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Celebrating our 40th year!

Our regular monthly “Second Sundays” series of free film screenings will resume on campus at OCU’s Norick Art Center Studio, 1601 NW 26th Street—look for the yellow "ART" logo on the door facing the parking lot.

Sept. 12, 2:00 PM • Volver Pedro Almodóvar, Spain (2006) 121 min.

In his trademark style, Almodóvar offers an engaging story about the complicated lives of an eccentric family of women. Working class sisters Raimunda and Sole have moved to Madrid since losing their parents in a house fire, but when an old neighbor from their home village reports that she’s seen their mother’s ghost, they return (volver) to work through their own marital and criminal crises—and uncover many family secrets along the way. A vividly colorful, enchanting, melodramatic, tragi-quirky tale that explores the strength of family ties and pokes at the boundaries of reality and ethics. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Oct. 10, 2:00 PM • We Are Little Zombies Makoto Nagahisa, Japan (2019) 120 min.

Nagahisa’s debut feature-length film won critical acclaim at Cannes 2019 for its inventiveness and genre-defying qualities: part video game, part music video/band documentary, part coming-of-age story. Four young teens come together after losing their parents and discover they share the same confusion: why are they unable to feel the emotions they should be experiencing at such loss? Orphaned and without hope for the future, the new friends decide that they will move forward into their new “zombie” phase of existence by salvaging an old video game console, an electric bass, and a charred wok to start a band. This delightfully experimental, fast-paced story follows a retro video game-like narrative sequence of “levels” that the kids must work through in order to deal with family baggage, their senses of self, their relationship to social institutions, and fame. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Nov. 14, 2:00 • Toni – Jean Renoir, France (1935) 90 min.

Life philosophy: always catch a film classic on the big screen when you have the opportunity. This newly remastered version of Renoir’s ground-breaking film represents a move toward a style of on-location filmmaking that anticipated Italian neorealism and became influential to the French New Wave movement. Based on a true story and using nonprofessional actors in the South of France, Renoir captured the “everyday social rituals” and the lives of migrant workers living on the margins of French society. The story follows the Italian migrant Antonio (“Toni”) whose tempestuous affairs with two women—the sweet and loyal Marie and the flirtatious and flighty Josefa--unleash a wave of tragedy. A time capsule of that period and a “marvel of poetic feeling,” the film also forces us to consider how migrants’ lives have not entirely changed and how economic precarity can affect gendered behaviors and romantic relationships. In French, Italian and Spanish with English subtitles.

Dec. 12, 2:00 PM • Утомленные солнцем / Burnt By The Sun – Nikita Mikhalov, Russia (1994) 135 min.

Colonel Sergei Kotov, an aging hero of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution played by the director himself, is about to have his world rocked. Set over one long summer day in 1936, Kotov is with his younger wife Maroussia enjoying a summer idyll at their country house, along with their spunky six-year-old daughter Nadia (played by the director’s daughter), and various family and friends. Enter Dimitri, his wife’s long-ago lover who had disappeared without explanation. As Dimitri inserts himself in the happy scene, it becomes clear that he is a member of Stalin’s secret police force and has arrived with an agenda. The story’s contrasting emotional registers increasingly pull at one another, as Dmitri simultaneously charms the family and builds tensions with Kotov. A story about revenge and the limits of political loyalty, told with symbolic grace, rich visuals, and stellar performances. In Russian with English subtitles.

Jan. 9, 2:00 PM • Dick Johnson Is Dead – Kirsten Johnson, USA (2020) 90 min.

Award-winning documentarian Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson, 2016) can’t bear the thought of her father’s mortality. Setting aside her normally poignant approach to documentaries that have captured the human costs of war and political dissent, she takes on a quirky new project with her dad: they will stage and film various fake deaths for him so that they can come to terms with the possibilities of his end on earth. The result is a creative, darkly comic, warm celebration of life and an exploration of our complicated relationship to mortality. Letting us into her heart and her family, Johnson reminds viewers of all ages to laugh, to celebrate, and to hold tight to their loved ones while also accepting that they’ll have to let go some day.

February 13, 2:00 PM • Der Himmel über Berlin / Wings of Desire – Wim Wenders, Germany (1987), 130 min.

Cassiel and Damiel are angels assigned to the still-walled city of Berlin. From high atop its architecture they listen in on the thoughts of the city’s loneliest residents and offer assistance when they can. When Damiel falls in love with a lonely trapeze artist, he is faced with the possibility of giving up his status as an angel to adopt a mortal body and experience the joys and messy complications of human experience. With a charming role by Peter Falk as a former angel who has made that very decision, the story explores the pros and cons of mortality vs. immortality and the ability of individuals to affect one anothers’ lives. Essences of fairy tale and a Frank Capra classic provide the dreamy tone to this film, with its visuals of lush black & white, glimpses of warm color, and incantatory dialogue that reclaims the poetic rhythms of the German language. Featuring the music of Australian bands Crime and The City Solution and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. In German and English with English subtitles.

March 13, 2:00 PM • ll Conformista / The Conformist – Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy (1970) 107 min.

A powerful psychological drama and political thriller, The Conformist was one of the first in the wake of the 1968 cultural revolution to take on Europe’s fascist past. Centered on the early life and current mission of Marcello, a member of the fascist secret police, the story is told through a series of flash backs and forwards that pose a not-unproblematic thesis on how one’s life experiences and personal dispositions might cause him to adopt a fascistic outlook. When Marcello is assigned to assassinate an outspoken political critic who also happens to be his former professor, Marcello’s own past traumas come to bear, and he becomes entangled with his target’s wife. The film’s beautiful art deco sets and costuming play contrast to the ugliness of the psychological interiors that push people to forsake morality in order to fit in and allow them to adopt “the banality of evil.” In Italian with English subtitles.

April 10, 2:00 PM • Chan Is Missing – Wayne Wang, USA (1982) 80 min.

Hong Kong-born Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club, 1993; Smoke, 1995) was a significant influence on both American independent film and American ethnic filmmaking. His first feature-length film, Chan Is Missing embodies his philosophy of anti-Hollywood risk-taking and experimentation. Playfully taking on the genre of the San Francisco mystery story and the “Charlie Chan and Number One Son” film sleuth stereotypes, the story follows two cabdrivers as they wander around San Francisco’s Chinatown looking for their missing friend Chan, who has disappeared with money of theirs he was supposed to invest. Jo and Steve slowly learn that their friend Chan is a different person to everyone who knows him. Largely improvised by actors with whom Wang had collaborated in the Bay Area’s Asian American theater scene, the film embodies the director’s determination to defy stereotypes and “let Chinatown represent itself.” Don’t miss this chance to see a hard-to-find indie classic on the big screen!