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Inaugural poet Richard Blanco comes to OCU on April 1, 2015.
4/1/2015 10:00:00 AM-4/1/2015 8:00:00 PM
The OCU Film Institute begins its 33rd year September 28, 2014; the fall book discussion series "Let's Talk About It, Oklahoma" begins the "Oklahoma Private Investigations" series on September 9, 2014; and the 17th Annual Spring Documentary Film Series begins on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Check this site regularly to find details on these and other programs. For more info: www.okcu.edu/film-lit/
For more info: http://okcu.edu/film-lit/

 

OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY FILM INSTITUTE

Our 33 Year, 2014-2015

Join us for our 33rd year and explore in eight international films the theme of "Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World." A discussion session follows each film for those who wish to stay.

9/28/2014, Like Father, Like Son, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan(2013), 121
Kerr McGee Auditorium

What if the child you are raising turns out not to be yours? Would you choose your natural child, or the one you believed was your own during six years together? Kore-eda, the acclaimed director of films shown in past series—Nobody Knows and Still Walking—offers another moving family drama, showing why he is Japan’s greatest living director. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes festival. Two sets of parents from different socio-economic classes question their own values and must choose between nature and nurture, a decision that will change their lives forever. This film’s screening is timed to connect with Marian Wright Edelman’s September 24th speech on campus in the OCU Distinguished Speaker Series.
-“A tender poem about the ebb and flow of paternal love.” The Telegraph
-“Powered by Kore-eda's innate restraint and natural empathy, Like Father, Like Son takes these characters to places they never expected to be. It's unnerving for them, of course, but watching so many hearts hanging in the balance is a rare privilege for us. A gentleness and delicacy that almost defies belief. ” LA Times
-“Passages of gravity and grace here that few other directors could unfurl.” The New Yorker
-“It's charming, gently humorous, and beautifully attuned to the interior lives of children.” Village Voice
-“Like Father, Like Son has still more on its mind—a vision of a Japan in which work will be balanced with leisure and love.” Wall Street Journal
-“Kore-eda never overly explains his stories through the dialogue, preferring to tease out their meaning visually.” NY Times
-“If anyone can be considered an heir of the great Yasujiro Ozu, it might be Kore-eda.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

10/12/2014, The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark(2012), 115
Kerr McGee Auditorium

Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for his penetrating portrayal of Lucas, a former school teacher who has been forced to start over after a tough divorce and the loss of his job. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered when an untruthful remark throws his small community into a collective state of hysteria. As the lie spreads, Lucas is forced to fight a lonely struggle for his life and dignity. One of the two most requested films on last year’s evaluation forms.
-“A tragic reminder that no matter how well a life has been conducted, the mere whiff of scandalous behavior is condemnation enough.” LA Times
-“You leave The Hunt unsettled in the best sense. Its images and implications are likely to stay in your head a long time.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
-“This story is about a witch hunt, an accusation of impropriety that takes on a life of its own, shattering bonds of trust in a close-knit community.” NPR
-“An examination of the fear and savagery roiling just below the surface of bourgeois life.” NY Times
-“An engrossing psycho-social drama by Vinterberg.” Washington Post
-“The Hunt offers a powerful, provocative study of mob mentality and the fabric of trust.” Philadelphia Inquirer
-“Vinterberg has created a modern horror story about a man’s descent into a Kafkaesque nightmare.” Chicago Sun-Times

10/26/2014, Memories of Murder, Joon-ho Bong, South Korea(2003), 129
Kerr McGee Auditorium

Memories of Murder blends the familiar crime genre with social satire and dark comedy, capturing the all-too human desperation of its key characters. South Korea in 1986 under the military dictatorship: two nerdy rural cops and a special detective from the capital investigate a series of murders. Before DNA testing and other tools of modern forensics, the cops’ crude measures become more desperate with each new corpse found. Director of Madeo, shown in a past Film Institute series, Bong and the actors won major international festival awards.
-“Uses dark humor, incisive characterizations and social commentary to infuse its familiar detective tale with a distinctive flair.” Hollywood Reporter
-“Suspenseful, surprising, and psychologically rich.” Christian Science Monitor
-“A taut, effective thriller. What distinguishes Memories of Murder, setting it apart from rank-and-file thrillers, is its singular mix of gallows humor and unnerving solemnity.” NY Times
-“An almost perversely conceived hybrid—nourish thriller, social satire and virtual Korean Keystone Komedy with a dash of political attitude.” Newsday
-“Most remarkable is the way Bong builds real suspense and plays the chilling moments straight while leaving himself room for nonsense and horseplay.” Boston Globe
-“The film's storytelling strategy is unique and its point-of-view mutable and disarmingly subjective. It's an altogether remarkable piece of work, deepening the genre while whipping its skin off, satirizing an entire nation's nearsighted apathy as it wonders, almost aloud, about the nature of truth, evidence, and social belonging.” Village Voice
-“As exciting for its narrative twists and turns as for its Korean textures and rhythms.” Washington Post

