LCCC FILM SOCIETY
LCCC's Film Series screens the world's finest art, independent, classic and foreign films to educate and enrich the greater Lorain County community and beyond. For more information on the Film Series or to be added to the mailing list, please call the Box Office at (440) 366-4040. Click here to complete our online survey.
2014 Fall Film Series
Friday, October 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm
2002 (PG-13) 121 min. Australia Director: Ray Lawrence
Cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Barbara Hershey, Geoffrey Rush, Kerry Armstrong
“Lantana” begins with the camera making its furtive, disconcerting way through masses of the lush tropical shrubbery characterized by a particularly dense and thorny undergrowth that gives this impressive Australian film its name. It stops, finally, at a corpse, a corpse with a wedding ring we can see and a face we cannot. Introduced this way, “Lantana” sounds as if it’s going to be a thriller concerned with the identity of the corpse and how it got there. And in part it very much is. But what makes this film striking enough to win seven Australian Film Institute awards, including an unprecedented sweep of all four acting categories, is that it is something unexpectedly different as well. “Lantana” is a police procedural replete with clues, evidence and suspects, but it’s also a thoughtful, complex psychological investigation into the nature and difficulties of marriages, particularly those in trouble. Far from clashing, these two aspects reinforce each other and everyone is complicit here, everyone is guilty of some emotional crime, though not necessarily of murder. “Lantana” focuses on four couples, and with a cast top-lined by Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush and Barbara Hershey, it doesn’t lack for the intensity and emotion to make its story convincing. LaPaglia plays up his fury, but takes out his lack of connection with his wife Sonja and his sons by having an affair. Sonja, for her part, seeks support from therapist Valerie Sommers, who is recovering from a trauma of her own: the murder of her 11-year old daughter. That has severely strained her marriage to John Sommers. Jane is the separated housewife who is cheating with Leon. Her neighbors are Nik and Paula D’Amato who are the only happy couple, blessed with kids, happiness, and uncomplicated lives. All these people eventually figure in the story attached to that corpse. But though we get the information we need, “Lantana” feeds us knowledge slowly and obliquely, until we become intrigued by the notion that people who complain about the lack of connection can in reality be so connected to one another. “Trust,” therapist Valerie tells one of her patients, “is vital to human relationships, but it is elusive.” A remarkably thoughtful drama, “Lantana” makes it clear not only how hard it is to come by any emotional comfort in this life, but more importantly, why we can’t give up the struggle.
Edited from reviews by Kenneth Turan, THE L.A. TIMES and Roger Ebert, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
“One of the year’s ten best! A great cast!” – Richard Schickel, TIME MAGAZINE
“Extraordinarily rich! A daring memorably moving drama!” – Joe Morgenstern, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“An astonishingly well-acted film!” – A. O. Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Friday, November 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm
2000 (R) 130 min. USA Director: Rod Lurie
Cast: Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, Gary Oldman, Christian Slater
A DISCUSSION SESSION WILL FOLLOW THE FILM.
“The Contender,” a thriller about the first woman nominated to be vice president, hinges on a question from her past: Did she more or less willingly participate in group sex while she was in college? “That’s Hanson” an investigator says, smacking his lips over an old photo from a Sorority party. If it really is, she’s going to have trouble getting congressional confirmation. An unlikely combination of “West Wing” and “The National Enquirer,” “The Contender” is the type of exciting political melodrama we don’t get much of anymore. As the movie opens, the incumbent vice president has died in office. It is universally assumed that a man will be named to replace him, and a leading candidate is Gov. Jack Hathaway, who has recently made headlines as a hero. The president (played deliciously by Jeff Bridges), however, wants to make history by appointing a woman, and Sen. Hanson looks like the best choice. She is happily married and has a young child. Runyon, the Gary Oldman character, doubts any woman should be trusted with the nuclear trigger, and he is delighted with evidence she may have been the life of the party on campus. Confirmation hearings, backstage politics, and rival investigations set the stage for a political thriller based on suspense and issues. Sen. Hanson flatly refuses to answer any questions about her sexual past, and for a time it looks as if the president may have to dump her as a nominee. Is she really taking an ethical stand, or covering up something? Joan Allen, at the center of “The Contender,” provides one of the strongest performances of the year. Some actresses would have played the role as too sensual, others as too cold; she is able to suggest a woman with a healthy physical life who, nevertheless, has ethical standards that will not bend. She would rather lose the vice presidency than satisfy Runyon’s smutty curiosity, and through her the movie argues that we have gone too far in our curiosity about private behavior. Jeff Bridges as the president is forever ordering food and pressing it upon his guests, in gestures that are not so much hospitality as decoys. And Runyon is the kind of man who, in high school, would rather know who was sleeping with the cheerleaders than sleep with one himself. There are two revealing scenes involving his wife, who knows him better than anyone should have to. This is one of those rare movies where you leave the theater having been surprised and entertained, and then start arguing. “The Contender” takes sides and is bold about it. Sometimes you can assassinate a leader without firing a shot.
