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Shepherdstown Film Society offers spring schedule

By Staff | Jan 15, 2016

The Shepherdstown Film Society is pleased to announce its spring, 2016 series. Five films will be presented, starting on January 29 and running through April 29. Four films comprise our spring theme of Cannes Film Festival winners and one film is presented in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Common Reading Program.

The Cannes Film Festival winning films are presented through our 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. 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: Jan. 29: “Her”; Feb. 5: “Secrets & Lies”; March 4: “A World Apart”‘; March 25: “Of Gods and Men”; and April 29: “Taste of Cherry”.

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

Jan. 29: “Her” (USA, 2013, 126 minutes, directed by Spike Jonze). In a near-future Los Angeles, a lonely, tech savvy man finds himself developing a personal connection with his newly installed computer operating system (Samantha). Samantha speaks in a beguiling female voice and seems to offer more than an interface to the cyber world. Their relationship develops, for him, in a positive way for a while. But he is bound by human emotional and intellectual limits and Samantha seems to grow beyond his experience. This film received five Oscar nominations and won the award for best original screenplay. This is a special presentation in conjunction with Shepherd University’s Common Reading Program. Discussion led by Monica Larson-Levine. Rated R for language and sexual content.

Feb. 5: “Secrets & Lies” (UK, 1996, 136 minutes, directed by Mike Leigh). A successful young professional woman, who was adopted as an infant, seeks her birth mother. She finds, to her surprise, a woman with economic and emotional problems and an extended family full of secrets and lies. The film becomes an exploration of culture and identity and ends in a tentative resolution of the many conflicts it uncovers. The film won three awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d’Or and was nominated for five Oscars. Post-film discussion led by Lex Miller. Rated R for language.

March 4: “A World Apart” (UK, 1988, 113 minutes, directed by Chris Menges). Joe Slovo and Ruth First were members of the South African Communist Party and anti-Apartheid activists. Joe was exiled in 1963 for his activities. Their daughter, Shawn, who was 13 at the time of Joe’s exile, was angry and confused by her parents’ activities and the wrenching changes in her life. This film, for which Shawn wrote the fictionalized screenplay, explores her emotional and intellectual evolution in coming to understand her parents’ need for political action. “A World Apart” won three Cannes Film Festival Awards, including the Grand Jury Prize. Post-film discussion led by Rebecca Ayraud. Rated PG.

March 25: “Of Gods and Men” (France, 2010, 120 minutes, directed by Xavier Beauvois). During the Algerian Civil War of 1996, a group of French Trappist monks, who have lived for years in harmony with their Muslim neighbors in the Atlas Mountains, face increasing danger as civil authority breaks down. As threats to their safety mount, they make a decision to remain and continue the work they believe to be ordained by God. This film won three Cannes Film Festival Awards, including the Grand Jury Prize. Post-film discussion led by Dr. Rachel Krantz. Rated PG.

April 29: “Taste of Cherry” (Iran, 1997, 98 minutes, directed by Abbas Kiarostami). In Tehran and the surrounding countryside a middle-aged Iranian man asks various strangers to assist him in a task he will not be able to complete. He has dug his grave and is preparing to die, but he needs someone to complete the burial of his body. Will he find someone willing to fulfill his wishes? This film won the Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. Post-film discussion led by Winnie Bernat. 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.