CORVALLIS - A classic, late career comedy by Charlie Chaplin and a heralded 1997 Canadian film about the aftermath of tragedy are two highlights of the spring term schedule of Oregon State University's International Film Series.
This is the 20th year that OSU has brought international or independent films to campus, and the spring term slate exemplifies the diverse nature of the offerings.
There is "Monsieur Verdoux," a 1947 film by Chaplin that transforms his tramp character into a slick and stylish lady-killer. This comic masterpiece was made as a challenge to critics who said Chaplin's late work was overly sentimental.
Then there is "The Sweet Hereafter," by Atom Egoyan, one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 1997. Egoyan was nominated for an Academy Award for the film, which deals with a town's response to a stunning tragedy without becoming maudlin.
The series often brings to campus films from other nations that American theater-goers rarely see. This spring is no exception. On tap is "Gabbeh," a spellbinding, surreal film from Iran about a nomadic young couple learning about love, life and parenthood.
If you like contemporary issues, there is "Female Perversions," a 1996 film by American director Susan Streitfeld about a young, beautiful, successful and sexually repressed female attorney, tormented by dreams and paying the price of financial independence and her success in the workplace.
And the series also offers the offbeat, like "Kerouac," director John Antonelli's 1986 tribute to Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac.
The International Film Series is sponsored by OSU's Center for the Humanities and the Department of English. All films are open to the public and cost $3. They are shown in Gilfillan Auditorium of Wilkinson Hall.
The complete spring term schedule follows: April 3-4
"In the Company of Men," by Neil LaBute (U.S., 1997) - Winner of the Filmmaker's Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, this startling critique of sexist attitudes tells the tale of two young executives who romance a vulnerable young woman, then brutally cut her loose. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Gabbeh," by Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Iran, 1997) - A surrealist look at a nomadic young couple working out their lives together, facing parenthood and enduring the travails of life on the move. The film is notable for its contrast of mundane content and dreamy style. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Fast, Cheap and Out of Control," by Errol Morris (U.S., 1997) - From the acclaimed director of "The Thin Blue Line," this strange comic picture tells of four obsessive men: a lion tamer, a topiary gardener, an expert on mole rats and an MIT scientist who makes robot insects. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Female Perversions," by Susan Streitfeld (U.S., 1996) - A young, beautiful, successful and sexually repressed female attorney is tormented by erotic and deeply neurotic dreams that suggest the price of financial independence and workplace success for women in America. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m.
"The Sweet Hereafter," by Atom Egoyan (Canada, 1997) - This acclaimed film earned an Academy Award nomination for director Egoyan in this tale about the response by a small Canadian town to a truly stunning tragedy. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Kerouac," by John Antonelli (U.S., 1986) - This tribute to Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac offers a mixture of documentary footage, cleverly staged re-enactments and interviews featuring William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and others. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Rendezvous in Paris," by Eric Rohmer (France, 1996) - Three different tales of young love, mixed with nostalgia and insight, by one of France's most celebrated post-war "New Wave" filmmakers, now 75 years old. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m.
"Monsieur Verdoux," by Charles Chaplin (U.S., 1947) - Offered as a challenge to critics who said his later work was overly sentimental, this film is a black-comic masterpiece, transforming Chaplin's tramp character to a slick and stylish lady killer. Friday and Saturday, 7 and 9:30 p.m.