Local professors screen some of their favorites at the Magic Lantern Theatre
by Lucas Thayer
Between Netflix, YouTube and Video on Demand, students have no shortage of media sources these days. But how much of it is actually good? Enter The Professor Film Series, a selection of movies hand-picked by local professors for quality, obscurity and even randomness, that are set to screen at the Magic Lantern Theatre (25 W. Main Ave.) in the following months.
The films selected are an eclectic mix, including films from the black and white era and more modern fare from recent generations.
“The Tree of Life,” (2011) directed by Terrence Malick, was screened two weeks ago, chosen by David Calhoun, associate professor of Philosophy at Gonzaga University, and Gonzaga philosophy lecturer Dan Bradley as part of the Faith, Philosophy and Film Series. It is an intimate tale told in three parts, about a man’s path to reconcile with his father after the death of his brother.
Here are the movies that will be shown for the remainder of the series:
Winged Migration: Oct. 10, 7 p.m.
This 2001 documentary, directed by Jaques Perrin, follows the yearly migratory patterns of geese, ducks and eagles across all seven continents. The film features footage mainly taken alongside the birds in flight through the use of hot air balloons, motorboats, and robotic drones. The result? Breathtaking vistas and panoramic views of countries across the world. “Migration” is a followup to Perrin’s 1996 documentary “Microcosmos,” which used incredibly small cameras to capture the private lives of insects.
Vertigo: Oct. 24, 7 p.m.
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic psycho-thriller was chosen by Nathan Weinbender of Movies 101 and The Spokesman Review. John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart) is a troubled ex-cop-turned-detective with a crippling fear of heights. After taking a job to follow a friend’s “possessed” wife (the young Kim Novak), things become complicated when she commits suicide, only to reappear in Scottie’s life weeks later. A brief synopsis cannot do Hitchcock’s masterpiece justice, although after seeing the film, it will be clear why “Vertigo” has been rated as “The Best Film of All Time” in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll.
Sullivan’s Travels: Nov. 14th, 7 p.m.
This 1941 film follows the story of a film director who wants to make a serious documentary about the plight of human suffering, and hits the road as a hobo. His journey through the commercial land of Hollywood leads him through the truly surreal world of movies. Whitworth professor of English Leonard Oakland chose the film and said the selection was made in honor of the 100th anniversary of Paramount Pictures. “Sullivan’s Travels” is the second film by Preston Sturges, one of the great satirists of his generation.
The Royal Tenenbaums: Nov. 28, 7 p.m.
Gonzaga assistant professor of English Jessica Maucione is hosting this 2001 film that tells the story of a dysfunctional family filled with child prodigies. The family, long estranged, reunites upon learning of their father’s terminal illness and help each other move beyond their hang-ups and finally become adults. “Tenenbaums” is directed by Wes Anderson (“Rushmore,” “Moonrise Kingdom”), who has become known for his quirky stories and themes of adolescence.
Contact Lucas Thayer firstname.lastname@example.org