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DIVERSITY WORKSHOPS & EVENTS AT COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS 2018/2019
 
 
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
Friday, November 16 at 8:30 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
The Wild Child
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Based on a true story of a feral child in late 18th Century France, this docudrama by New Wave director François Truffaut is a fitting conclusion to this year’s Celebrating the Humanities theme on the meaning of being human. Grounded in 18th century rationalist optimism and framed by 20th century skepticism, the film answers the question thus: To be human is to feel emotion, to discern between what is just and unjust, and above all, to communicate with others. Uh-oh! This is sounding rather academic. What I mean is that this is a movie about an 11-year-old boy who has all the social graces of your average kid in a Santa Clarita restaurant, and he is tutored by a rather straight-laced but kind-hearted doctor who’s part shrink and part psycholinguist but has never read Dr. Spock (We’re not talking about Star Strek here!) He also hasn’t read the new best seller The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Of course not; he’s French and more interested in the beauty of vowels, and his pupil becomes enamored of the most circular, sensual and sonorous of vowels: O. So he will be named Victor and his recompense for humanistic performance will be a glass of eau, the French word for water that happens to have the same pronunciation as the letter O!  This is Story of O without the sex.
The IFF critics have awarded this film...
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… three glasses of water and a full set of vowels: A,E,I,O,U.
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
Friday, December 7 at 6:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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Holy epistolary ramblings of the perverted kind! It’s Harvey Weinstein on the set of Cruel Intentions. It’s hard to imagine Michelle Pfeiffer as a pious ingénue, but John Malkovich is the perfect cad, and Glenn Close hasn’t been this seductive since she boiled the bunny in Fatal Attraction. No bunnies are cooked in this flick--some geese, yes--but emotions hit an icy boiling point (oxymoron intended) and feelings and egos are crushed because, as Malkovich repeats incessantly, It’s beyond [our] control! This depiction of human depravity reworks the traveler’s bromide (It’s not the destination but the journey…) as It’s not the final conquest, it’s the seduction that counts! Filled with witty barbs and aphorisms (“Like most intellectuals, he’s intensely stupid.” “Vanity and happiness are incompatible.”), this film portrays two characters who reject the feel-good definitions of humanity to demonstrate that to be human is to be egotistical, deceitful, cruel and vengeful and that our fate leads to rejection, solitude and death! That being said, this is a great movie based on an even greater novel, and it features some nifty costumes and a titillating performance by 18-year-old, pre-Kill Bill Uma Thurman as a most eager debutante!
The IFF critics have awarded this film...
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… a fluffle of bunnies and three soon-to-be-cooked geese.
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
Friday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101                
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Why, why, why … Delilah? Oops, wrong Tom Jones! Way before the Sixties, the Mods, and the Beatles’ Walrus (Boy, you’ve been a naughty girl, you let your nickers down!) loosened the corsets that the Victorians had so distressingly tightened, 18th Century English writers such as Daniel Defoe (Moll Flanders), Laurence Sterne (Tristram Shandy), and Henry Fielding wrote some cool novels referred to in literary circles as picaresque—highfalutin talk for fun and bawdy. Those were the days, my friends, and we can relive them through this Oscar-winning adaptation of Fielding’s 1749 masterpiece, Tom Jones. It’s Barry Lyndon with a felicitous ending and Love and Friendship for people who prefer actions to words. No crumpets here, but plenty of other delights! How can you dislike a movie that states that It is hard when a woman leaves a man with nothing more than memories and a muff?  This flick gets special mention in the IFF pantheon for best crustacean and mollusk eating scene in cinematic history. A rare distinction, indeed!
The IFF critics have awarded this film
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… a copious serving of the heretofore mentioned crustaceans and mollusks.
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
Friday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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The great 19th Century writer Gustave Flaubert aspired to pen a novel about nothing. Jane Austen unwittingly beat him to it. At first—and last—glance, this film is a perfect blend of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and the Beatles’ Abbey Road (“Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say.”) The middle glances help us understand that when all is said—or unsaid—and done—or not done---all of the fiction of the Western world tells just one story: one of egoism and will to power. I came to this realization years ago while slinging the jargon of deconstruction in grad school, but it resurfaced last Thursday when I told my students that Game of Thrones and House of Cards (Notice the parallel structures of the titles!) were one and the same. Well, Love and Friendship can join the club, as despite its title, it is devoid of those two sentiments: it’s a story about getting ahead at the expense of others, but, contrary to the Sturm und Drang tactics (Don’t worry about it, it’s a German Romanticism thing!) employed by the HBO and Netflix epics, this refined comedy of errors gets the job done by means of witty language. That’s Jane Austen for you! Who needs dragons, Nightwalkers, Russian cyber-terrorists, and assassinations when you can do the job with words, Earl Grey, and scones? This is end-of-the-century 18th, so powdered wigs and beauty spots have disappeared and, unfortunately, our English friends didn’t have the gumption to follow through on severed heads. They’ve been paying for it-–literally--ever since.
The IFF critics have awarded this film...
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… the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary and all commas contained therein.
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Conducta (Behavior), 2014
Directed by Ernesto Daranas Serrano
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“This movie was filmed with children, but it’s clearly made for adults, to make them think about matters such as education, values, ethical conflicts… We have to fight for everything that has been lost inside and outside of the classroom.”  Conducta is a thrilling movie, that manages to avoid the simplistic melodrama in which it could have fallen; It is a movie that can help us become better human beings.  More

