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UW-Eau Claire to Screen 'Brick,'
a Sundance Award Winner, for Film Noir Fans

RELEASED: Sept. 14, 2006

Scene from "Brick"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a scene from "Brick"

EAU CLAIRE — "Brick" (2005), a stylish, hard-boiled, film noir murder mystery in a surprising contemporary setting — the environs of a Southern California high school — will screen Sept. 21-24 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Shot for under $500,000 and winner of the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival, the film will be shown at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

"Rian Johnson's endlessly clever debut feature [is] a flavorful incorporation of adolescent angst into detective fiction," wrote the A.V. Club's Scott Tobias. "At worst, it could be called a film-school exercise, though from a remarkably precocious student, one who understands the noir genre enough to reconfigure it into something vital and new. Johnson even invents his own hard-boiled language... It's one of those films that needs to be seen several times to sort out all the intricacies of speech and plotting, but it makes that prospect inviting."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Brendan, a student who discovers a dead body and settles into the role of classic 1930s gumshoe, probing into the dangerous underworld of a drug kingpin (Lukas Haas). He encounters the usual suspects in classic film noir — femme fetales, would-be tough guys and questionable figures of authority.

"Does the movie work on its own terms as a crime story?" asks film critic Roger Ebert. "Yes, in the sense that the classic Hollywood noirs work: The story is never clear while it unfolds, but it provides a rich source of dialogue, behavior and incidents. Then, at the end, if it doesn't all hold water, who cares as long as all of the characters think it does?

"What is impressive is [Johnson's] absolute commitment to his idea of the movie's style," Ebert concludes. "He relates to the classic crime novels and movies, he notes the way their mannered dialogue and behavior elevates the characters into archetypes, and he uses the strategy to make his teenagers into hard-boiled guys and dolls. The actors enter into the spirit; we never catch them winking."

The 110-minute film is rated R.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members 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, and will be sold at the door.

The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate (www.uwec.edu/dc/ap/ifs).

-30-

JS/NW

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