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UW-Eau Claire Announces Fall Film Series Schedule

RELEASED: Aug. 29, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire film series resumes with free screenings of "Better Off Dead," a 1985 romantic comedy that will be presented Friday-Sunday, Sept. 2-4, at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

John Cusack stars as a high-school student going through every teenager's worst nightmare. Dumped by his girlfriend (Amanda Wyss) for the new ski team captain (Aaron Dozier), he somehow survives several failed suicide attempts, his mother's cooking and the paperboy's efforts to kill him. Ahead lies a chance to reclaim his honor by defeating his romantic rival in a ski race. Written and directed by Savage Steve Holland, the 97-minute film is rated PG.

The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate. Admission is free at the door.

Sunday night's first showing will be the first of the campus film program's new "Subtitle Sundays." All 6 p.m. Sunday film screenings throughout the fall semester will be shown with closed captioning when available. Subtitles will be on (if available) in place of closed captioning when necessary.

Admission to most campus films is $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 enables community members to purchase tickets to campus films throughout the year. Members also receive a newsletter with advance information about campus films. An individual IFS membership costs $4; a family membership costs $10. Membership and tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby.

Other fall semester films include the following:

  • "Osama" (Afghanistan 2003), Sept. 8-11. Drama set in Afghanistan, just as the Taliban began to take over, as women found themselves forbidden to come out onto the streets unless accompanied by a man or boy. A mother and a grandmother who have no living husbands or sons disguise a daughter as a boy named Osama, who escorts her mother as she searches for work.
  • "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" ( U.S. 2002), Sept. 15-18. Puckish coming-of-age film about Catholic school friends who imagine their exploits in an obscene comic book and then plan a prank that will make them local legends.
  • "Vera Drake" ( U.K. 2004), Sept 22-25. Unbeknownst to her family, a devoted wife and mother (Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton) in 1950s England helps women end unwanted pregnancies. When she is arrested as an abortionist, her world unravels.
  • "Rebel Without a Cause" ( U.S. 1955) and "The James Dean Story" ( U.S. 1957), Sept. 29-Oct. 2. The screen classic that features an archetypal performance by James Dean, and a documentary undertaken by Robert Altman soon after Dean's death 50 years ago.
  • "Maria Full of Grace" (U.S./Columbia 2004), Oct. 6-9. Harrowing story of a "mule," an intelligent and fiercely independent 17-year-old girl from Colombia who agrees to smuggle a half-kilo of heroin into the U.S. to make some desperately needed money for her family.
  • "Mondays in the Sun" (Spain 2002), Oct. 13-16. Dock workers in the gritty north of Spain are left unemployed when the local dock yard closes. The longtime friends spend their days with little to do but drink and talk as they search for something new in their lives to help them retain a sense of personal dignity.
  • "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" ( U.S. 1969), Oct. 20-23. Lighthearted comedy and adventure combine in this popular Western based on the historical exploits of two outlaw buddies (Paul Newman, Robert Redford) who are running for their lives to Bolivia after they rob one train too many.
  • "Beetlejuice" ( U.S. 1988), Oct. 27-30. A ghostly couple (Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis) engages the services of "the afterlife's leading bio-exorcist" (Michael Keaton) to use his spectral bag of tricks to scare off the obnoxious new owners of their house.
  • "Hotel Rwanda" (U.K./South Africa), Nov. 3-6. Oscar-nominee Don Cheadle stars as five-star hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, whose humanity and wits enabled him to shelter and save the lives of 1,200 refugees during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. A special screening will also be presented at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center — preceding The Forum address by Rusesabagina ("Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet to Be Learned") at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.
  • "The Red Violin" (U.K./Canada/Italy 1998), Nov. 10-13. The imaginary history of a legendary instrument and the lives it touches across five countries and 300 years, from a workshop in the Italian city of Cremona to an auction of rare violins in modern-day Montreal.
  • "Bus 174" (Brazil 2002), Nov. 17-20. Documentary investigation of the hijacking of a bus in Rio de Janeiro in June 2000. As an armed young man terrorized passengers for four and a half hours, the whole drama was broadcast live on Brazilian TV.
  • "Kitchen Stories" (Norway/Sweden 2003), Dec. 1-4. Deadpan comedy set in the 1950s, about a Swedish efficiency expert under strict orders not to interact with his subject — a cranky Norwegian bachelor farmer — as he studies his kitchen routines.
  • "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (U.K./Germany 1988), Dec. 8-11. Monty Python's Terry Gilliam transports viewers to the magical domain of the impossible to tell the story of a 17th-century aristocrat who can't resist making a tall tale even taller.

Presented by the International Film Society and the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate, the films most often screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre, a 250-seat theater in Davies Center on UW-Eau Claire's lower campus. Complete schedule information is available from the Activities and Programs office, (715) 836-4833, or on the Web.



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