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Donna McCracken
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dmccr1@uis.edu

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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UIS to host foreign and independent film series

January 28, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - The Office of Student Life at the University of Illinois at Springfield is sponsoring an Independent and Foreign Film Series on Friday nights this spring. All films will begin at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on level one of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Remaining films include:

January 30 Sylvia. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, this subtle but fascinating movie centers on the relationship between poet Sylvia Plath and her husband, Ted Hughes (Daniel Craig), a fellow poet whom Plath fell aggressively in love with while she was a student at Cambridge. Plath’s poetry is central to the movie, but the troubling details of her life tell their own story.

February 6 Waiting for Happiness.  Set in the village of Nouadhidou on the Mauritanian coast, this film is comprised of a series of vignettes. While the outside world is slowly encroaching, it has not yet disrupted the natural cadence of village life and the film focuses on the passing of traditions from one generation to the next, as well as the struggle to decide whether to leave one’s homeland or stay under the pressures of globalization.

February 13 Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony. This documentary tells the story of protest music in South Africa but it is also the story of the struggle against apartheid itself, for the music and the revolution are inseparable. Amandla! focuses on the period from the 1950s to 1990, when Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress came to power.

February 20 Straight out of Hunter’s Point. Life in the projects as seen by an insider – filmmaker Kevin Epps, who grew up in the neighborhood still and lives there – Hunter’s Point is a portrait of a community in crisis, but one that has nevertheless endured.

February 27 – The Man without a Past. This “spare and quirky” Finnish comedy tells the story of a man who awakens after a brutal mugging to find his memory gone. Though bureaucrats and the police can’t seem to cope with his lack of established identity, the amnesiac plants potatoes, manages a rock and roll band, and finds romance as he builds a new self.

March 12Whale Rider. Despite the fact that she is female and therefore traditionally disqualified from leadership, a 12-year-old Maori girl (Keisha Castle-Hughes) is convinced that she is nevertheless a tribal leader and sets about proving it. The mythic whale rider, the ultimate symbol of Maori connection to nature, is also the symbol of her destiny.

March 19In America. After the loss of their only son, young Irish parents move illegally to a junkie-infested apartment building in New York City. As they struggle with menial jobs and suffocating heat, friendship with a neighboring artist becomes the catalyst that allows them to rebuild their family.

March 26Real Women Have Curves. This comedy-drama set in east LA tells the story of Ana, a bright 18-year-old who has scholarship potential, her first boyfriend, and a weight problem that her mother won’t stop harping about.

April 2 – American Splendor.  An “audaciously creative” biographical movie that blends fact, fiction, and personal perspective, this portrait of Harvey Pekar is a combination of the media (comic books, TV, and film) that lifted him from obscurity to pop-culture icon.

April 9Respiro. An Italian wife who is either free-spirited or manic-depressive, depending on your perspective, is sent away by her husband to get professional help. The situation provokes her to an even more impulsive act.

April 16Dirty Pretty Things. Set in London, this thriller tells the tale of an illegal immigrant, a doctor in his homeland, who now works as a taxi driver by day and a hotel desk clerk by night. When he is alerted to a mess in one of the hotel’s bathrooms, the doctor finds a human heart in the toilet. He soon uncovers a desperate web involving black-market body organs and finds that his only friend may be the next one caught.

April 23 Shattered Glass.  Hayden Christensen stars as Stephen Glass, who in the mid-90s was one of the most sought-after young journalists in Washington until a bizarre chain of events stopped his career in its tracks. The film is based on Buzz Bissinger’s 1998 Vanity Fair article.

For more information about any of these films, contact the UIS Office of Student Life at 206-6665.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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