ve taken the time this break to kick back, catch up on those Oscar-winning films you never cared to see but now feel obligated to watch, and relax before the chaos of finals and finalizing summer plans begins. We’d love to know what films you watched over the break—maybe you’ll recommend them as suggestions for next year’s film series! Did you finally get around to watching one of those classics of the silver screen you’d been avoiding? (We finally committed to “Brief Encounter” and found to our delight that it was a riotous, good time). Or escort the family to an evening showing of some exciting unknown new release? Write in and tell us what to check out to keep our spirits up as we move into the final stretch of this academic year.
We’re already a little run-down and nervous about the week ahead, what with midterms and housing planning in full swing, but thankfully we have the warm embrace of the Wesleyan Film Series to look forward to. This week is a chocolate box of eclectic delights with films from Mexico to France, broadening our horizons and transporting us entirely. Be sure to check out the black-and-white debut feature “Duck Season” from Mexico’s young auteur Fernando Eimbcke. Also on the docket for this week is Wes Anderson’s charming stop-motion animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and the colorful dream world of Jean-Luc Godard’s “Pierrot Le Fou.”
Give this last installment of the film series calendar a thorough look-over and start marking down what you’re excited about. Maybe it’s the ‘International Female Filmmakers’ mini-series or the Thai SAT thriller “Bad Genius” or maybe you just cannot wait for A.O. Scott and Wesley Morris to chat it out for the world to see. Anyway, whatever it is, we look forward to sharing it with you!
2004. Mexico. Dir: Fernando Eimbcke. With Daniel Miranda, Diego Catano. 92 min. 35 mm print.
Thursday, March 29. 8 p.m. Free.
Young, highly acclaimed Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke enlivens and entertains with this short and sweet comedy. It could be a play for all its variety of location and limited cast, but, as a wise professor once said, “limitation is stimulation” and Eimbcke pulls out all the stops for his debut feature film. Two friends Moko and Flama are hanging out in Flama’s apartment while his Mom is out, but what starts out as a regular run-of-the-mill Sunday soon becomes a raucous day of experimentation and adventure. First, the electricity goes out, and then they stumble into an unexpected friendship with a teenage girl who lives next door and an adult pizza delivery man. The four unlikely friends learn some life lessons, make some messes, and generally get up to some old-fashioned good fun in this concise comedic coming-of-age drama. That black-and-white picture will look extra glossy in 35 mm so don’t hesitate, drop by on Thursday at 8!
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
2009. USA. Dir: Wes Anderson. With George Clooney, Meryl Streep. Animated. 88 min.
Friday, March 30. 8 p.m. $5.
2009 was indeed a memorable year for animated movies, but that doesn’t make this Wes Anderson stop-motion production any less shining among all the movie titles released in that year that you’re already familiar with. Set in a well-thought, personified-animal society, the movie tells a story of the struggle of a mid-class family man (or fox?) in the face of his desire of youthful and energizing thefts, which are driven by his very animal nature. With discussions of family issues, such as parent-child relations and confusions of puberty, attached to the comedic main plot, Anderson adds moments of beauty and somberness to his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel.
“Pierrot Le Fou”
1965. France. Dir: Jean-Luc Godard. With Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina. 115 min.
Saturday, March 31. 8 p.m. Free.
Created during Godard’s most energetic years, “Pierrot Le Fou” is one of the rare Godard’s films that deliver the sense of pictorial beauty in its unapologetic use of colors, in addition to its on-the-nose rebellious cinematic language and Marxist guidance. In a rough comparison to the last film you just read about, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, and Jean-Luc Godard cooked up an outright fierce and intensive film that aimed at the betrayal of repressive consumer society. The golden trio put a couple, a man who simply cannot stand his occupational and familial loss and a woman chased by an Algerian assassin, on a wild ride away from bourgeois society. With their unsettled minds swinging back and forth, the couple sets off on a journey that takes them on a downward spiral.
Beatrix Herriott O’Gorman and Genyu Zhang can be reached at bherriottogo