Spring Cultural Film Series a worldly affair

Elana Starr

By Elana Starr

Staff Reporter

Villanova’s Cultural Film & Lecture Series will honor the school’s new Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies program with its spring 2008 lineup.

The series, “Cosmopolitanism: A World on Film,” showcases 10 works with a definite international flavor.

As usual, each film on the roster will be shown four times in the Connelly Center Cinema: Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 3:30 and 7 p.m. and Mondays at 7 p.m., and each Monday screening will be introduced by a guest speaker, who’ll also lead a discussion afterward.

The difference this semester is that admission for students with proper ID will, for the first time, be free. Tickets will remain $5 for all others.

The series commences with “Infernal Affairs” (Jan. 26, 27, 28), the stylish Hong Kong crime picture on which Martin Scorsese based his Oscar winner “The Departed.”

Seth Mulliken, from the communication department, will be the Monday speaker.

February kicks off with “The World of Apu” (Feb. 2, 3, 4), the final chapter in Satyajit Ray’s three-part classic about the life of a poor Bengali boy who’s grown to manhood. Cinephiles Dan Jefferson and Susan Marcosson will be the Monday speakers.

The third film on the roster is a 2002 Russian import, “House of Fools” (Feb. 9, 10, 11).

It combines realism with fantasy to tell the strange-but-true story of patients in a psychiatric hospital caught between the two factions fighting in the Chechen War.

Boris Briker, who teaches in the modern language department, will do the Monday evening honors.

It’s followed by “Metropolis” (Feb. 16, 17, 18).

Loosely based on Fritz Lang’s eponymous silent screen classic, this Japanese animated feature centers on life in a dystopic urban environment. Masako Hamada will be the Monday speaker.

“Children of Heaven” (Feb. 23, 24, 25), the final February selection, portrays the adventures of a young brother and sister from a poor Iranian family.

Nasser Chour, who teaches in the communication department, will be the Monday lecturer for this 1997 effort, Iran’s first-ever Oscar nominee for best foreign language film.

The only March CFS offering will be three shorts from Villanova’s own Hezekiah Lewis: “Memoirs of a Smoker,” about a poet’s use of cocaine; “Curtain Call,” in which a young black artist struggles with racism; and “Warrior Queen,” a work in progress that profiles an early 20th-century Ghanaian queen and revolutionary (Mar. 15, 16, 17).

A former football star at Villanova, who went on to found the school’s TV station, Lewis is a filmmaker who also teaches in the communication department.

He’ll be on hand at the Monday showing of his films to provide insights into his work.

April rings in with “Ringu” (Apr. 5, 6, 7), a Japanese horror flick which was Americanized in “The Ring.”

Rick Worland, who has written a book on horror films, will speak about it at the Monday screening.

Next is “The World According to Shorts” (Apr. 12, 13, 14), a 2006 compilation of short films from around the globe which address a diverse array of topics.

Screenwriter and producer Joe Ansolabehere will be the Monday speaker.

The ninth film on the roster is Belgian drama “La Promesse” (Apr. 19, 20, 21), about a teenager who defies his father, a deceitful slumlord, to help an immigrant worker’s family.

Gustavo Benavides, who teaches in the theology and religious studies department, will be the speaker.

The final film will be “Paris, Je T’Aime” (Apr. 26, 27, 28).

This collective venture, composed of 18 shorts, each by a different filmmaker, runs the gamut from slapstick and romantic comedy to drama in its depictions of what it means to live and love in one of the world’s great cities. CFS publicist Elana Starr will do the Monday evening honors.

For more information about the CFS, please contact the communication department at X9-4750 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or consult the CFS Web site: www.culturalfilms.villanova.edu.