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Shepherdstown Film Society announces fall schedule

By Staff | Aug 22, 2014

The Shepherdstown Film Society is pleased to announce its fall, 2014 series. This season starts the 11th year of providing free films for Shepherd University students and faculty, and the Shepherdstown community. Our 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 August 29 and running through November 21. Four films comprise the fall theme of Political Corruption films. One film is presented in conjunction with the American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF) and one is presented in conjunction with the Shepherd University Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program.

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. 29.

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. 29: “Charlie Wilson’s War” (USA, 2007, 101 minutes, directed by Mike Nichols). During the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson got the bright idea of funneling arms to the mujahideen resistance fighters. With bravado, swagger and charm, Wilson brought the CIA, the Pakistani army and others into his plot to save Afghanistan from communism. We are still living in the aftermath of his dream. Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use. Post-film discussion led by Dr. Ray Smock, Director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies.

Sept. 12: “The Lost Bird Project” (USA, 2012, 63 minutes, directed by Deborah Dickson). When great people are lost, they may be memorialized sculpturally. Sculptor Todd McGrain developed a project to memorialize five great birds that were lost through extinction within the last few centuries. His project has three parts: create accurate sculptural images, locate the last know habit of each bird and negotiate permission to display his sculptures in a suitable public space in each bird’s last habitat.

Not rated. This is a special presentation in conjunction with the American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF). Post-film discussion led by Jeff Feldman, President of the American Conservation Film Festival Board.

Sept. 19: “October Sky” (USA, 1999, 108 minutes, directed by Joe Johnston). Four boys in a small West Virginia coal mining town develop a passion for rocketry in the late 1950s. With the help of their science teacher they increase their knowledge and ability to successfully launch rockets. This film is based on Homer Hickam’s book Rocket Boys and tells of the joys his friends and he derived from the science and engineering of rockets, and the travails faced pursuing their dreams in cramped economic circumstances. Rated PG. This is a special presentation in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program. Discussion led by Dr. Sylvia Shurbutt, Professor of English and Modern Languages at Shepherd University.

Oct. 3: “The Candidate” (USA, 1972, 109 minutes, directed by Michael Ritchie). This film follows a California campaign for the US Senate as the son of a former governor attempts to unseat an incumbent. As the campaign progresses the candidate simplifies his message to broaden his base, but suffers pangs of conscience for the loss of depth and authenticity in his message to voters. Can he be true to his principles and his position on sensitive issues and win? Rated PG. Post-film discussion led by Dr. John Splaine.

Oct. 24: “Being There” (USA, 1979, 130 minutes, directed by Hal Ashby). By chance, a gardener named Chance acquires a following among the political elite of Washington through a series of misunderstandings about his background and his thoughts. His bland, banal statements on the weather and gardening are given intellectual weight as metaphors for the state of the nation. Peter Sellers was nominated for an Academy Award in the role of Chance. Rated PG. Post-film discussion led by Charlie Brown.

Nov. 21: “Touch of Evil” (USA, 1958, 112 minutes, directed by Orson Welles). Orson Welles is almost 20 years on from his startling film debut in Citizen Kane. Here again he both acts and directs, bringing his talents to a late example of the film noir genre. We see him as a corrupt police detective in a small US-Mexico border town. A bombing that may be related to drug smuggling snares police and public on both sides of the border into a web of double dealing and violence. Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content. Post-film discussion led by Dr. Rachel Krantz, Associate Professor of English and Modern Languages 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.