New Titles — May 4

Features

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We Need to Talk About Kevin

A mother struggles to form a loving relationship with her son despite his increasingly violent actions as he grows up.

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One-Eyed Jacks

Two criminals rob a bank. One escapes, the other is captured and sent to prison. Eventually one criminal becomes a sheriff in Monterey; the other, after having been jailed in a brutal Mexican prison for five years, comes looking for revenge and his share of the stolen gold.

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Dr. Strangelove

A satire in which the President and his military advisers struggle ineptly to avert a holocaust after a psychotic Air Force general launches a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union because he fears the Russians arepoisoning the water supply in the United States.

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Laughs Of The Decades: A History Of Comedy In Film

Comedy has always been not only one of our most popular forms of entertainment, but has also acted as a vehicle for social and cultural commentary, a reflection of the good and bad in society, and a way for individuals to diffuse the hardships of existence with an hour or so of uninhibited laughter.

The subversive nature of comedy can be traced all the way back to some of its earliest stars. Charlie Chaplain became well-known for his outspoken political views. Indeed, he paid a steep price for this, as his political views were seen by many as radical at the time, leading to his eventual exile from the U.S. Though he eventually re-entered the country to be honored at the Academy Awards in 1972, the controversy permanently damaged his relationship with the nation.

The power of comedy didn’t buckle to societal pressures. With the 60s emerged a revitalized interest in the incorporation of social and political commentary into comedic film. It became commonplace for films to incorporate sensitive social and cultural issues, using comedy to make statements about them. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, parodied the Cold War mindset of the time, pointing out the absurdity of the concept of mutually assured destruction, bringing us memorable one-liners like “No fighting in the war room!” Similarly, The Graduate commented on the rapidly changing sexual attitudes of the time, presenting sexuality in a groundbreaking and up-front manner that was considered incredibly provocative at the time.

Social and cultural subversiveness in film carried on into the 1970s, with films such as  Catch-22, which continued to communicate an anti-war message. The lampoons of satirical film extended beyond just social and cultural concepts, but to other films, with the advent of parody. Directors such as Mel Brooks helped pioneer the parody genre of film, releasing films such as Young Frankenstein.  

The premiere of Saturday Night Live in 1975 was a pivotal moment in the comedy industry, bringing the subversive ideals of comedy film to television. Simultaneously, numerous new faces entered the realm of standup comedy. Eventually, comedians such as Richard Pryor, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Steve Martin and many more who found there start in stand-up and on SNL would go on to prosper in the film industry, spawning such classics as Animal House, Harlem Nights, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, The Jerk, and numerous others.

The parody genre went on to spawn other highly influential parodies, such as the 1980 disaster film spoof, Airplane!, which is considered by many to be the quintessential, fast-paced gag and spoof-based film. As the 80s carried on, however, comedy began to evolve drastically.

The 1990s saw a continued evolution of the comedy genre, with a renewed interest in romantic comedies. Films such as When Harry Met Sally… and Sleepless in Seattle helped usher in a new wave of films which incorporated both romantic and comedic elements.

Comedy today is much different than it once was. Like any other art form, it evolves with time. 2001’s Zoolander was a fan-favorite, and developed a cult following, but its release, only weeks following the tragic attacks of 9/11, severely impacted its commercial success. In some ways, Zoolander can be seen as a bookend to an era of comedy film known as “joke-based comedy.” Films such as The Hangover and I Love You Man, pioneered a different approach to comedy, deriving humor from the journeys of characters, and plot-driven, relatable situations.

What’s in store next for this pivotal genre of entertainment? Will the new era of jokeless comedy continue define the genre? Will we get something entirely new? Only time will tell…

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Check out classic comedies at the Media and Reserve Services! Dr. Strangelove, Zoolander, and many many more are available now!

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!