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Loveless (Nelyubov)
Russia, 2017
Directed by Andrew Zvyagintsev
Presented by Svetlana Onthank, English Department
 
@ 6p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
Open to All-Flex Credit 
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Hosted by the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures~School of Humanities
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
Amadeus
Friday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis!  Are you confutatis? Probably, but we hope that you are not in the least maledictis. Welcome to Latin 101, a crash course in a classical language brought to you by the anarchistic branch of the Modern Languages Department. Did you know that when it came to scatological humor, wine and women, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was just like the rest of us? He laughed at bodily function jokes, but when it came to the song part, he wasn’t like us at all; he was an unparalleled prodigy. That’s because he was Amadeus (loved by God) whereas most of us are just Fred, Jenny and Salieri---tolerated by God. And that’s what this Academy-Award winning film (8 Oscars) by the great Czech director Milos Forman is all about: How do you deal with your own mediocrity when confronted with genius? You either accept it and order another shot of Tequila or go crazy. Our opening line is from Mozart’s unfinished Requiem, a mass, and just like that masterpiece, our rather pedestrian introduction will remain…
The IFF critics have awarded this film…
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… three Mozart-Kugeln and two trays of Venus Nipples.
(Don’t go Janet-Jackson-wardrobe-malfunction-postal on me; they are German and Italian candies!)
(PS And if you’re Austrian, don’t give me any guff: Mozart-Kugeln are Austrian AND German!) Alles klar?
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Celebrating the Humanities and the
Dept. of Modern Languages Film Series present:
The Brotherhood of the Wolf
Wednesday, October 24 at 6:00 pm in Hasley Hall 101
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To be human is to value… the unknown, and while this film is unknown to most American audiences, it has the distinction of being the greatest French, 18th Century-based, erotico-horror, martial arts, historical suspense flick featuring a kung fu-practicing, bordello-frequenting scientist, a ninja Cherokee, and an Italian brothel goddess. And you guessed it: the next sentence will claim that it’s the only film of its genre. And you’ve never seen anything like it: a struggle between ignorance and knowledge, obscurantism and rationalism, bestiality and humanism, Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci, monsters and wolves where the wolves are the good guys who will neither devour your grandma nor blow your house down.  Based on a legend that turned out to be true. It’s almost Halloween and Día de los Muertos; it’s time for a little intellectual horror of the European sort.
 
The IFF critics have awarded this film…
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… a tomahawk, a pack of wolves and a pack of Camels.
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You are invited!
 
Oct 25-Nov 1
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If you want to bring your class before Oct 25th, you may! 
(Just send an email to C.Acosta or L. Pozo)
 
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
Barry Lyndon
Friday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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While this movie has its detractors (It was a box office failure—except in France!), it is a masterpiece by one of the world’s great directors, Stanley Kubrick (Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut). It is the ultimate 18th Century film, highlighting the conflict between passion and reason, and overflowing with powdered wigs, beauty spots and, yes, severed heads, fifteen to be precise—and twenty years before the French Revolution! Think of it as a walk through the Louvre (minus the tourists) inspired by English art and fashion of the period, punctuated by cello-driven music from Vivaldi, Handel and Schubert, and filmed with special lenses made for NASA. Aesthetically, it is one of the most beautiful films of all time.  One could see it as much ado about nothing and yet, as noted by film critic Michel Ciment, it is the totality of life presented in three hours. You read that right: three hours. That’s the price you have to pay for enlightened entertainment—a deal by any measure. There will be a total of four duels and an intermission.
 
