MAILED: Jan. 22, 2001
The Cup (2000), a gentle comedy about the lighter side of life in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, will open the spring semester film program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Inspired by actual events at a monastery overcome by 1998 World Cup soccer fever, the film will screen Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 1-4. The International Film Society will present the G-rated film at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.
The Cup is the first feature film ever made in the isolated Himalayan nation of Bhutan, and also is the first in the Tibetan language (subtitled in English). The New York Times praised it for a quiet political urgency, as well as a luminous air of religious conviction. It is also a very funny movie, alive with a sense of absurdity and human foible.
At the center of the story is 14-year-old Orygen, a monk-in-training with a decidedly unmonastic obsession with soccer. As the World Cup final fast approaches, the rest of the monastery is swept along with football fever but there is one problem: with no TV, how will the monks be able to watch the match? The film tackles the issues of winning and losing, life in exile, and the impact of the modern world on a highly traditional lifestyle.
The Cup was written and directed by Khyentse Norbu, a lama who must have learned a lot about filmmaking while serving as Bernardo Bertoluccis assistant during the filming of Little Buddha, wrote film critic Roger Ebert. The film has a distinctly Western feel in its timing and character development; its not an inaccessible exercise in impenetrable mysteries, but a delightful demonstration of how spirituality can coexist quite happily with an intense desire for France to defeat Brazil.
Tickets, available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, are $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff or $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Membership in the International Film Society entitles community members to purchase tickets to IFS presentations and films sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the Student Senate throughout the year. Members also receive a newsletter with complete program information. An individual IFS membership costs $4 and a family membership costs $10.
UAC films this spring include The Goonies (Jan. 25-28), Seven Samurai (Feb. 8-11), Live Nude Girls Unite! (Feb. 15-18), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Feb. 16), American Movie (Feb. 22-25), The Straight Story (March 1-4), The Tao of Steve (March 29-April 1), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (April 26-29) and Requiem for a Dream (May 10-13).
Spring semester presentations by the International Film Society include Yellow Submarine (March 8-11), Goya in Bordeaux (April 5-8), Kippur (April 19-22) and The Mirror (May 3-6).
The campus films newsletter is available from the Activities and Programs office, (715) 836-4833.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Jan. 23, 2001