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'A Clockwork Orange' to open film series for spring semester

RELEASED: Jan. 21, 2010

poster for Clockwork OrangeEAU CLAIRE — Stanley Kubrick's ultraviolent political allegory, "A Clockwork Orange" (U.K. 1971), will open the campus film series for spring semester at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The film will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 21-24 in Davies Theatre.

Malcolm McDowell stars as a loathsome antihero who enjoys himself at the tragic expense of others. His journey from amoral punk to brainwashed proper citizen forms the dynamic arc of Kubrick's future-shock vision, adapted from the Anthony Burgess novel.

"A chilling classic, the movie is a scabrous satire about human deviance, brutality, and social conditioning that has remained a visible part of the ongoing public debate about violence and the movies," wrote the Austin Chronicle.

Presented by the University Activities Commission, the 137-minute film is rated R.

Admission to campus films is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films must purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4; a family membership costs $10.

These other campus films will be presented this semester:

  • "Persepolis" (France/U.S. 2007), Jan. 28-31. A young girl comes of age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in Marjane Satrapi's adaptation of her own graphic-fiction memoir. Through the eyes of the precocious and outspoken 9-year-old, we see the hopes of her liberal, intellectual family dashed as fundamentalists take power — forcing veils on women and imprisoning thousands. The film was an Oscar nominee for best animated feature.
  • "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" (U.S. 2005), Feb. 4-7. A perpetually unlucky petty thief (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an unlikely audition for a Hollywood detective movie. To prepare for his screen test he teams up with a Los Angeles private eye (Val Kilmer) and the role research abruptly becomes real. Michelle Monaghan and Corbin Bernsen co-star in the fast-paced buddy movie, the directing debut of screenwriter Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon").
  • "Moon" (U.K. 2009), Feb. 11-14. In the near future, astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is living on the far side of the moon, completing a three-year contract to mine a gas that is Earth's primary source of energy. It is a lonely job, made harder by a broken satellite that allows no live communications home. Taped messages are all Sam can send and receive. Thankfully, his time on the moon is nearly over ... but two weeks shy of his departure, Sam starts seeing things, hearing things and feeling strange. "'Moon' is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science-fiction," wrote Roger Ebert.
  • "Repo! The Genetic Opera" (U.S. 2008), Feb. 18-21. After an epidemic of organ failures devastates the planet, a savior emerges in GeneCo, a biotech company that offers transplants — for a price. People mortgage their lives for new organs and are hunted by medical repo men if they default on their payments. In this not-distant future, a sheltered young girl (Alexa Vega) searches for information about her family's mysterious past and a cure for her own rare disease. The horror-musical stars Anthony Stewart Head, Paul Sorvino and Paris Hilton.
  • "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (U.K. 1975), Feb. 19. When a soon-to-be married couple (Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick) is stranded in an isolated area, they seek refuge at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). "A fast-paced pastiche of camp, science fiction, rock music, horror, and more camp" (The A.V. Club), the audience-participation cult classic is a Winter Carnival tradition that screens Friday at midnight. Tickets for this special event are $8 ($5 with UW-Eau Claire student ID).
  • "Tell No One" (France 2006), Feb. 25-28. Pediatrician Alexandre Beck (François Cluzet) still grieves eight years after the murder of his beloved wife, Margot. When two bodies are found near the scene of the crime, the police reopen the case and Alex becomes a suspect again. The mystery deepens when Alex receives an anonymous e-mail with a link to video that seems to suggest Margot is somehow still alive. The UAC will collaborate with Le Salon Français in screening the first presentation in The Tournées Festival, a five-film series made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture.
  • "M" (Germany 1931), March 4-7. Inspired by an actual case, Fritz Lang's harrowing masterwork of private madness and public hysteria stars Peter Lorre as a serial killer of children who is terrorizing Berlin. The police investigation so disrupts the city's underworld that the criminals organize their own search for the murderer.