The IFF critics have awarded this film…
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… a set of dueling pistols, an eyepatch, an Irish jig, and a bored English housewife.
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
La Nuit de Varennes
Friday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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How’s that for a powdered wig? Imagine a cross between My Dinner with André and Stagecoach where the passengers are a world-famous but decrepit lady’s man, a loquacious pornographer, an American revolutionary, a German countess, a dull businessman, a plump Italian opera singer, a yappy dog, a randy widow, an effeminate valet, a wild-eyed whippersnapper, a slave girl and, in their conspicuous absence, the king and queen of France. And we’re off on an 18th Century road trip that will change the history of France and the world. The entire enterprise framed in nostalgia and wit. The aphorisms flow thicker than the syrup in the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.  (Bet you’ve never heard of that one!) A sample: You always get punished in places where you sinned (Syphilis and gout, anyone?). Or the sublime: Youth is a bad habit that you soon get over!  You get a lesson in rhetoric, history and seduction all in one. And then, there’s Marcello Mastroianni as Casanova. If you don’t know who he is, the time has come for you to find out! 1003!!
 The IFF critics have awarded this film…
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… Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, Casanova’s Memoirs, Restif de la Bretonne’s
The Perverted Peasant, and one of Marie Antoinette’s ladies in waiting.
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IFF//International Film Festival//Fall 2018
Powdered Wigs, Beauty Spots and Severed Heads:
Cinema and the Enlightenment
Marie Antoinette
Friday, September 14 at 6:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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Let’s get one thing straight. What she said upon awakening from a night of opium smoking and frolicking with her Swedish paramour was: “Pastel-colored Twinkies, Air Jordans, and iPhone Xs for all!” But some dweeb who wasn’t even there retweeted it as “Let them eat cake!” and the rest is, well, history. She also made somewhat flippant pronouncements like, “I’m pretty in pink,” (Aren’t we all?) and “I want candy.”  (Don’t we all?). But then, she hit the nail on the proverbial head when she blurted out “It must be something in the oysters!” Oh, yes! And the entire production crew must have been shucking oysters while making this film, as it is as briny, unctuous and delectable as any mollusk you can imagine.  Director Sofia Coppola has taken some anachronistic yet lovely liberties with the aesthetics of this film, but she has given us a nuanced portrayal of a fascinating historical figure. And despite all linguistic odds, Kirsten Dunst delivers a sly, regal performance. I’ll have cake—or oysters—with her any time! One more thing. This film carries the following rating: PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and innuendo. I’m not making this up. Three cheers for innuendo!
The IFF critics have awarded this film...
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… two rose and three pistachio macarons from Ladurée, a pair of limited-edition Louboutins, and the French National Razor waiting in the wings.

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IFF//International Film Festival//Spring 2018
Crossing Borders: Contemporary Mexican Cinema
Amores perros
Friday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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To give this great Mexican film an Italian spin, let’s call it Three Characters and Their Canines in Search of an Accident. Perhaps Dante would be more accurate than Pirandello: Welcome to the Inferno! Abandon all hope, ye who enter here! Finally, director Alejandro González Iñárritu simply calls his movie “a two-hour scream.” And that it is! It’s also a tale of Cain and Abel, ill-gotten pesos and misplaced love. And then, there’s a passel of dogs, as they might say in Texas: Flor, Frijól, Gringuito, Richie, and Cofi/Negro—the latter worthy of an Oscar. To use one of my favorite archaic expressions, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a dog in this flick! PETA people, cuidado, these are not your lovable, take-them-home-to-the-kids sort of man’s best friend—they’re the kind you’d like to let loose on Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. In any case, no animals were harmed in any way in the making of this film nor in the writing of this review. It’s a dog eat dog world, but this film is simply the best Mexican film of the past twenty years—nada más.
 The IFF critics have awarded this film….
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…bundles of pesos and the above-mentioned passel of rottweilers.
 