Edited from a review by Roger Ebert, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
“Sex, lies and politics-they all boil together beautifully in “The Contender,” a strong political drama that understands Washington, knows its dirty secrets, and uses its excellent cast to fine effect.” – Christopher Smith, BANGOR DAILY NEWS
“A vivid, juicy, thoroughly entertaining movie.” – Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm
2002 (R) 114 min. India/some subtitles Director: Mira Nair
Cast: Vasundhara Das, Shefali Shetty, Vijay Raaz, Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey
Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding” is one of those joyous films that leaps over national boundaries and celebrates universal human nature. It has engaging situations that are comic, romantic and quite seriously dramatic by turns. It takes place in an India that is finding a balance between tradition and modernity, warmth and an effortless sense of life. It also has paralleling the way its middle-class characters alternate between Hindi, Punjabi and English in their everyday speech and fit venerated cultural practices into a world of email and cell phones. Nair combines all these ingredients in this film about a wedding taking place in India. Given how weddings combine passions, tensions, unresolved emotional issues and inevitable chaos, Nair has upped the ante by making this a Punjabi wedding as well. “The Punjabis are to India,” she explains in a director’s statement, “what the Italians are to Europe: We party hard, work hard and have a huge appetite for life.” The movie follows the large Verma family of Delhi, as their daughter Aditi prepares to marry Hemant, a computer programmer from Houston. He is an “NRI” (non-resident Indian), who has returned to meet the bride selected by his parents for an arranged marriage. Such marriages are an ancient tradition, but these are modern young people, and in the opening scene we see Aditi in a hurried exchange with her married lover, a TV host. She has agreed to the arranged marriage partly out of impatience with her lover’s vague talk about someday divorcing his wife. But despite the very elaborate and costly preparations, Aditi is not at all sure she wants to marry Hemant. As wedding guests arrive from all corners of the world, a welter of characters are thrown at you all at once. They speak English, Hindi and, in some cases, Punjabi, sometimes in the same sentence and the effect is delightful. The spontaneous movement between languages, typical of modern middle-class Indians, reflects the mixture of characters: Some are returning from America or Australia and work with computers or on television, while others occupy ancient life patterns. The wedding creates a certain suspense: What if the bride and groom do not like each other? They sneak off for quiet talks and find that they do like each other, and there are romantic subplots like the one of the wedding planner, P. K. Dube who has been thunderstruck by the beauty of the Verma’s family maid, Alice. Dube is a character of almost Dickensian comic humanity. Excitable, brash, upwardly mobile to the point of wearing an ascot, Dube is a parvenu entrepreneur who juggles the truth the way he juggles his workers’ schedules and continually munches on marigolds, the Indian wedding flower. Because it starts out so frantic, “Monsoon Wedding’s” later moments of introspection and drama come as something of a calming relief. And when the film’s unexpected darker chords do manifest themselves, they don’t clash with the overall sense of accepting humanity but rather extend and deepen it. Inescapably foreign yet endearingly familiar, this film manages to gather all its threads so satisfactorily that audiences will feel like celebrating at the wedding as much as any of those guests. “Life is such a comedy,” a celebrant says, but it’s not often as satisfying as the one we have here.
Edited from reviews by Roger Ebert, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, Kenneth Turan, L.A. TIMES, and Elvis Mitchell, THE NEW YORK TIMES.