  • "Thirst" (South Korea 2009), March 11-14. A devoted Catholic priest (Song Kang-ho) who selflessly volunteers to test a new vaccine is stricken by a deadly virus. A tainted blood transfusion saves his life — but transforms him into a vampire. Struggling with his newfound carnal desire for blood, the priest is further tested when a friend's wife (Kim Ok-vin) seeks his help in escaping her unhappy life. The film won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival.
  • "The Wicker Man" (U.K. 1973), March 18-21. After he receives an anonymous letter, a police sergeant (Edward Woodward) travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He finds an isolated community whose ancient religious practices run counter to his devout Christian faith, and he is told that the girl never existed. Christopher Lee costars; the screenplay was written by Anthony Shaffer ("Sleuth"). Disliked and only grudgingly released in abbreviated form by its studio, the gothic mystery has taken on cult status in the years since.
  • "No Such Thing" (Iceland/U.S. 2001), April 8-11. Writer-director Hal Hartley takes a satirical look at a society driven by instant gratification and voyeuristic sensationalism. A short-tempered monster (Robert John Burke) is discovered on an island off the coast of Iceland. An insomniac and an alcoholic, the beast kills anyone who crosses his path. When a news crew sent to investigate disappears, a guileless young reporter (Sarah Polley) follows up on the story and brings the monster hope of ending his life of misery.
  • "Shaolin Soccer" (Hong Kong/China 2001), April 15-18. A down-on-his-luck disciple of the ancient art of Shaolin kung fu reunites his ragtag brethren in a bid to win a national soccer competition. Using an unlikely mix of martial arts and newfound soccer skills, the team seems unbeatable — until it has to face off against the black-garbed Team Evil in the ultimate battle for the title and the big money. "'Soccer' is so unabashed in its cheesiness that it could be spread on crackers," wrote The New York Times.
  • "Dead Man" (U.S./Germany/Japan 1995), April 22-25. Accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) travels across the Old West to get to the frontier town of Machine, where a job has been promised him. Instead, he is cast out into the muddy streets and injured in a shooting that leaves two people dead. A hunted man, he fights his way through the menacing wilderness, cared for by a benevolent Indian (Gary Farmer) who helps him prepare for his next journey. Reviewing this film by Jim Jarmusch, critic Jonathan Rosenbaum coined the term "Acid Western" for the genre.
  • "Brand Upon the Brain!" (Canada/U.S. 2006), April 29-May 2. Whatever are young "Guy Maddin's" parents really up to in their lighthouse home/orphanage on grim, remote Black Notch Island? This eerie excursion into the Gothic recesses of the mad, imaginary childhood of Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin is equal parts childhood reminiscence, Expressionist horror movie and gender-bending teen-detective serial. Originally mounted as a theatrical event (accompanied by live orchestra, Foley artists and assorted narrators), this silent film is like nothing ever seen before.
  • "The Rage in Placid Lake" (Australia 2003), May 6-9. Quirky twentysomething Placid Lake (singer Ben Lee) spent his entire school career asserting his individuality and being regularly beaten up for it. Finally out of school, Placid decides to reject his bohemian upbringing, rebel against his hippy parents (Miranda Richardson, Garry McDonald) and become a person who will fit in — by going to work for an insurance company. Rose Byrne costars in this winning low-budget Austrialian indie.
  • "The Bicycle Thief" (Italy 1949), May 13-16. In postwar, poverty-stricken Rome, a man who hopes to support his desperate family with a new job loses his bicycle. With his wide-eyed young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. The Village Voice calls the masterpiece of neorealism "an allegory at once timeless and topical ... surely the most universally praised movie produced anywhere on planet Earth during the first decade after World War II." Vittorio De Sica's Academy Award-winning film defined an era in cinema.

Complete schedule information is available through the Activities and Programs office (715-836-4833) or online.

Most films 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. Within the past month Davies Theatre has been updated with a state-of-the-art 7.1 surround sound system, outfitted with THX-rated Electro-Voice surround sound speakers and subwoofer, designed by Bosch. To complete the update a new cinema screen was installed for use with the theater's high-output DLP (digital light processing) projector.

Campus 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. For more than 50 years the film program has represented various countries, cinematic styles, directorial methods, genres, and points of view, in films that help bring about a better understanding of other cultures as well as a lifelong love of film. The committees are advised by the University Centers Activities and Programs office.

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JS/DW

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