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'Fantastic Mr. Fox' to open with Faculty Film Night

RELEASED: March 31, 2011

Fantastic Mr. Fox posterEAU CLAIRE —"Fantastic Mr. Fox" — "an adventure in pure imagination that plays to the smart kid in all of us" (Rolling Stone) — will be presented April 7-10 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The University Activities Commission of the Student Senate will present the 2009 animated film at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

A special Faculty Film Night will begin the series of screenings Thursday, with a discussion hosted by Dr. Blake Westerlund of the UW-Eau Claire English department.

"The experience of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox,' Wes Anderson's stop-motion adaptation of the Roald Dahl book for young readers, is like being magically shrunk down to 1:12 scale and set loose for 90 minutes in an exquisite, handcrafted, dizzyingly well-stocked dollhouse," wrote Slate. "You don't want to watch this movie, you want to climb inside it and play."

Mr. and Mrs. Fox (voiced by George Clooney and Meryl Streep) live an idyllic life with their son, Ash, and their visiting young nephew, Kristopherson. But after 12 years, Mr. Fox's wild-animal instincts make a comeback and compel him to slip back into his old ways as a chicken thief. His doing so endangers not only his beloved family but the whole animal community. Trapped underground without enough food to go around, the animals band together to fight the evil farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, who are determined to capture Mr. Fox at any cost.

The 87-minute film is rated PG. Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members may purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby.

Westerlund, interim coordinator of the University Writing Center, will introduce the 6 p.m. screening April 7. After the film he will host a discussion titled "Fantastic Mr. Fox: Sly Cinematic Myth and Resistance" in the Badger Room of Davies Center. The discussion will explore how mythic structures resonate in the film and focus on how the Fox family and their animal neighbors rally against capitalist greed. The special Faculty Film Night presentation is free and open to all. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities and Programs office in Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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