11/9/2014, Barbara, Christian Petzold, Germany(2012), 105
Kerr McGee Auditorium

A young doctor in 1980s East Germany makes the mistake of applying for an exit visa and as a result is banished to a small hospital in the hinterlands. Barbara must weigh her absolute dedication to her patients against a potential escape to the West, and her newfound attraction to a doctor in whom she sees a kindred spirit. A story of self-sacrifice, freedom, and quiet heroism at a time and place when such values are at a premium. The best Iron Curtain drama since The Lives of Others. Nina Hoss has won acting awards around the world. -“Barbara serves up an intriguing character study that lays bare the casual cruelty and utter emptiness of the East German regime before Communism's collapse in 1989.” Video Librarian
-"Barbara is a film about the old Germany from one of the best directors working in the new. One of the best films of the year." NY Times
-"Hoss gives a performance that doesn't feel like a performance at all. Her Barbara is absolutely real, and absolutely trapped. The film is aching, and exquisite." Philadelphia Inquirer
-“It's a movie that works its magic slowly, and on multiple levels; it's a historical drama, a mystery and a love story. And Hoss' performance is simply one of the finest of the year.” NPR
-“A transfixing Cold War thriller, Petzold's superb Barbara is made even more vivid by its subtle overlay of the golden-era ‘woman's picture.’" Village Voice
-"Petzold is a master at creating the kind of tension that can be felt on a subterranean level. This is well-trod ground, but never has it been so fully realized as in Barbara." Chicago Sun-Times
-"The movie examines the possibility of maintaining one's humanity in a truly oppressive society." SF Chronicle

1/25/2015, A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhangke, China(2013), 125
Kerr McGee Auditorium

Inspired by true events that forced the world’s fastest growing economy into a period of self-examination. This reflection on capitalist China focuses on four people, living in four different provinces, who are driven to ultimate actions. Winner of best screenplay at Cannes and other awards at festivals around the world. Written and directed by Jia whose Still Life was shown in a past Film Institute series. One of the two most requested films on last year’s evaluation forms.
-“In Jia's methodically furious vision, the ambient violence of unchecked power erupts among the insulted and injured with a horrific yet liberating sense of destruction and self-destruction. One of the best and most important directors in the world.” The New Yorker
-“Drawing on four news stories, Jia portrays the plight of workers in the new China. A Touch of Sin is a humanist critique of the country's turn to capitalism.” Chicago Sun-Times
-“In A Touch of Sin, Jia is attuned to, and saddened by, the violence he sees creeping through his country, caused at least partly by the ever-widening disparity between rich and poor. He ends on a note that's more haunting than hopeful.” Village Voice
-“A bitter, often brilliant exploration of violence and corruption in contemporary China.” The Atlantic
-“At once monumental and human.” NY Times
-“A corrosive depiction of the New China, an everything-for-sale society still figuring out how to cope with the dehumanizing effects of unbridled capitalism.” LA Times
-“Anyone interested in the current state of China should see it, and it may open up this remarkable filmmaker to a larger audience.” Salon.com

