International Film Festival to Take Place at
Middlebury College Language Schools June 17-Aug. 5
MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-The Middlebury College Bicentennial International Film Festival will take place from June 17-Aug. 5. The College's Language Schools will present the festival in honor of the College's Bicentennial celebration taking place this year. Building on the Language Schools' tradition of showing international films every summer, the directors of each school-Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish-in conjunction with the College's media services department, have selected one major release in each of the eight languages for the festival. Organizers chose the eight films with the intention of appealing to a broad audience.
With the exception of the Italian film "Tre Fratelli" or "Three Brothers," which was released in 1980, the films have been released in the recent past with the oldest dating from 1997. All films have subtitles in English.
Highlights of the festival include a visit from Italian director Francesco Rosi, who will be at the screening of his picture, "Tre Fratelli," on Aug. 5. The Spanish film "All About My Mother" won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2000 Academy Awards ceremony; it was released in 1999.
A schedule of the film festival is also available on the College's Web site at http://community.middlebury.edu/~hornbeck/Filmfest.html. The films will be shown in Dana Auditorium in Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125). Film showings are at 7 and 9 p.m. on Saturdays, except the Chinese film "The Emperor and the Assassin" which is at 7 p.m. only. All films are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Middlebury College Language Schools at 802-443-5510.
Friday, June 9 marks the beginning of the Middlebury College Language Schools' summer sessions, known internationally for a rigorous approach to the teaching of languages and cultures. This year, approximately 1,165 students will come to Middlebury to participate in the Language Schools throughout the summer. During the course of the Language Schools' 85-year history, more than 35,000 students from all walks of life-including more than 11,000 advanced degree holders-have attended one or more of the schools. Programs offered by the Language Schools reflect Middlebury College's overall commitment to excellence in language education and international studies.
International Film Festival Schedule, June 17-Aug. 5
June 17, 7 and 9 p.m.
"West Beyrouth" [West Beirut]
Lebanon, 1998, 105 minutes. Color. Arabic with English subtitles.
Written and directed by Ziad Doueiri
Approximately 150,000 people died in Lebanon's civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1989, but surprisingly few films have been made about the conflict. "West Beirut" captures the sociopolitical climate during the early part of the war with remarkable accuracy and subtlety, and proves once again that humor, even in the most unbearable situations, can be an indispensable tool for survival.
This fresh, intimate, funny, and poignant drama brings 1975 Lebanon to life as a free-spirited teenager tries to get his Super-8 home movie developed in war-torn Beirut. A fusion of comedy, innocence, sudden danger, and romance, the autobiographical "West Beirut" marks an auspicious feature debut for writer-director Ziad Doueiri, who began his career in the United States as cameraman for Quentin Tarantino. The critics agree: "West Beirut" is the "must see" foreign film of the year.
New Directors/New Films Festival, 1999; Directors' Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival; International Critics' Prize, Toronto International Film Festival.
June 24, 7 p.m. only
"Jing ke ci qin wang" [The Emperor and the Assassin]
China, 1999, 160 minutes. Color. Mandarin with English subtitles.
Directed by Kaige Chen
From the director of "Yellow Earth," "The Emperor and the Assassin" is an epic film based on the true story of China's first emperor. Ying Zheng, power-hungry heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Qin, gains the help of his concubine Zhao (Gong Li) to conquer the other six kingdoms in China.
During the course of her mission, Zhao meets a young warrior and, amidst a twisting of intrigue and assassination plots, falls in love.
"****!A REAL STUNNER! The film is so good it can survive comparisons to Kurosawa, Eisenstein and David Lean."-Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
July 1, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Rajio no jikan" [Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald]
Japan, 1997, 103 minutes. Color. Japanese with English subtitles.
Directed by Koki Mitani
In the late-night studio of the nation's number one radio station, the countdown has started for "Woman of Destiny," a big, new, romantic drama from the station's prize-winning scriptwriter. Suddenly the lead actress decides that, unless the script is changed, she will refuse to go on the air. No longer content to play Ritsouko, a fisherman's wife in a small village, she first demands to be renamed Mary Jane, then demands a career change: she wants to be a major trial lawyer in New York City. Other players demand equally outrageous and interesting changes to their own roles. By the time the show begins a few minutes later, the sweet, touching love story has become a big city action drama full of machine gun warfare, rocket-launching, and trampled love affairs.
"A total joyous delight! Japanese cinema's first screwball comedy"-Weekly Variety
"The birth of a new, unprecedented Japanese cinema"-The Sankei Shimbun Newspaper
"Dissects the inner workings of Japanese social relations with a finer scalpel than any film in recent memory"-Japan Times
July 8, 7 and 9 p.m.
