University News

WIU Summer Film Series

June 9, 2009

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University's broadcasting department will host the annual Summer Film Series, "The Dead Filmmakers Society 2009," beginning Wednesday, June 10.

All screenings will begin at 7 p.m. in the University Union Sandburg Theatre. The films, hosted by WIU broadcasting Associate Professor Richard Ness, are from Ness' private collection. All films are open free to the public.

The series includes the following:

June 10 - "The Return of the Soldier" (Great Britain, 1981)
Julie Christie, Glenda Jackson and Ann-Margaret headline this beautifully filmed study of class conflict about a shell-shocked soldier (Alan Bates) who seems to be able to recall his relationship with a former working-class lover but not his aristocratic wife. Featuring a haunting score by Richard Rodney Bennett.

June 17 - "The Shameless Old Lady" (France, 1965)
When her husband dies an elderly woman sets out to discover the life she never had in this adaptation of a Bertolt Brecht story, with a great performance by octogenarian Sylvie. In French with English subtitles.

June 24 – "Let There Be Light" (1946)/"The Quiet One" (1948)
These are two landmark studies of psychoanalysis from the 1940s. First, John Huston provides an uncompromising look at the treatment of disturbed returning soldiers that was kept out of circulation for decades by the War Department. Then an Oscar nominee for documentary tells the story of a troubled African American boy who gradually comes out of his shell at a detention center.

July 1 – "Ugetsu" (Japan, 1953)
The lives of a rural potter and his brother-in-law take different paths as they seek success in Kenji Mizoguchi's acclaimed study of ambition and class in 16th-century Japan in what is also one of the most beautiful and haunting ghost stories ever made. In Japanese with English subtitles.

July 8 – "Value For Money" (Great Britain, 1955)/"The Magic Christian" (Great Britain, 1969)
This double dose of British financial films begins with a Yorkshire man who heads to the big city after receiving an inheritance and falls under the spell of bombshell Diana Dors. Next up is the only film to feature Peter Sellers, a Beatle and two members of Monty Python, in a wild comedy about an eccentric millionaire who sets out to prove people will do anything for money. With songs by Badfinger.

July 15 – "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" (Great Britain, 1972)
Alan Bates and Janet Suzman star as a couple who indulge in dark fantasies to cope with the reality of dealing with their severely mentally disabled child in director Peter Medak's adaptation of the acclaimed play by Peter Nichols. Also starring British television favorites Peter Bowles and Joan Hickson.

July 22 – "Sundays and Cybele" (France, 1962)
This Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film stars Hardy Kruger as a traumatized soldier who forms a special bond with an alienated young girl. In French with English subtitles, and presented in its widescreen format.

July 29 – "Robin and Marian" (Great Britain, 1976)
Richard Lester's revisionist take on the Robin Hood legend finds its aging, disillusioned hero rekindling his romance with Marian, while continuing his battle against the Sheriff of Nottingham. The excellent cast includes Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw, Richard Harris, Nicol Williamson and Ian Holm.

Special Thursday Night Bonus Screening:
July 30 – "Gangway" (Great Britain, 19367)/"Spring Tonic" (1935)

The Summer Film Series ends with another double bill. First, a rare chance to see Britain's most popular musical comedy star of the 1930s, Jessie Matthews, in an entertaining tale of jewel thefts, gangsters and fast-talking reporters. Then Zasu Pitts lends her comic talents to a goofy screwball farce based on a Ben Hecht play that finds a runaway bride involved with circus performers, moonshiners and an escaped tiger.

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