“Superbly acted, gorgeously photographed, enjoyable and engaging drama by Mira Nair, with a terrific soundtrack to boot-the perfect Hollywood/Bollywood crossover film.” – Matthew Turner, VIEWLONDON
“A movie to fall in love by and with, a wedding to unite both the two film families and the dazzled multicultural movie audiences who watch them.” – Michael Wilmington, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:30 pm
2000 (PG-13) 118 min. USA Director: Gurinder Chadha
Cast: Alfre Woodard, Dennis Haysbert, Ann Weldon, Mercedes Ruehl, Joan Chen
Coming together is the theme of “What’s Cooking?,” Gurinder Chadha’s funny, mouth-watering and deeply moving vision of 21st century diversity and the future of the American family – all set on Thanksgiving. Flowing from California kitchen to California kitchen on this day of reunions and homecomings, Chadha follows four seemingly disparate families as they confront differences and familiarity; laughter and festering anger; shitake mushrooms and mashed potatoes; near-disaster and, ultimately, the astonishing power of love to connect them all. WHAT’S COOKING? Is a rapt celebration of families braided from a comic collision of cultures. What is the recipe for today’s American family? With a smart, high-energy and boldly voyeuristic camera, director Chadha and an accomplished ensemble cast peer behind the front doors of ordinary Los Angeles houses to reveal the sweet and savory mix. An unforgettable Thanksgiving treat.
“Chadha melds comedy and tragedy so masterfully that one’s laughing at and crying for the
characters simultaneously.” – Annlee Ellingson, BOXOFFICE MAGAZINE
“This is a terrific holiday film.” – Jean Lowerison, SAN DIEGO METROPOLITAN
“A combination of fresh ingredients mixed together with skill to create a well-balanced harmony of diverse flavours. Delicious.” – BBC.com
Film Admission (the same as the last three seasons!)
Patrons, except LCCC students/faculty/staff with valid ID, must purchase an annual membership in the LCCC Film Society for $3.00/each, which is good through the final film of the 2015 Winter/Spring Film Series. The admission price for each film is $6.00/ticket with your membership card.
- Films start at 7:30pm and are shown in the Hoke Theatre of Stocker Arts Center.
- $3/each - Annual memberships, remain the same price they have been and are good for the entire season!
- AND BEST OF ALL...Any Time Tix are available for the entire year! You can purchase as many Any Time tickets as you think you'll need all at once and use them for any of the films that play during the 2014-2015 Film Series. Buy 10 and use 2 per film for 5 films, or buy 5 and use 1 per film for 5 films -- it's your choice. Any Time Tix will expire as of the last film of the 2015 Winter/Spring series, so don't buy too many. There are NO REFUNDS for Any Time Tix that you purchase but don't use...so make sure you use them all!
*You must hold a valid 2014-2015 annual membership in the LCCC Film Society (or be an LCCC student/faculty/staff member with a current validated ID) in order to purchase Film or Any Time Tix.
*Any Time Tix are good for the FILM SERIES ONLY and cannot be transferred or used for any live events occurring at Stocker Arts Center.
All films begin at 7:30 pm and are shown in the Hoke Theatre of Stocker Arts Center.
Sorry you missed these great films:
Friday, August 29, 2014 - "Philomena"
Friday, October 3, 2014 - "Saving Mr. Banks"
Friday, October 10, 2014 - "August: Osage County"
Friday, October 17, 2014 - "Ida"
Help Save the LCCC Film Series
Stocker Arts Center needs a digital projector in order to keep the LCCC Film Series going since new films will no longer be distributed in 35mm format. To learn about the “Don’t Let Us Go Dark” campaign led by the LCCC Foundation, please click here.
The Stocker Box Office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 6 pm and 90 minutes prior to ticketed events, including films. You can reach the Box Office at (440) 366-4040.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE STOCKER ARTS CENTER FILM SOCIETY
The Stocker Arts Center Film Society is truly an alternative cinema, as most of these films have not played in Lorain County and are not always readily available on video. Audiences have the opportunity to sample the gourmet flavor of prize-winning foreign films as well as the exciting energy and originality of contemporary independent American and international cinema.
The LCCC Film Society's series focuses on human relationships, moral and social issues, cultural and religious diversity and universal human emotions and aspirations, including humor, disappointment and tragedy.
The first Film Series film was premiered on campus more than 40 years ago by Professor Emeritus Robert Dudash (who is still the LCCC Film Society Director!), making it the longest running non-academic activity at LCCC.