THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
The Oklahoma City University Film Institute will open its 27th season Sept. 28 with a showing of Zhang Yimou’s “To Live” at 2 p.m. in the Petree Recital Hall at the Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center on the OCU campus.
The film is the first of eight in a series featuring a theme of “Finding Selfhood Through Exploring One’s Own History.”
Zhang returns to this season’s line up with a 1994 Chinese film that gives an epic portrayal of one family’s trials, triumphs and tragedies through the stormy decades of Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward of the 1950s and the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s.
Following “To Live” will be Majid Majidi’s “Father” Oct. 12. The film tells the story of a young boy, Mehrollah, who leaves home after his father’s death to find work to support his mother and three younger sisters. When Mehrollah returns home he finds that his mother has remarried and embarks on one of life’s odysseys that is at the heart of great storytelling.
Oct. 6, the series presents Eran Riklis’ “ The Syrian Bride” set on the sun-baked border of the Israeli occupied Golan Heights between Israel and Syria, a no man’s land that a young bride must cross in order to meet her anxious groom to begin a new life and to never again be reunited with her homeland. Never has a political drama been more personal.
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “L’Enfant” showing Nov. 9 tells the story of Bruno and Sonia, a young couple living in a Belgian steel town who survive on welfare checks and petty theft until Sonia becomes pregnant. The couple is now thrust into a kinetic journey reminiscent of Hitchcock as they move through sin and salvation in a spellbinding thriller some have called a gritty modern day fairy tale.
Next is Wim Wenders’ 1984 American film “Paris, Texas” Jan. 25. A haunting tale of a man found wandering aimlessly along the Texas-Mexican border and his struggle to discover and rebuild his shattered life.
Featuring a story by Sam Shepard and a renowned score by Ry Coder, the film stars Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski and Dean Stockwell in perhaps their most memorable performances.
Feb. 8 is Romanian director Christian Mungiu’s “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days.” During the final days of communism in Romania, two college roommates have 24 hours to make the ultimate choice as they finalize arrangements for an illegal abortion. Unwittingly, both find themselves burrowing deep down a rabbit hole of unexpected revelations.
Victor Erice’s “The Spirit of the Beehive,” follows Feb. 22. The year is 1940 and the Spanish Civil War has just ended with the francoist victory over the Republic. In a remote Castilian village, seven-year-old Ana emerges from a screening of Frakenstein full of dreams and fantasies. All the mystery and yearning of adult existence is distilled in the vision of this lovely, introverted child. Erice dissolves the barrier between reality and hallucination, investing everyday signs with a significance that resonates long after the film is over.
For the final installment of the film series one man, driven by fantastic dreams, takes his family on an epic odyssey in search of a brand new world. Backed by Martin Scorcese, Sicilian director Emanuele Crialese’s “Golden Door” recreates the classic tale of coming to America with a romantic fable that takes audiences into the very heart of this quintessential American experience. The film will show March 8.
Admission to the film series is free to the public. The films are shown 2 p.m. Sundays in the Petree Recital Hall in the Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center at N.W. 24th Street and Blackwelder or in the Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley. A discussion session will follow each screening and participants are encouraged to check out Alice Miller’s “The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self” to help supplement direction and reflection for cross-cultural film study. The book will be available at the film screenings and at Full Circle Bookstore.
Donations to help sustain the institute’s mission are appreciated. Donations can be made at each film, mailed to the OCU Film Institute Endowment or to the OCU Film Institute’s Designated Endowment in the Community Foundation of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. Oklahoma City University and the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund for the University’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature also support the institute.
The film series is directed by OCU Professor Harbour Winn and coordinated by OCU Professor Mitzi McGuire. For more information and meeting locations please call (405) 208-5472 or visit www.okcu.edu/film-lit/.