FOREIGN FILM SERIES:
Friday, Sept. 19 :
Ping Pong (2002) - Japan
Ping Pong is based on Taiyo Matsumoto's highly successful manga of the same name. Ever since the day Peco (Yôsuke Kubozuka) rescued Smile (Arata) from a gang of bullies and introduced him to the game of table tennis, the two have been inseparable friends. Peco is a peculiar teenager who wants no less than to be the best ping pong player in the world, but lacks the self-discipline to carry his plan through. On the other hand, the withdrawn, slightly arrogant Smile probably has more natural talent than anyone, but just plays to “kill time” rather than to win, and his reluctance to see other players (especially Peco) humiliated makes him hold back in his own game, much to the annoyance of Ota, his coach (Naoto Takenaka). After Peco is decisively beaten in a tournament and quits the game, Smile continues his rise to the top, preparing the way for the return of his hero Peco, whom he is destined to meet in one last match. Directed by Fumihiko Sori and introduced by Kyoko Hammond, Lecturer of Japanese.
A Classic Japanese Cinema Presented by the Department of English
Monday, Sept. 29: Throne of Blood (1957) - Japan
Celebrated director Akira Kurosowa reworks Shakespeare's McBeth into an unforgettable film about ambition and fate.
Friday, October 10: Les Aventure de Rabbi Jacob (The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, 1973) - France
The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob was called "one of the funniest movies from any country" upon its initial theatrical release. Since then, it’s become something of a comedic cult classic. Victor Pivert is a very tolerant man—provided you are white Catholic and French. To everyone else he is a shameless racist who believes foreigners should go back where they came from. On his way to his daughter's wedding, Victor uncovers a group of scheming Arab revolutionaries. After Victor is discovered, he hides himself by dressing up as a rabbi leading to one madcap scene after another. The film concludes with a chaotic but happy ending. The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob is an extremely entertaining film that provides some surprising observations on human social interactions. Directed by Gérard Oury and starring Louis de Funès, Claude Girard, and Marcel Dalio as Rabbi Jacob. Introduced by Professor Lúcia Flórido.
A HALLOWEEN THRILLER
Friday, Oct. 31: El Orphonato (The Orphanage) - Spain
An old, sea-side mansion—which at one time had served as an orphanage—is bought by Laura (Belén Rueda) and her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo). Their plan is to make it into an orphanage again, providing a home for disabled children, as well as for their own young son, Simón (Roger Prínceps), who does not know that he is adopted. The orphanage is a creepy place with all of the standard creaks, moans, and unexplainable door slams. Laura herself was an orphan who grew up in the same building. When Simón mysteriously disappears, the parents go through great lengths to find him, including hiring a group of paranormal investigators led by a medium named Aurora (Géraldine Chaplin). The Orphanage is scary in the manner of classic horror films: full of darkness, rainy nights, and unexpected camera angles. This frightening film was produced by Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006), and is the directorial debut of Juan Antonio Bayona. Introduced by Professor Daniel Nappo.
Friday, Nov. 21: Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad, 2007) – Brazil
Set in 1997, Tropa de Elite follows in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Cidade de Deus (City of God, 2002) in its semi-fictional portrayal of the problems inherent to keeping order in the violent and poverty-stricken “favelas” or slums of Rio de Janeiro. In the slums, male life expectancy doesn’t reach 30 years and the drug dealers are kings. The elite BOPE force (State Police Special Operations Battalion) is charged with controlling the drug cartel. Greed among their forces, however, leads to police corruption, making it difficult to discern right from wrong and justice from revenge. BOPE Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) faces a personal crisis. In addition to the pressures of fighting within war zones, the Captain must find and train his own replacement, hoping one day to escape the violence and be close to his wife, who is about to give birth to their first child. Two of the force’s newest recruits, Neto (Caio Junqueira) and Matias (André Ramiro), are good friends: one is quick on the trigger and the other refuses to compromise his ideals. Together they are the perfect replacement. Alone they may not have what it takes to survive. Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and drug content. Introduced by Professor Randal Garza.
**OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC**
**ALL SHOWINGS AT 7:00 pm on THE UT-MARTIN CAMPUS IN THE WATKINS AUDITORIUM, UC**
**ALL FILMS IN ORIGINAL FOREIGN LANGUAGE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES**
THE MFL FOREIGN FILM SERIES IS FUNDED BY THE SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES & FINE ARTS AND THE STUDENT ACTIVITIES COUNCIL