East Central University’s Foreign Film Festival and three Royal National Theatre productions will comprise ECU SCREENS’ return this spring semester.
Hundreds from ECU and the surrounding communities attended the cinematic events held during the inaugural season of ECU SCREENS during the fall semester.
The upcoming screenings, which range from contemporary works to classic literary masterpieces, are all open to the public. All films will be shown in the Raymond J. Estep Multimedia Center, which acquired new high-quality production equipment this year.
Four of the spring films are part of the Foreign Film Festival that will be held in February. This festival is an expansion of the French Film Festival which has been held on the ECU campus since 2010. All Foreign Film Festival screenings will be free and held on Fridays at 4 p.m. Books, DVDs, gift certificates and other door prizes will be distributed to lucky audience members after each screening.
The following films will be shown throughout the festival:
*“Stalingrad,” a Russian drama, will kick off the Foreign Film Festival on Feb. 6. This love story is set during one of the most decisive and deadliest battles of World War II. Stunning visuals and impressive production value made “Stalingrad” Russia’s highest-grossing film of all time. Prior to the screening, Dr. Christopher Bean, associate professor of history at ECU, will give a talk about the Battle of Stalingrad's importance in World War II. The talk will begin at 3:30.
*“OSS 117: Lost in Rio,” a French comedy which parodies the spy film genre, will be shown on Feb. 13. The film follows the exploits of a French secret agent, OSS 117, in Brazil in the 1960s. Because of nudity, strong language and adult themes, “OSS 117: Lost in Rio” is suitable for viewers age 18 and up.
*“No,” a Chilean drama, will be screened on Feb. 20. This film is set in the late 1980s when Chile held a vote to decide whether the corrupt, oppressive dictator Augusto Pinochet would remain in power. Gael García Bernal (“Y Tu Mamá También,” and “The Motorcycle Diaries”) stars as René, the executive in charge of the advertising campaign for Pinochet’s opposition. “No” was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards®.
*“3 Idiots,” an Indian coming of age comedy-drama, will be shown on Feb. 27. This Bollywood film follows two friends as they search for an old college buddy – the third “idiot.” Their journey is filled with hilarious ups and downs and touching recollections of their undergraduate years together.
In addition to the Foreign Film Festival, ECU SCREENS has shown one Royal National Theatre production, “JOHN”, during the spring season and will have three more to follow. These productions are part of NT Live, the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to broadcast the best in British theatre to cinemas around the world.
Since its 2009 launch, NT Live has broadcast more than 20 productions which have featured such legendary actors as Helen Mirren, Derek Jacobi and Kenneth Branagh. National Theatre productions have been described as “shatteringly powerful” (“Independent”) and “viscerally exciting and stunning” (“Daily Telegraph”). The NT Live screenings, which will cost $5 for students and $10 for all other attendees, include the following:
*“Treasure Island,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of murder, money and mutiny, will be shown on Thursday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. Suitable for viewers ages 10 and up, this production features Arthur Darvill (“Doctor Who”) as Long John Silver. On a dark and stormy night, Jim, the innkeeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying old sailor. At his feet sits a huge sea chest, full of secrets. When Jim invites him in, her dangerous voyage begins.
*“Behind the Beautiful Forevers,” the unforgettable story of five dreamers and schemers living in the slums of Mumbai, will be shown on Monday, April 13, at 4 p.m. Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo spent three years in Annawadi, recording the lives of its residents. From her uncompromising book, winner of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2012, David Hare has fashioned a tumultuous play on an epic scale. India is surging with global ambition. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, full of people with plans of their own.
*“Of Mice and Men,” John Steinbeck's powerful portrait of the American spirit and heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship, will be shown Thursday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. Golden Globe® winner and Academy Award® nominee James Franco (“127 Hours” and “Milk”) and Tony Award® nominee Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids” and “Girls”) star in this hit Broadway production.