Conte d'automne [Autumn Tale]
France, 1998, 110 minutes. Color. French with English subtitles.
Directed by Eric Rohmer
A romantic, celebratory fable of matchmaking and misunderstandings, this is the final film of Eric Rohmer's seasonal quartet "Tales of the Four Seasons." Isabelle, a sophisticated bookseller, and Magali, a country winemaker, are lifelong best friends. In the throes of planning her daughter's wedding, Isabelle, who is happily married, becomes concerned that her shy, rough-around-the-edges widowed friend is lonely now that her children have left home. Magali admits she needs a man but doesn't know-at 45 and living in a remote part of the Côte du Rhone countryside-where to find one. Isabelle suggests a personal ad, and when Magali reacts with horror, decides to place one and then handpicks her friend a mate by posing as Magali herself. When another friend, Rosine, also decides to take on the job of secret matchmaking for Magali, the story twists and turns into a romantic comedy of errors.
July 15, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Todo sobre mi madre" [All About My Mother]
Spain, 1999, 101 minutes. Color. Spanish with English subtitles.
Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar
The night a car ran over her son Esteban, Manuela read the last lines written in a notebook that he always kept by his side. "This morning I looked through my mother's bedroom until I found a stack of photographs. All of them were cut in half. My father, I suppose. I have the impression that my life is missing that same half. I want to meet him, I don't care who he is, or how he treated my mother. No one can take that right away from me."
In memory of her son, Manuela leaves Madrid and goes to Barcelona in search of his father.
Winner, Best Director, Cannes Film Festival, 1999
Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film, 2000
July 22, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Lola rennt" [Run Lola Run]
Germany, 1998, 77 minutes. Color. German with English subtitles.
Directed by Tom Tykwer
Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance and the highest-grossing film in German history, this rapid-fire outlaw-couple romance combines MTV razzle-dazzle, film-noir fatalism and post-Tarantino plot twisting. Lola, the rebellious daughter of a philandering banker, gets a frantic phone call from her hotheaded boyfriend, who has lost the money entrusted to him in a drug deal. They have exactly 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 marks. Can they do it? The film provides three different answers to that question, in the form of three alternative destinies.
Tykwer's aggressive style uses every trick in the book, including fast-motion, slow-motion, still photos, split-screen, and animation, set to a pulsating wall-of-sound score.
"Hot, fast, and post-human.For sheer cleverness and gamesmanship, its altered sense of emotion and meaning in the face of breathless forward momentum, Mr. Tykwer's film makes a startling harbinger of things to come."-Janet Maslin, The New York Times
July 29, 7 and 9 p.m.
Russia, 1997, 96 minutes. Color. Russian with English subtitles
Directed by Alexei Balabanov
"Brother" is a violent and darkly funny film set in the fast-paced society of modern Russia. Danila is a young man just released from the army who can't find a job in his provincial hometown. He travels to St. Petersburg to visit his older brother Viktor whom he idolizes. Viktor offers him a partnership in the family business, assassins for the Chechen mob. Danila is a cool and highly effective killer but he is also an innocent, and he finds the completely amoral world around him confusing and disturbing. For Danila, killing is a job but mugging an old man is a crime which he will not abide. He is also torn romantically between a pretty young drug addict and a married trolley driver with an abusive husband.
"There's more freshness and electricity in any five minutes of "Brother" than in all the "Lethal Weapon" films put together"-Jay Carr, Boston Globe
August 5, 7 and 9 p.m.
Tre Fratelli [Three Brothers]
Italy/France, 1980, 113 minutes. Color. Italian with English subtitles.
Directed by Francesco Rosi
The director will be present at the screening.
Among the great directors, such as Bertolucci, Pasolini, Ferreri, and Wertmüller, who emerged after Neorealism in Italian Cinema, Rosi stands out as the father of Cinema Civile [Civil Cinema], a type of socially engaged filmmaking which seeks to uncover the facts behind complex and mysterious events. Of his memorable film, "Tre Fratelli," he said, "Through the story of three brothers, and their family, I have tried to speak about all of us, our life, death, loneliness, the old and eternal values that we all carry within ourselves and the forces which threaten them; and of our need for trust and our hope as well."
Starring Phillipe Noiret, Michele Placido, and Vittorio Mezzogiorno.
"Perfect. Full of startling clarity and beauty, of extraordinary sweetness, of the discovery of unexpected reserves of emotion."-The New York Times
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