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Snort-out-loud Comedy to Screen March 10-13
at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: March 1, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The ensemble comedy "I [Heart] Huckabees" (2004) will screen March 10-13 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. "A snort-out-loud-funny master class of controlled chaos" (The New York Times), the film will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

Convinced that a series of coincidences involving a doorman hold a secret to life's riddles, Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) seeks the help of a detective agency unlike any other. The Existential Detectives, Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin) are a pair of married metaphysicians who investigate the mysteries at the core of their clients' secret lives. When on a case, they follow their clients around closely, observe their daily activities, query their friends and employers and intently examine the lives they lead. The difference is that the Existential Detectives seek the solutions to the most persistent mystery of all — the mystery that lies at the core of reality and existence itself.

Bernard and Vivian kick off their existential exploration of Albert Markovski by probing his past and present reality. Along the way, they uncover his festering conflict with Brad Stand (Jude Law), a golden-boy executive climbing the corporate ladder at Huckabees, a popular chain of retail super-stores that wants to sponsor Albert's environmental initiative for the public-relations value. The detectives are convinced that Brad — seemingly Albert's opposite — is the key to cracking Albert's case. Then Brad turns the tables on their investigation by hiring the detectives himself.

As Bernard and Vivian begin to dig deeper into Brad's ambition and his relationship with Huckabees' blonde spokesmodel, Dawn (Naomi Watts), Albert begins to lose faith and rebels against their conclusions. Pairing up with another of the duo's clients — firefighter, tough guy and uncompromising soul searcher Tommy (Mark Wahlberg) — he joins forces with the Jaffes' arch nemesis, the sexy French philosopher Caterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert), who valiantly battles for the contrasting point of view.

"Around the time that Dustin Hoffman's eyes, nose, and mouth float off his face into the air around his head, you'll have probably figured out that 'I [Heart] Huckabees' is among the most insane mainstream movies ever released," wrote Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr. "It certainly wins the blue ribbon for strangest film of 2004, and in a year that has seen 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' 'Napoleon Dynamite' and 'The Passion of the Christ,' that's no mean feat.

"But the trick of David O. Russell's splattery, overstuffed, and pretty wonderful Philosophy 101 farce is that it's also one of the sanest movies in ages. With its cast of willfully blind seekers tripping over their own angst, it acknowledges all the little existential crises we go to movies to avoid. And for good reason: They're no fun. What Russell achieves, though, is something of a miracle: 'I [Heart] Huckabees' isn't just a comedy, it's metaphysical vaudeville, with one act after another performing spiritual pratfalls before shuffling off to make room for the next lost soul."

The 106-minute film is rated R for language and a sex scene.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby. The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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