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Film society sets fall 2009 offerings

By Staff | Aug 14, 2009

The Shepherdstown Film Society is pleased to announce its fall, 2009 series. This season continues the partnership with the Scarborough Society of Shepherd University.

This partnership gives the Shepherdstown Film Society the financial support it needs to maintain its commitment to show free films for Shepherd students and faculty, and the Shepherdstown community. Five films will be presented, starting on Sept. 4 and running through Nov. 20.

This fall’s series offers four films with marriage themes. Additionally, there will be a documentary film with an environmental theme presented in conjunction with the Shepherd University Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Program.

Except for Monday, September 28, all films will be shown on Fridays. All showings are at 7:00 p.m. in Shepherd University’s Reynolds Hall. As with all the Society’s films, admission will be free and each showing will be followed by a discussion. An opening night reception at the Shepherdstown Men’s Club (102 East German Street, Shepherdstown) will kick off the series from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 4.

More information on each film can be found on the Society’s website at . The film schedule will be as follows:

September 4: “Monsoon Wedding”

September 11: “Arranged”

September 28: “Sludge”

October 9: “Four Weddings and a Funeral”

November 20: “His Girl Friday”

Details of the films follow below, in the order in which the films are being shown:

September 4 “Monsoon Wedding” (India/USA, 2001, 114 minutes, directed by Mira Nair). We are in Delhi at the turn of the 21st Century. The vibrancy of India’s economic growth is in the air. But old ways still pertain. A bride and groom must accept an arranged marriage even if the bride is a media executive and the groom is a successful professional who has been living in Texas for several years. Mira Nair weaves the complex relationships of multi-generational families into the story of the planning and presentation of a large, boisterous, hectic wedding celebration. There are old grievances and hidden secrets, but there is also love of life. There is a wedding planner who can’t resist eating the marigolds in his elaborate floral arrangements and the monsoons are coming. Rated: R for language.

September 11 “Arranged” (USA, 2007, 90 minutes, directed by Diane Crespo and Stefan Schaefer). America also can be a site for arranged marriages. In Brooklyn two first-year teachers, one an Orthodox Jew, the other a Syrian Muslim, meet and find they have much in common. Each has a family trying to arrange a marriage for her. At school, their conservative dress puts them at odds with the principal who feels they are bound by outmoded customs, religions and patriarchal outlooks. As the school year progresses, they learn what they share in common and are exposed to their respective cultures. Rated: PG.

September 28: “Sludge” (USA, 2005, 40 minutes, directed by Robert Salyer). documentary film chronicles the sludge spill on October 11, 2000 in when a broke through an underground mine, propelling 306 million gallons of coal slurry down two tributaries of the . The film documents the disaster, the resulting federal investigation, and the looming threat of coal sludge ponds throughout the coalfield region. Not rated. This film is presented in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Writer in Residence program.

October 9: “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (UK, 1994, 117 minutes, directed by Mike Newell). We are on the cusp of the era the British came to call Cool Britannia. Margaret Thatcher and her ilk are on the way out and everyone is young and hip and oh so lovely. Come and enjoy this exploration of the struggles of commitment, the tangle of relationships and the need to be at the church on time. The film was nominated for Oscars for best picture and best original screenplay. Rated R for language.

November 20: “His Girl Friday” (USA 1940, 92 minutes, directed by Howard Hawks). We are told that newspapers are a dying medium. In the 1930s such was not the case. Newspapers thrived and reporters and editors were brash, hard-boiled and often had only an on again/off again relationship with truth. This film is a comic romp through the heyday of the newspaper business. About to lose his best reporter, Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) to marriage, editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) does all he can to subvert the marriage and entice Hildy to cover one more big story. The film was #19 on “100 Years, 100 Laughs” and has been selected for preservation in the United States . Not rated.

For further information about the Society and its films, visit their website or contact Lisa Welch at 304-876-1837 (email ) or Mina Goodrich at (304) 876-2159 (email larrymina@aol.com).

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