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IFF//International Film Festival//Spring 2018
Crossing Borders: Contemporary Mexican Cinema
Cinco días sin Nora
Friday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101   
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Yours truly has spent 23,542 days without Nora; you’ll have to settle for 5, but it will be a most pleasant absence. In her feature film debut, Mexican director Mariana Chenillo has crafted an award-winning gem (7 Ariels, the Mexican Oscars) that critics have labelled “a Jewish suicide comedy!” And it is, but above all, it is a bittersweet meditation on family relations, religion, the past, memory, and love. The title of this film in English is Nora’s Will, but Nora does not need LegalZoom to impose her will from the edge of her elusive grave by orchestrating a family reunion for a Passover Seder. Bring on the food; and don’t skimp on the ice!
 
 
The IFF critics have awarded this film...

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… two pair of binoculars, a religiously incorrect ham and sausage pizza, and a picture of your significant other that you’d rather not see.


 

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IFF//International Film Festival//Spring 2018

 

Crossing Borders: Contemporary Mexican Cinema
Herod’s Law
Friday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101

 

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Herod’s Law as eloquently applied in this biting and controversial satire of Mexico’s enigmatically named Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and of political corruption in general, cannot be presented here verbatim as it uses a much-loved Mexican expression that is not suitable for audiences who have not yet drained their first bottle of Tequila. In brief, it says: Do it to others before they do it to you. So, we have a janitor, armed with an easily-amended copy of the Mexican constitution and a pistol, who becomes mayor of a backwater and devotes his energy to applying the modernity and social justice motto of his party by means of extortion, prostitution and murder. In keeping with the biblical Herod, there’s a brothel full of Salomés and a severed head; a good time is not had by all, but the Romans and the Philistines win. And if you think that this is all phantasmagoric, let me introduce you to the new world order of presidents-for-life Xi and Putin.


 

The IFF critics have awarded this film...

 

 

 

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… three Partido Revolucionario Institucional lapel pins.
 
This film has been awarded the IFF critics’ rarely-granted Award for Best Accelerated Bordello Scene.


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IFF//International Film Festival//Spring 2018
Crossing Borders: Contemporary Mexican Cinema
Babel
Friday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. in Hasley Hall 101
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 Neither a language-learning app nor a collapsing tower of hubris, Babel is the ever-relevant story of a bullet that ricochets around the world from Tokyo to Ouarzazate and back to Tokyo by way of Tijuana. Where in tarnation is Ouarzazate you might ask? It’s north of Timbuktu, south of Bodø, and east of Ashtabula. In any case, this is the third installment of director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Death Trilogy--which also includes Amores perros and 21 Grams--and it garnered him the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. It tells four interlocking stories of four families seperated by linguistic and cultural borders and it tells them in in English, Arabic, Spanish, Tamazight, French, Japanese and Japanese Sign Language! And yet, when all is not said and done what we’ve got here, as the prison warden says to Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke, is failure to communicate. As for tarnation, you can’t get there from here.
 
The IFF critics have awarded this film…

 

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a .270 Winchester rifle, one bullet, and a bottle of Don Julio tequila.

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The Department of Modern Languages presents…

IFF//International Film Festival//Spring 2018

Crossing Borders
Contemporary Mexican Cinema

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In an “Anatomy of a Scene” video posted recently on the New York Times digital site, Guillermo del Toro says of his new film “The Shape of Water” (nominated for thirteen Academy Awards): It is a marriage of the ordinary and the extraordinary—a Mexican vocation. While this quote could easily be applied to many art forms—a more down-to-earth incarnation of the grotesque/sublime dichotomy espoused by the Romantics--it does seem particularly apt when applied to Mexican cinema. First, we need to be reminded that this cinema has been around for a long time. It had its Golden Age in the thirties, forties and fifties with huge stars such as María Félix, Pedro Infante, Dolores del Rio and Cantinas. But unfortunately, it almost disappeared due not to lack of talent, but to the development of television, changes in the film industry and difficulties with financing and distribution. And then, a little over twenty years ago, a group of young, super-talented directors and actors helped revive a glorious tradition and, what’s more, crossed the Mexican borders and spread their art throughout the world. You know many of them, as they are now as familiar to American audiences as Brad and Angelina: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman and The Revenant), the above-mentioned Guillermo del Toro, Salma Hayek, Gael García Bernal, and many more. It’s time to revisit their Spanish-language films.
So let’s embrace Ronald Reagan’s imperative—Open this gate …tear down this wall!--cross illusory boundaries and head for our every-other Friday night screenings at COC’s very own El Capitán, Hasley 101. ¡Ándale! Please open attachment for film schedule.