Campus film series to open Sept. 5 with 'Her'August 22, 2014
EAU CLAIRE — "Her" (2013), nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, will open the campus film series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Sept. 5-7. The University Activities Commission of the Student Senate will present the film at 7 p.m. Sept. 5; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 6; and 2 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Woodland Theater of Davies Center.
Set in the Los Angeles of the near future, "Her" follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for people who are unable to write them themselves. Heartbroken at the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new computer operating system that promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, unique to each user. Upon initiating it he is delighted to meet "Samantha" (Scarlett Johansson), a bright, female voice who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into love. Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara co-star.
"Her" received the Academy Award and many other accolades for its original screenplay written by director Spike Jonze. The 126-minute film is rated R.
Admission to all campus films is free at the door with a Blugold Card or with a Campus Films Pass that enables community members to attend all films during the 2014-15 year. Members of the community may buy an individual pass for $4 or a family pass for $10. Campus Films passes are available at the Service Center, 715-836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby.
The following films also will screen at UW-Eau Claire during the fall semester:
- "Pan's Labyrinth" (Mexico-Spain-U.S. 2006), Sept. 12-14. Guillermo del Toro's gothic fairy tale is set in 1944, against the postwar repression of Franco's Spain. The story unfolds through the eyes of a little girl who is uprooted to a military outpost in rural Spain commanded by her new stepfather. Powerless and lonely in the presence of unfathomable cruelty, she lives out her own dark fable in an old, neglected garden labyrinth where she comes to terms with the monsters that live both in her imagination and her daily life. Winner of three Academy Awards, the film was also nominated as Best Foreign Language Film.
- "Young Frankenstein" (U.S. 1974), Sept. 19-21. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is a neurosurgeon who has spent years trying to live down the family reputation. When he inherits his notorious grandfather's castle in Transylvania he reluctantly moves in — and is soon inspired to continue his experiments in reanimating the dead. Teri Garr, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Peter Boyle and Madeline Kahn costar in this loving spoof of the classic horror genre directed by Mel Brooks.
- "Grabbers" (Ireland-U.K. 2012), Oct. 10-12. On an idyllic fishing village off the coast of Ireland, two police officers have little to do aside from dealing with the occasional drunk. But strange doings are afoot: the crew of a fishing boat disappears, whales start appearing dead on the shore, a local lobsterman catches a strange tentacled creature in his trap. When they realize they are confronting an alien bloodsucking monster from the sea, the townspeople develop a surprising battle plan.
- "Up" (U.S. 2009), Oct. 17-19. Carl Fredricksen is a 78-year-old retired balloon salesman who is part rascal and part dreamer. Ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement, he ties thousands of balloons to his house and sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, an eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell is on the front porch. Carl and his unwitting stowaway meet fantastic friends and learn that life's biggest adventures aren't always those you are looking for. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, the Pixar Animation Studios production from Disney won Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film and best original score.
- "Wadjda" (Saudi Arabia-Germany 2012), Oct. 24-26. Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. When she sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale, Wadjda wants it so desperately she sets out to raise the money by herself. After a variety of schemes she sets out to win the first-place cash prize at her school's Koran recitation competition. The contest will not be easy, especially for a troublemaker like Wadjda, but she uses her cunning mind to find a way to rise above her competitors and make her most cherished dream come true. The first feature film ever shot in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Wadjda received a 10-minute standing ovation at its premiere at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.
- "Maleficent" (U.S.-U.K. 2014), Oct. 31-Nov. 2. The untold story of the iconic villain from the 1959 Disney classic "Sleeping Beauty" relates the tale of betrayal that turns her pure heart to stone. Driven by vengeance and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places an irrevocable curse upon the king's newborn child, Aurora. As she grows, Aurora (Elle Fanning) is caught in the conflict between the magical forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and takes drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.
- "The Departed" (U.S. 2006), Nov. 7-9. Martin Scorsese's gritty crime drama explores the lives of two cops (Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio) in South Boston, where the state police force is waging an all-out war to take down the city's top organized crime ring. The prime target is powerful Irish mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). A game of cat and mouse in which the stakes could not be higher, the film won four Academy Awards including Best Picture.
- "Paris, je t'aime" (France-Liechtenstein-Switzerland-Germany 2006), Nov. 14-16. With the world's most romantic city as a backdrop, this anthology feature is made up of 18 short films by 21 directors from around the world. The international cast includes Fanny Ardant, Juliet Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Gerard Depardieu, Ben Gazzara, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emily Mortimer, Nick Nolte, Natalie Portman, Miranda Richardson, Gena Rowlands, Rufus Sewell and Elijah Wood.Directors include Olivier Assayas, Sylvain Chomet, Ethan and Joel Coen, Alfonso Cuarón, Tom Tykwer and Gus Van Sant.
- "The Silence of the Lambs" (U.S. 1991), Nov. 21-23. A psychopath is kidnapping and murdering young women across the Midwest. Believing that it takes one to know one, the FBI directs cadet Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) to interview an incarcerated serial killer (Anthony Hopkins) who may provide psychological insight. This is only the third film to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay).
- "Man on Wire" (U.S. 2008), Dec. 5-7. On Aug. 7, 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the world's tallest buildings. After dancing on the wire 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan for nearly an hour, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, jailed and finally released. Questioned as to why he did it, Petit could only reply, "When I see three oranges, I juggle; when I see two towers, I walk." The film received the Academy Award for Best Documentary of 2008.
- "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (U.S. 2014), Dec. 12-14. In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European resort presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) and his protege (Tony Revolori), a junior lobby boy. Gustave prides himself on providing first-class service to the hotel's guests, which includes satisfying the amorous needs of the many women of a certain age who stay there. When one of his elderly lovers dies mysteriously, Gustave finds himself the recipient of a priceless painting — and the chief suspect in her murder.
All films are presented in the Woodland Theater, a 200-seat theater in Davies Center on UW-Eau Claire's lower campus. Complete schedule information is available from the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office, 715-836-4833, or online.
The campus film program is funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire. Films are selected and presented by the all-student University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate, and the International Film Society, an administrative committee composed of students, faculty, staff and community members. Created in 1956 by a group of Eau Claire citizens interested in the foreign film as an art form, the International Film Series represents various countries, cinematic styles, directorial methods, genres, and points of view in films that help bring about a better understanding of other cultures and a lifelong love of film. The committees are advised by the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office of the University Centers.