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Donna McCracken

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This Year



UIS to host foreign and independent film series

September 1, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield is sponsoring a Foreign and Independent Film Series on Friday nights this fall. All films are shown 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.

The line-up of films is:

September 15 – The Squid and the Whale.  Sixteen-year-old Walt and his 12-year-old brother Frank struggle with their feelings when their parents suddenly divorce. Walt performs a Pink Floyd song at a talent show and claims it as his original work. Frank drinks beer and wonders openly about his mother's sex life.

September 22 – Waging a Living. More than 30 million Americans – one worker in four – are stuck in jobs that don't pay enough to provide the basics of a decent life. Shot over a three-year period, this film documents four low-wage workers' struggles to lift their families out of poverty as they live from paycheck to paycheck.

September 29 – Hawaii, Oslo. An odd assortment of people cross paths during the hottest day of the year in Oslo, Norway. Frode and Milla are expectant parents of a baby who doctors have told them will not live long. Bobbie-Pop is a faded singer who tries to commit suicide. Leon, an institutionalized kleptomaniac, is looking for Asa, whom he has been engaged to marry for 10 years. Vidar, Leon's best friend, can see things no one else can see, and may be able to save everyone except himself. (in Norwegian)

October 6 – Thumbsucker. Justin is 16 years old and desperate to stop sucking his thumb, an embarrassing habit left over from infancy. His father tries to help with cayenne-pepper cream and fly-fishing. His mother, a nurse in a rehab center for the rich and famous, is more concerned with her fantasy romance with a celebrity. Justin tries hypnosis, but his problem resurfaces in other forms.

October 13 – Transamerica. Bree, a pre-operative transsexual living in Los Angeles, receives an emergency phone call from her estranged son Toby, the product of a sexual encounter she had when she was a man. Bree flies to New York to get the boy out of jail, but when Toby doesn't recognize her as his parent, instead believing her to be a Christian missionary, she sees no reason to clear up the misunderstanding.

October 20 – Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner.  Set centuries ago in what is now the Canadian Arctic, this film tells the story of Atuat – promised in marriage to Oki, son of the tribal leader – and her lover, Atanarjuat. Atanarjuat is also fancied by Oki's sister, Puja. When Puja causes a problem between Atanarjuat and his brother, Oki seizes the opportunity to wreak a terrible revenge. (in Inuktitut)

October 27 – Following Sean. An award-winning documentary that starts from a simple question: Whatever happened to Sean Farrell? While in film school in San Francisco in the late 1960s, Ralph Arlyck made a 15-minute film featuring four-year-old Sean, the son of his hippie neighbors. The film soon became a rallying point for both sides in the debate between those who admired America's love and peace generation and those who condemned them. Some 30 years later, Arlyck headed back to San Francisco to find out what had become of Sean in the interim. (in English and French)

November 3 – Nobody Knows. Four children live happily with their mother in a small apartment in Tokyo. The children all have different fathers, have never been to school, and the landlord is not even aware that three of them exist. One day the mother disappears, leaving the children to survive on their own. They do their best, but when they are forced to engage with the world outside, the fragile balance that has sustained them collapses. (in Japanese)

November 10 – Fateless. Young Gyuri, a Hungarian Jew, is caught up in the daily dramas of adolescence until the Nazis come to his native Budapest. Gyuri has never considered himself particularly Jewish and resents the new restrictions, but events including his own deportation bring him face-to-face with the new reality. After the war, Gyuri returns to Budapest, only to find his former friends indifferent to his experience. (in Hungarian)

November 17 – My Architect. World-famous architect Louis Kahn had two children outside of his marriage. His illegitimate son Nathaniel had always hoped that someday his father would come and live with him and his mother, but Kahn never left his wife and died when Nathaniel was only 11. This film follows Nathaniel as he travels the world, visiting his father’s buildings and meeting his father's contemporaries, colleagues, students, wives, and other children.

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 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 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.