The screening schedule for the Winter 2010 Global Cinema Series (initiated by the Division of Lifelong Learning and the Faculty of Arts) has been announced. Now starting its fifth semester, this is a unique opportunity to view multiple award-winning films from across the world and participate in discussions moderated by Memorial University professors with expertise in each film’s subject matter. The Winter 2010 series kicks off on Feb. 3 with Lunacy (Czechoslovakia, 2005), based on two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and inspired by the works of the Marquis de Sade.
Films will be screened at the Inco Innovation Centre’s auditorium
Wed. Feb. 3
Lunacy (Czechoslovakia, 2005)
The latest provocation from surrealist master Jan Švankmajer (Little Otik) is loosely based on two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and inspired by the works of the Marquis de Sade. In nineteenth-century France (albeit one full of deliberate anachronisms) a young man, Jean Berlot, is plagued by nightmares in which he is dragged off to a madhouse. On the journey back from his mother’s funeral he is invited by a marquis he meets at lunch to spend the night in his castle. There, Berlot witnesses a blasphemous orgy and a ‘therapeutic’ funeral. Berlot tries to flee but the marquis insists on helping him conquer his fears and takes his guest to a surrealistic lunatic asylum where the patients have complete freedom and the staff are locked up behind bars. Described by Švankmajer himself in a prologue to the film as a “philosophical horror film,” Lunacy combines live action and stop-motion, sex and violence, grand guignol terror and gallows humor, and a lot of animated meat.
Director: Jan Švankmajer
Facilitator: Andrew Loman (English)
Wed. Feb. 17
Soy Cuba (Cuba, 1967) Four vignettes in Batista's Cuba dramatize the need for revolution; long, mobile shots tell almost wordless stories. In Havana, Maria faces shame when a man who fancies her discovers how she earns her living. Pedro, an aging peasant, is summarily told that the land he farms has been sold to United Fruit. A university student faces down a crowd of swaggering U.S. sailors and then watches friends get shot by police when they try to distribute a pro-Castro leaflet. The war arrives on the doorstep of peasants Mariano, Amelia, and their four children when Batista's forces bomb the hills. Mariano wants peace, so he seeks out the guerrillas to join the fight.
Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Facilitator: Steve Crocker (Sociology)
Wed. March 3
Caramel (Lebanon, 2008) In Beirut, five women meet regularly in a beauty salon, a colourful and sensual microcosm of the city where several generations come into contact, talk and confide in each other. Layale loves Rabih, but Rabih is married. Nisrine is Muslim and her forthcoming marriage poses a problem: she is no longer a virgin. Rima is tormented by her attraction to women and especially to a lovely client with long hair. Jamale is refusing to grow old. Rose has sacrificed her life to take care of her elderly sister. In the salon, their intimate and liberated conversations revolve around men, sex and motherhood, between haircuts and sugar waxing with caramel.
Director: Nadine Labaki
Facilitator: Marica Cassis (History)
Wed. March 17
Noodle (Israel, 2007) At 37, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well-regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been summarily deported from Israel. The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings -- as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing -- accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life.
Director: Ayelet Menahemi
Facilitator: Katherine Side (Women’s Studies)
Wed. March 31
Kings (Ireland, 2007) In the 25 years they have been there, done that, the Navvy (Irish working man) clock does not stop for alienation or inner despair. They are working men, strong, even indestructible. Those gnawing feelings of something not being quite right are ameliorated by the camaraderie of their mates. So what if it all ends in tears or a thumping? They can give as good as they get or get used to. At least they are alive and having the craic.
Until it all changes, and a silence falls on the reverie of the gang. Tragedy has struck Jackie the youngest, the brightest and the bravest. The gang does what has always been done – they gather together for a wake, a final celebration, a cheer, to give Jackie Flavin a send off fit for a king, a king of the Kilburn High Road. He, unlike them, is set to return to Ireland – his body found bruised and battered on the railway track, crushed by the passing Kilburn train. Jackie's father Micil arrives over to North West London to bring his son home. The gang must meet Micil and throughout the day the memories fuse of who Jackie was and what it is like to be a Paddy in England. The men circle around the truth as they travel through Kilburn and as their memories collide they are inevitably drawn to an Irish pub. It is in such a home from home that the gang are forced to confront the possibility that Jackie’s death was no accident but a suicide and that they then must face up to the bitter chill of truth.
Director: Tom Collins
Facilitator: Visiting Gaelic scholar, Brid Falconer
Wed. April 14
The Hidden Blade (Japan, 2004) Faced with declining social status in a quickly changing world, the samurai Katagiri gradually realizes that his personal purpose and meaning are slipping away. Although he tries to create for himself a situation of happiness, social expectations regarding the samurai class force him to abandon even that. Then, when Katagiri's contemplations are at their deepest, his superiors call on him to assassinate a political rebel, his closest friend.
Director: Yoji Yamada
Facilitator: Mike O’Brien (History)