2/8/2015, The Past, Asghar Farhadi, Iran(2013), 130
Kerr McGee Auditorium

Farhadi, director of acclaimed Oscar winner A Separation, presents another great Iranian film, the country again most requested on evaluation forms. Ahmad reunites with his estranged wife in Paris to finalize their divorce, which is soon complicated by a shocking revelation by her daughter from a previous marriage. Beautifully written, sensitively directed, and powerfully acted, The Past serves as compelling testament to Farhadi's gift for finely layered drama. Won or nominated at film festivals around the world for best film, actress, director, screenplay.
-“Another brilliantly mounted drama concerning fracturing families, hidden motives and the difficulties of attaining stability in a rapidly changing world.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
-“The layers have layers in Farhadi's narratives. The title itself is layered with irony; the past is never past, but always shaping the present.” Wall Street Journal
-“Almost hypnotically compelling, spinning an intricate web of predicaments, emotional reactions and resolutions in a domestic drama that leaves the viewer reeling by its conclusion.” USA Today
-“The Past makes conventional movies feel artificial. Watching the characters interact in this movie feels like ‘Here is real life,’ and real life just happens to be strangely compelling.” SF Chronicle
-“The Past has something important and powerful to say about the past. It doesn't shape or haunt the present. In a sense, Farhadi suggests, they exist alongside each other.” Washington Post
-“A movie not for people who want to escape the world but for those who want to understand it better.” Boston Globe
-“Farhadi works like a master poker player, carefully revealing his cards and building tension with each new bit of information.” Toronto Star

2/22/2015, The Story of Adele H., Francois Truffaut, France(1975), 97
Kerr McGee Auditorium

Based on the real-life diaries of Adèle Hugo, daughter of the great French literary and political figure, The Story of Adele H. is a psychological drama opening in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the 1860s. Adèle has left her father's home and concealed her identity to seek out her fiancé who wants nothing to do with her. But she obsessively follows him, spending time writing madly in journals and letters. Her madness grows when a bookseller discovers her true identity and gives her a copy of her father's latest work, Les Miserables. Isabelle Adjani gives a brilliant, Oscar- nominated performance as Victor Hugo’s daughter. Truffaut’s most fascinating, complex, study of emotional obsession and romantic excess. Winner of many awards.
-“This profoundly beautiful film is Truffaut’s most romantic meditation on love.” N Y Times
-“A great film.” Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
-“Truffaut has taken this factual material and made it into a strange, moody film that belongs very much with the darker side of his work.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
-“Adele H. is a haunting, lush portrait of romantic love by one of film’s greatest and most loved directors.” LA Times

3/8/2015, Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen, Singapore(2013), 99
Kerr McGee Auditorium

Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Ilo Ilo chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family: troublesome grade-schooler Jiale and his overstressed working parents. Comfortably middleclass, they hire Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa initially struggles to manage Jiale's antics and find her footing in her new community. Few films have captured more memorably the emotional inter-relations of children growing up with a nanny. It reminds us that an entire generation of children have grown up in the hands of servants. Chen: “I believe the universal experience of children growing up with maids is one of having a surrogate mother, a friend and a confidant. What is intriguing and never brought to light is the emotional inter-relations created, nurtured, cherished, and yet potentially ephemeral when circumstances change.” Winner of the Camera D’Or at Cannes and first film from Singapore shown in the Film Institute’s history.
-"Chen's portrait of a family in Singapore is one of those rare films that manages to capture an entire period within an intimate slice of life. Beautifully acted and precisely observed, Ilo Ilo is an amazing debut, full of heart and intelligence." Director Ang Lee
-“Chen's first film, but breathtaking intimacy in storytelling is already second nature to him.” LA Times
-“This sympathetic and engaging drama is deceptively gentle in its insight–compassionate yet unsentimental.” The Observer
-“The crowded compositions convey a sense of life in the dense Asian city-state, but also the intimacy of this semi-autobiographical story.” Washington Post
-“Ilo Ilo is filled with sweetness, humor and humanity: so assured and accomplished that it's hard to believe this is a first feature.” The Guardian
-“Young actor Koh Jia Ler's brave performance recalls The 400 Blows, he's that great.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
-“Anthony Chen sidesteps mawkishness at every turn to deliver a small gem.” Screen Daily

The Dali Lama’s book Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World will provide direction and reflection for our cross-cultural study. The book will be available at the film showings and Full Circle Bookstore.

Admission to the eight-film series is free, but donations help sustain the Institute's mission. Donations can be made at each film or mailed to the OCU Film Institute Endowment at Oklahoma City University or the OCU Film Institute’s Designated Endowment in the Community Foundation of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. Oklahoma City University and the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund for the university’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature also support the Institute.

Director: Dr. Harbour Winn
Coordinator: Bryan Kimmey

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