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Shepherdstown Film Society announces spring series

By Staff | Jan 13, 2014

The Shepherdstown Film Society is pleased to announce its spring, 2014 series. This season completes the tenth year and the society is celebrating this anniversary by showing films selected by our audience in a poll during the fall season. Six films will be presented, starting on Jan. 31 and running through April 25. Four films were chosen in our audience choice poll and two films are presented in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Common Reading Program.

The audience choice films are presented through a continuing 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.

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, Jan. 31.

More information on each film can be found on the Society’s website at www.shepherdstownfilmsociety.org. The remaining films will be as follows: Jan. 31: “Babette’s Feast”l Feb. 21: “Coal Country”; Feb. 28: “The Lives of Others”l Mar. 21: “The Third Man”l April 11: “Hollow”; and, April 25: “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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

Jan. 31: “Babette’s Feast” (Denmark, 1987, 102 minutes, directed by Gabriel Axel). Previously shown in our Spring 2006 season. In a 19th century Danish seaside town, a Parisian refugee works for two austere sisters. After years cooking the plain unseasoned local food, Babette prepares a sensuous French feast from her lottery winnings as an expression of her love of life. Director Gabriel Axel adapted the screenplay from a story by Isak Dinesen. This was the first Danish film to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. Post-film discussion led by Dr. Rachel Krantz, Associate Professor of French at Shepherd University. Rated G.

Feb. 21: “Coal Country” (USA, 2009, 84 minutes, directed by Phylis Geller). This documentary film described the lives of Appalachian people on both sides of the debate about coal as an energy source and mountaintop removal as a method of coal extraction. The debate is passionate and has split families and communities over the economic and environmental issues at stake. Presented in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Common Reading program and co-sponsored with Coal Country Tours. Post-film discussion led by Mari-Lynn Evans, Executive Producer. This film is not rated.

Feb. 28: “The Lives of Others” (Germany, 2007, 137 minutes, directed by Florian von Donnersmarck). Previously shown in our Spring 2008 season. The lives of a prominent East German playwright and a Stasi agent become entangled during the decline and fall of the communist regime in the 1980s. This film received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Post-film discussion led by Dr. John Splaine, Adjunct in the Department of History at Shepherd University. Rated R for some sexuality/nudity.

Mar. 21: “The Third Man” (UK, 1949, 93 minutes, directed by Carol Reed). Like Berlin, Vienna was divided under an awkward and corrupt four power administration immediately after World War II. This broken society is the setting for a look at the darker side of human nature. A black market in penicillin leads to murder and a manhunt that ends in the city’s sewer system. The screenplay was written by English novelist Graham Greene and later published as a novella. This film is not rated.

Apr. 11: “Hollow” (USA, 2013, 90 minutes, directed by Elaine McMillion). Hollow examines the issues that people in small and shrinking American towns face by profiling the residents of McDowell County, West Virginia. Since its 1950 peak and after many economic ups and downs related to the price and supply of coal, McDowell County has lost 80 percent of its population. The young continue to leave and the population ages as it contracts. But in spite of the economic decline, pride and community remain. Presented in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Common Reading Program and co-sponsored with Coal Country Tours. Post-film discussion led by Director, Producer, and Story Editor Elaine McMillion. This film is not rated.

Apr. 25: “To Kill a Mockingbird” (USA, 1962, 129 minutes, directed by Robert Mulligan). A small town Alabama lawyer defends a black man charged with rape in the racially charged South of the 1930s. The courtroom drama, town life and family life are shown through the eyes and thoughts of the lawyer’s daughter, Scout. This film was adapted by Horton Foote from Harper Lee’s novel and was nominated for eight Academy Awards with three wins including best actor and best screenplay. Post-film discussion led by Dr. Heidi Hanrahan, Assistant Professor of English at Shepherd University. This

film is not rated.

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.