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Film Series Haunts the Samurai

by Rod Jones

The Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s series will continue its 34th year at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 with Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu” in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of Meinders School of Business. The school is located at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Admission to all films in the series is free. The series is supported in part by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund and endowments through OCU and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Based on two ghost stories set in the Samurai period of the Japanese Civil Wars of the 16th century, “Ugetsu,”a ghost story like no other, is the quintessential Mizoguchi film. His fame in rendering memorable female characters stands out in this story of two couples searching for meaning, illusory and real. His women, powerless to change the way of the world, acquiesce to its inequity, displaying grace as well as strength under pressure. A timely film for Halloween, the closing shot is considered by many to be the most mysterious and haunting in all of cinema.

The theme of this year’s season is based on Viktor Frankl’s classic book “Man’s Search for Meaning.”Harbour Winn, director of the series, said the theme is intended to help participants come to understand the purpose of suffering.

“The films in this series stress the importance of an individual’s attitude to existence,” Winn said. “Even when life seems restricted by external forces, we can choose the attitude with which we live and make meaning, to find value.”

A discussion session follows each film screening for those who wish to participate. The remaining dates and films in the series are:

* Nov. 1, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s “Two Days, One Night”

* Jan. 24, Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blow-Up”

* Feb. 7, Ritesh Batra’s “The Lunchbox”

* Feb. 21, Asghar Farhadi’s “About Elly”

* March 6, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan”

For more information about the series, call 405-208-5472 or visit okcu.edu/film-lit.

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