The Class< br/> Thursday, Sept. 2< br/> 7:30 10 12:30< br/>< br/> This 2008 French flick won the the Palme d’Or, the highest prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. It is based on a novel by author François Bégaudeau, who also stars in the film as a language and literature teacher in Paris, mirroring Bégaudeau’s actual teaching experiences. The camera never leaves the school as it covers the entire academic year, focusing on the lives of the students only when in class. Bégaudeau faces difficulties in teaching his racially mixed Parisian students, many of whom come from tough backgrounds. Well-received by critics, the film ended up making five times its budget at the box office in France.
How to Train Your Dragon< br/> Friday, Sept. 3< br/> 8 10 12< br/>< br/> This fantasy tale about a boy, his dragon, and their adventures has grossed nearly a half a billion dollars at the box office. Hiccup, the son of a Viking chieftain, desperately wants to become a dragon slayer like so many of his fellow Vikings, but his small stature and physical weakness make him the butt of many jokes. Relying on his brain rather than brawn (sound familiar, Carnegie Mellon students?) he manages to knock a dragon unconscious, but instead of killing it he befriends it. Fun fact: Distributor Paramount Pictures was accused of bullying theater owners in trying to coerce them to screen this film, rather than competing ones, in 3-D.
Princess Bride < br/> Saturday, Sept. 4< br/> 8 10 12< br/>< br/> The Princess Bride is every type of awesome packed into 98 fun-filled minutes. Cary Elwes plays Westley, a servant boy turned hero who only wishes to live with his one true love, Buttercup. Told in a narrative style to preserve the book the film is based on, The Princess Bride is a fantastic tale. It’s funny, it’s romantic, it has splendid action, and it is one of the most quotable movies I’ve ever seen. To borrow from one of those lines, “I am an honest man; lies do not become me.” I’m not lying about this movie. Go see it and thank me later.
The Machinist< br/> Sunday, Sept. 5< br/> 8 10 12< br/>< br/> I must preface any description of this movie with the fact that Christian Bale is a deeply committed actor. In The Machinist, he plays Trevor Reznik, a machine worker at a factory who has had chronic insomnia for a year. A series of disturbing events begins to occur and eventually haunts him. Due to his insomnia, Trevor loses weight to the point of being severely emaciated. As the story begins to unravel, he uncovers a terrible secret about his own life. Fun fact: Bale literally starved himself to achieve his look in the film, going from 180 pounds to 120 pounds in a matter of four months by having just one cup of coffee and an apple each day.