CFS Fall Preview

Now that school is back in session, unwind at the movies. Each semester, Villanova’s Cultural Film and Lecture Series, now in its 24th year, presents a program of 10 thematically linked films. This fall’s series, “Labors of Love: Arts, Crafts and Hobbies,” focuses on individuals devoted to their pastime or vocation. Each film 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. Every Monday evening screening will feature a guest speaker, who will both introduce the film and lead a discussion after the viewing period.

First up is “Frida” (Sept. 11 – 13), which centers on Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Told in an appropriately painterly style, this biopic details how Kahlo (played by Salma Hayek, who also co-produced) channeled physical and mental pain into her artwork. CFS founder Joan D. Lynch will be the Monday guest speaker. Next on the roster is “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control” (Sept. 18 – 20), which profiles four real-life iconoclasts who have pursued unusual professions – lion tamer, topiary artist, robot builder and mole rat breeder. It’s from Errol Morris, who won an Oscar earlier this year for his most recent work, “The Fog of War.” Temple Professor Paul Swann will appear at the Monday showing. Third in the line-up is “Ed Wood” (Sept. 25 – 27), Tim Burton’s paean to ’50s Hollywood. Johnny Depp stars as the eponymous moviemaker who is widely regarded as “the worst director of all time.” Adrienne Redd will do the Monday evening honors.

October kicks off with another biographical film, “Pollock” (Oct. 2 – 4). A labor of love for its director and star, Ed Harris, this drama showcases the modus operandi of abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock, a.k.a, Jack the Dripper. Mark Sullivan, from VU’s Art and Art History Dept., will speak at the Monday screening. It’s followed by the recent indie serio-comedy “The Station Agent” (Oct. 24 – 26), about a dwarf who seeks solitude, only to find himself befriended by others. Rick Worland, from SMU in Texas, will be on hand at the Monday viewing. It’s followed by the award-winning German import “Beyond Silence” (Oct. 30 – Nov. 1), which reveals what it’s like to be a musically gifted hearing child of deaf parents. While the topic sounds dour, there’s actually quite a bit of humor in the mix. Heidi Rose, from the communication department, will be at the Monday screening.

Other November offerings include “Mostly Martha” (Nov. 6 – 8), a romantic comedy about a chef who is passionate about gastronomy but needs love in her life, as well. Maria Alter will appear as the Monday guest speaker. The following week the Series will screen “My Archietct: A Son’s Journey” (Nov. 13 – 15). Nathaniel Kahn provides an eye-opening view of his father – world-renowned architect Louis Kahn – whom he hardly knew. Randy Granger, who teaches film and architecture classes at the Penn Charter School, will be the Monday speaker. The third November offering is “Adaptation” (Nov. 20 – 22). From the idiosyncratic team responsible for “Being John Malcovich,” this film stars Nicholas Cage in a dual role, as a writer struggling with a screenplay and his (imaginary) twin, who lends a helping hand. Cage, as well as co-stars Meryl Streep (as you’ve never before seen her) and Chris Cooper were all nominated for their work here. (Cooper won.) Bryan Crable, communication department chair, will explain it to viewers.

The final film is “The Pianist.” Oscar winner Adrien Brody stars as real-life musician/composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, who manages to survive the Holocaust in part because of his musical skills. Silvia Nagy-Zekmi, chair of the Modern Language Dept., will be the Monday speaker.

Admission to any of the screenings is $3.50 for students and $5 for all others. For more info, contact the communication department on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or consult the CFS web page.