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IPRH launches fall film series on films


Sharita Forrest, News Editor

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — “Disciplinarity – Films on Film” is the theme for the fall film series sponsored by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.

The series will begin Thursday (Sept. 11) with a screening of “8 ½.” The 1963 film by director Federico Fellini is the story of a successful director, played by Marcello Mastroianni, who finds himself personally and artistically drained as he contemplates a follow-up project to his most recent hit film. The character’s dilemmas – reconciling fantasy and reality, commerce and art – animate Fellini’s semi-autobiographical masterpiece about finding meaning in the circus of life.

The films – free and open to the public – will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 62 of Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign.

The rest of the fall series:

• Oct. 9, “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” 1991, directed by Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper with commentary by Francis Ford Coppola, John Milius, George Lucas, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall and Frederic Forrest. Using behind-the-scenes footage, including some secretly shot by Coppola’s wife, Eleanor, and new interviews with the actors, writers and Coppola, the documentary chronicles the costly and arduous process of the making of Coppola’s 1979 epic film, “Apocalypse Now.”

• Oct. 30, “Ed Wood,” 1994, directed by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp, Martin Laundau, Sarah Jessica Parker and Patricia Arquette, is a portrait of Ed Wood, who once was voted “worst director of all time” for making films such as “Plan 9 From Outer Space” and “Glen or Glenda.”

• Nov. 13, “Singin’ in the Rain,” 1952, the classic from Hollywood’s Golden Age, directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly and starring Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. The sometimes-hilarious challenge of adapting to the new technology of synchronous sound serves as the backdrop for Hollywood in-jokes, a backstage romance and some of the splashiest, most memorable musical numbers ever filmed.

The IPRH film series, inaugurated in 2000, is thematically linked with the IPRH topic for each year.

“As the IPRH undertakes a yearlong examination of disciplinarity during 2008-09, the film series will take the opportunity to turn its attention to film itself, and examine the processes of filmmaking,” said Christine Catanzarite, senior associate director of IPRH and organizer of the series. “The fall semester lineup considers the art of creating film – from the pressures faced by directors both real and fictional to the growing pains of the early film industry.”

The spring schedule will take up the issue of film from the other side of the lens, examining what it means to be a member of the film audience.

For more information, visit the IPRH Web site at, or contact Catanzarite at