FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: April 8, 2003
SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield will present Euro Film Festival 2003 -- four films from recent decades that reflect social and cinematic trends in European filmmaking -- on Thursday and Friday, April 24 and 25. All films are free and open to the public and will be shown in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus.
The series begins on Thursday with two semi-autobiographical films written and directed by François Truffaut, one of the primary directors of France’s New Wave cinema in the late 1950s. Like much of Truffaut’s work, these films are pointedly satirical, but the satire is generally forgiving and never cruel.
At 4 p.m. Les Quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) introduces 14-year-old actor Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel, a troubled, irresponsible, yet irrepressible and charming young man. As the story unfolds, we see that while some of Doinel’s problems can be blamed on society, they are clearly more than a little his own fault as well. [1959. Cast includes Claire Maurier, Albert Rémy, and Guy Decomble. French with English subtitles.]
At 7 p.m. Doinel’s story continues in Domicile conjugal (Bed and Board). Now grown from a 13-year-old sent to reform school for petty theft into a self-employed flower-dyer, Doinel is married and lives in a small apartment with his wife. After his business fails, he takes a job with a shipbuilder, has an affair with the daughter of a Japanese client, and separates from his wife. No
matter what trouble he gets himself into, Doinel’s impulsiveness and irresponsibility are tempered by his wit and charm. [1970. Cast includes Claude Jade, Daniel Ceccaldi, and Claire Duhamel. French with English subtitles.]
Friday’s films begin at 4 p.m. with Sommarnattens leende (Smiles of a Summer Night), written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The first of Bergman’s masterpieces, this film is a classic comedy of manners and very unlike his later work full of mysticism, symbolism, and tortured psyches. This time Bergman plays on the comic themes of youth challenging age and the impetuosity of young love. [1955. Cast includes Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, and Gunnar Björnstrand. Swedish with English subtitles.]
The series concludes with the 7 p.m. screening of the Russian film Burnt by the Sun. Although this is a film about the dangers of being denounced during the Stalin regime, most of the drama stems from relationships between the characters. The setting is the country house of Colonel Sergei Petrovich Kotov, his young wife, and their daughter. Kotov is a hero of the Revolution, a patriot and a gentleman with a profound sense of humor who wears his authority comfortably and humbly. But when Cousin Mitya, a flashy young visitor from Moscow, arrives an ominous cloud settles over the previously happy home. Gradually it becomes clear that this sense of foreboding is well founded. [1994. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Written by Mikhalkov with Rustam Ibragimbekov. Cast includes Mikhalkov, Oleg Menshikov, and Ingeborga Dapkunaite. Russian with English subtitles.]
The Euro Film Festival, offered in conjunction with the UIS English program’s Verbal Arts Festival, is sponsored by the English, Liberal Studies, and Individual Options programs and the Office of Student Life. For more information, contact Rosina Neginsky at (217) 206-7431 or Lula Lester at (217) 206-6962, or go to http://uisacad.uis.edu/~bwall1/filmfest/2003/index.htm.