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Shepherdstown Film Society announces fall schedule

By Staff | Aug 14, 2015

The Shepherdstown Film Society is pleased to announce its fall, 2015 series. This season starts our 12th 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. 28 and running through Nov. 20. Four films comprise the fall comedy theme. 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. 28.

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. 28, “Best in Show”; Sept. 25, “Brassed Off”; Oct. 2, “The Rosa Parks Story”; Oct. 9, “DamNation”; Oct. 30, “Ninotchka”; and Nov. 20, “Mid-August Lunch.”

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

Aug. 28: “Best in Show” (USA, 2000, 90 minutes, directed by Christopher Guest). Christopher Guest and his troupe of improvisational comedy actors have developed a style of pseudo-documentary that gently mocks human foibles and dreams in such films as Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind. This film takes a skewed look at the owners and handlers who people the world of show dog competitions as they prepare for and participate in a national show. Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content. Post-film discussion led by Rebecca Ayraud.

Sept. 25: “Brassed Off” (England, 1996, 107 minutes, directed by Mark Herman). In the early 20th century at the height of the British coal production, mining communities developed a rich tradition of competitive brass bands. As the century drew to a close, the mines were closing and the communities faced economic and social collapse. The anger and pride of one community band provide the basis for this not always comic look at the social dynamics at play. Rated R for language. Post-film discussion led by Lex Miller.

Oct. 2: “The Rosa Parks Story” (USA, 2002, 97 minutes, directed by Julie Dash). Rosa Parks experienced the dehumanizing effects of racial segregation in many forms. Being forced to ride at the back of public buses was but one of these. But her protest against this legal sanction spurred the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott, the rise of Dr. Martin Luther King as a leader in the nonviolent civil rights movement and the focus of national attention on America’s racial dilemma. Not rated. This is a special presentation in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program. Discussion led by Dr. Julia Sandy, Assistant Professor of History at Shepherd University.

Oct. 9: “DamNation” (USA, 2014, 94 minutes, directed by Ben Knight and Travis Rummel, co-produced by Matt Stoecker). River dams are great engineering achievements. They also may be great ecological mistakes. Damming rivers alters their natural flow and the life cycles of the aquatic species. Dams change the relationship between predator and prey species. Old dams are choked by silt. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other fish the ability to return to spawning grounds. We are rethinking the value of dams and DamNation’s majestic cinematography moves through rivers and landscapes to explore the evolution in our thinking. DamNation was made with support from Patagonia and was the Audience Choice Award Winner at the 2014 American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF). Not rated. This is a special presentation in conjunction with the ACFF. Post-film discussion led by Jeff Feldman, President of the ACFF Board.

Oct. 30: “Ninotchka” (USA, 1939, 110 minutes, directed by Ernst Lubitsch). Three impoverished Soviet agents arrive in glittering 1930s Paris to negotiate the repatriation of jewels taken out of Russia after the revolution. What could have been a political thriller is, instead, a gentle comic satire of true-red Marxists facing temptation in the City of Lights. Their yielding to Parisian high life is interrupted by the arrival of a severe commissar (Greta Garbo) who, in turn, finds Paris alluring and soon is caught in a romantic entanglement. Rated PG. Post-film discussion led by Mary Stanley.

Nov. 20: “Mid-August Lunch” (Italy, 2008, 75 minutes, directed by Gianni Di Gregorio). A middle-aged Roman leads a lazy, carefree life until his unpaid condo fees catch up with him. Faced with eviction for himself and his aging mother, he agrees to take care of two elderly relatives of the condo manager in exchange for reduction of his debt. More residents press him take in elderly relative so they too may leave Rome to enjoy the mid-August holiday Ferragosto. His lazy carefree life comes to an abrupt end. Not rated. 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.