What are the Oscars?

The Oscars are a behemoth. For 85 years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been awarding honors to the outstanding (mostly American, largely anglophone) films of each year, and in so doing have created a sort of canon (a strange canon, admittedly; where are Badlands, Do the Right Thing, and Paris, Texas?). Engaging critically with any canon is important not only toward understanding the biases (and potential shortcomings) of a list and its originating institution, but also toward a larger project of recognizing our cultural psyche. It’s too simple, of course, to suggest that the movies we create and experience directly reflect the “id” of our collective consciousness, but it is valuable to try and understand the ways in which its products reify the structural underpinnings of the sociocultural sphere.

In other words, how do the movies we celebrate reflect what we care about? What do this year’s films suggest are our larger concerns? Is it: anxiety about the digital sphere and the possibility of human connection therein? the persistence of white guilt and the problematics of race relations? lineage and generational tensions in how we narrate our lives? the tyranny of neoliberal capitalism, and its attendant psychosocial fatigue? all of the above? Obviously these are simplistic assessments of complex films and their themes, not to mention that there were many other films made outside of the insular Academy candidate pool, but these questions offer a starting point, if no easy answers, toward understanding our own patterns and anxieties.

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Announcing our Spring 2014 film series, Laughs of the Decades!

Hey y’all! Any comedy fans out there? Well drop on by E174, and check out our Spring 2014 film series, Laughs of the Decades! We’re journeying through decades of historic comedy, with five classic films.

Dr._StrangeloveDr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – This 1964 Stanley Kubrick classic, starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, presents a satirical view of Cold War tension and the nature of the theory of mutually assured destruction. Catch it not only for some laughs, but for a unique history lesson!

animal-houseAnimal House – Chronicling experiences that are likely familiar to those of our very own IU Hoosiers, this 1978 laugh-out-loud comedy chronicles the adventures of a misfit group of college students at Faber University’s Delta fraternity, as they evade the watchful eye of their arch enemy Dean Wormer. This all-time classic features SNL star John Belushi in one of his most memorable roles.

airplane-1980-leslie-nielsenAirplane! – This 1980 flick takes a satirical look at 1970s disaster films. Packed with slapstick gags, the film stars Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty and Leslie Nielsen as they attempt to save a flight full of endangered passengers from certain doom!

large theres something about mary blu-ray2There’s Something About Mary – Ben Stiller, Mat Dillon and Cameron Diaz star in this influential romantic comedy. Stiller plays an awkward high school student who has a run-in with misfortune at his prom. Many years later he seeks to reconnect with his date, Mary, and hilarity ensues!

TThe Big Lebowski – This cult classic follows protagonist The Dude as he’s tasked by millionaire Jeffery Lebowski to help rescue his kidnapped wife by delivering a ransom. The Dude’s friend Walter, however, has other plans, and a series of adventures play out!

 

Where!? Wells E174!

Dates and Times

Dr. Strangelove – Fri, March 7th, 7:30 PM

Animal House – Wed, March 12th, 8:00 PM

Airplane! – Fri, March 28th, 7:30 PM

There’s Something About Mary – Fri, April 4th, 7:30 PM

The Big Lebowksi – Fri, April 11th, 7:00 PM

 

Free refreshments will be provided. Hope to see you all there!