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Film Society announces start of 10th year

By Staff | Aug 23, 2013

The Shepherdstown Film Society is pleased to announce its fall, 2013 series. This season starts our tenth year of providing free films for Shepherd University students and faculty, and the Shepherdstown community. The continuing partnership with the Scarborough Society of Shepherd University provides the financial support needed to maintain this commitment.

Six films will be presented, starting on Aug. 30 and running through Nov. 22. Four films comprise the fall theme of films set in Japan. Two films are presented in conjunction with the Shepherd University Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program.

Except for Monday, Sept. 23, all films will be shown on Fridays. All showings are at 7 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 War Memorial Building will kick off the series from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.

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

Aug. 30: “Cherry Blossoms”

Sept. 13: “Dreams”

Sept. 23: “Coal Black Voices”

Oct. 4: “After Life”

Oct. 25: “Shall We Dance?”

Nov. 22: “Red Tails”

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

Aug. 30: “Cherry Blossoms” (Germany, 2008, 127 minutes, directed by Doris Drrie). A German man’s life is thrown into turmoil by the death of his wife and the alienation of his children. A trip to Japan renews his spirit as he comes to understand his wife’s passion for the Japanese dance form Butoh.

Unrated, but contains brief nudity. Post-film discussion led by Dr. Rachel Krantz, Associate Professor of French at Shepherd University.

Sept. 13: “Dreams” (Japan, 1990, 119 minutes, directed by Akira Kurosawa). Famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa gives us eight separate short dream films. Some are lyrical, some frightening. All are allegories of our relationships with family, community and our environment. Kurosawa’s aesthetic mastery is on full display as he brings his dreams alive. Rated PG.

Sept. 23: “Coal Black Voices” (USA, 2001, 54 minutes, directed by Fred Johnson and Jean Donohue). Debunking the stereotype of Appalachia as a whites-only culture was one of the purposes behind the adoption of the term “Affrilachian” in 1991 by Frank X Walker and other Kentucky African-American poets. In “Coal Black Voices,” these talented Kentucky writers offer intimate insights into life in Appalachia and the American South through poems, stories, and images. Their works celebrate their rural roots while drawing upon traditions such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts movement, and experiences of the African diaspora. Not rated. This is a special presentation in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program. Consulting Producer Frank X Walker, Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence. Discussion led by Dr. Sylvia Shurbutt, Professor of English and Modern Languages at Shepherd University.

Oct. 4: “After Life” (Japan, 1998, 118 minutes, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda). This film is an exploration of death and memory. The premise is that souls arrive at a way station between life and death, where they are asked to choose just one memory to take into the afterlife. The film follows a group of new arrivals at the way station and the process each follows in selecting a memory for eternity. They include an elderly woman, a rebellious dropout, a teenage girl, and a 70-year-old war veteran. Not rated.

Oct. 25: “Shall We Dance?” (Japan, 1997, 118 minutes, directed by Masayuki Suo). A seemingly typical middle-aged Japanese salary man begins lessons at a dance studio after seeing a pensive woman in the studio window from his commuter train. He does not tell his wife or family. Learning basic ballroom dance steps, he gradually comes out of his repressed state and life takes on a buoyancy and sense of joy. Complications ensue when his wife notices his changing spirit and seeks the cause. Rated PG.

Nov. 22: “Red Tails” (USA, 2012, 125 minutes, directed by Anthony Hemingway). The United States Army Air Force 332nd Fighter Group, more famously known as the Tuskegee Airmen, was an African American unit that distinguished itself in the European theater of operations during World War

II. This film dramatizes its formation, training, deployment to Italy and combat action in 1944. Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence. Shown as a supplement to Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program. Discussion led by Dr. Matthew Foulds, Assistant Professor of History at Shepherd University.

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