The 30th annual Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s film series will begin at 2 p.m. Sept. 25 with Marcel Camus’ “Black Orpheus” in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of the Meinders School of Business. The school is located at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.
The theme of this year’s series is “Compassion: The Radical Challenge.” It is based on Karin Armstrong’s book, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.” The book will be available at the film showings.
Harbour Winn, director of OCU’s Film Institute and coordinator of the series, said the theme is intended “to bring to our attention the most recent book of the most acclaimed scholar of comparative religion in the West. Armstrong exhorts us to understand that even though faith has been exploited to justify horrific atrocities in the world, the fundamental idea in religion challenges us to understand that compassion is inseparable from humanity.”
Set amidst the frenzy of carnival time in Rio de Janeiro, the opening film “Black Orpheus” combines fantastic fact with frenzied fiction. Camus grafts the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice onto the modern slums of Rio at carnival time.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the Grand Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival, it is considered one of the most popular films ever brought to the United States.
A review in the Washington Post called it “a riotous, rapturous explosion of sound and color.” The Village Voice stated: “Camus's film remains a revivifying experience. Born and bred in France, Camus made other films, and lots of French TV, but ‘Black Orpheus’ may still be the greatest one-hit-wonder import we've ever seen.”
Admission to all films in the series is free. The series is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund and donations from the public.
Other films and dates in the series include:
* Lee Chang-dong’s “Poetry,” Oct. 9
* George Sluizer’s “The Vanishing,” Oct. 23
* Ken Loach’s “Kes,” Nov. 6
* Jean Renoir’s “The River,” Jan. 22
* Majid Majidi’s “Children of Heaven,” Feb. 5
* Claudia Llosa’s “The Milk of Sorrow,” Feb. 19
* Kenji Mizoguchi's “Sansho the Bailiff,” March 4