International Science Fiction Film Festival

The University of Illinois Library is excited to announce the International Science Fiction Film Series, to be held February 23rd and 25th from 7 to 10 PM in room 66 of the Main Library. Each day of this fantastic cinematic event will consist of two films, one acclaimed short, food, and discussions. Check out the schedule below!

Tuesday, February 23rd from 7-10 PM:

International Science Fiction Film Festival

Come find your new favorite science fiction film at the International Science Fiction Film Festival!

Planeta Bur
The first film of the lecture series will be the Russian feature Planeta Bur (Planet of the Storms). Released in 1962, Planeta Bur follows two Soviet spaceships on a mission to Venus. After one ship is destroyed by a meteor, the remaining two ships land and explore the planet hoping to gather information about Venusian life. The trip takes another turn as the crew of the two ships encounter beastly aliens, mysterious rocks, and unforeseen dangers. Because of its groundbreaking, and often copied visuals by Pavel Klushantsev, Planeta Bur has had a significant influence on the genre, making it the perfect film to launch our lecture series. The film will be introduced by Richard Tempest, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

International Science Fiction Film Festival

Have you ever wanted to experience someone else’s mind? Brainstorm features an all-star cast led by the incomparable Christopher Walken and Hollywood icon Natalie Wood, in her final role. A group of brilliant researchers have developed a system of recording people’s actual life experiences and thought processes with incredible detail. These events can then be experienced by others using a special device. The head researcher, played by Walken, loses control of the experiment as nefarious government agencies aim to manipulate the technology for their own agendas. This film will be presented with commentary by College of Media Professor and sci-fi effects expert Julie Turnock, whose Plastic Reality: Special Effects, Technology, and the Emergence of 1970s Blockbuster Aesthetics has just been published by Columbia University Press.

Thursday, February 25th from 7-10 PM:

International Science Fiction Film Festival

The second night of this exciting film series will delight fans of kaiju on rampages. Yongary, directed by Korean filmmaker Ki-duk Kim, begins when an atomic blast causes massive earthquakes—or so it seems. The earthquakes are revealed instead to be a new and terrifying threat that was awakened by the blast: Yongary, an amphibious monster who shakes up Seoul. Often called the Korean Godzilla, Yongary is a definite popcorn movie that is sure to delight fans of classic monster tropes and effects. The film will be presented with commentary from Robert Cagle, the cinema studies specialist for the University of Illinois Library.

International Science Fiction Film Festival

Big Man Japan
The final film of the lecture series will bring humor and subversiveness to the genre. Big Man Japan follows the life of Daisoto, who is continuing his family’s long-standing tradition of defending Tokyo from monsters. Constantly belitted, and always lamenting his family’s history, Daisoto must conquer not only the monsters at Tokyo’s door, but his own negative reputation. If you are looking for a movie that offers excitement, a contemporary twist on super-monster films, and a hefty dose of weird, this is the movie for you. This 2007 film will be introduced by Richard Leskosky, a local legend in the film community and internationally renowned expert on animation film.

The Science Fiction Film Lecture Series will take place in room 66 of the Main Library. The series will be open to UIUC faculty, staff, and students only. Refreshments will be provided during the series. Have any questions? What are your favorite international science fiction films? Tweet at us (@askundergrad) or let us on know you’re coming on Facebook (Undergraduate Library at UIUC).

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Indian Cinema at 100: Film Festival

As you’ve probably noticed, the glass display case at the entrance of the UGL has changed (if you haven’t noticed, go take a look!). Hopefully it’s caught your eye and if you’ve taken a closer look, you’ll see it’s for the Indian Film Festival.

Film Festival Display

Film Festival Display Photo attribution: Courtesy of Quetzalli Barrientos

So, what exactly is the Indian Film Festival? The Indian Film Festival is about observing 100 years of Indian cinema. The purpose is to “examine the origins, evolution, growth, and productivity”. With a showing of eight films, there is a variety for everyone. This is not your typical “Bollywood” movie. They are films that explore social issues through cinema. Issues such as arranged marriages, homosexuality, war, and other culturally dominant beliefs are shown in these films.

For a complete list of films and showing times and other information, visit the official website, Past.Present.Future: Indian Cinema at 100.

All of the films will be screening in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum. Since we are all poor and struggling college students, you should know that all the showings are free! Aside from movie showings, there will also be a few other events going on through December 1st.

The symposium will be on October 31st from 1 to 5 PM at the Coordinated Science Laboratory, which is located right on the engineering quad. This symposium will consist of distinguished professors from all over the country, and the guest of honor is Onir, the director of “I am” and “My Brother…Nikhil”. For those who are unfamiliar with Onir, he is a director, editor, producer, and philanthropist. His film, “My Brother…Nikhil” became the first mainstream Indian film to deal with the issue of AIDS and same-sex relationships.

Onir smiling on a staircase

Director Onir. Photo Courtesy of “Bollywood Hungama”

For those who cannot make the symposium, the next night, November 1st at 6:00 PM, there will be a reception with director Onir as the guest of honor. After the reception, there will be showing of his movie, “I Am.”

We encourage you to go to any movie that interests you and if you enjoy them, you might also want to attend the Corey Creekmur talk which will take place on December 9th at 8:00 PM. This talk will take place at the second floor of the Levis Faculty Center. The speaker, Corey Creekmur from the University of Iowa, will be speaking about historical Hindi colonial  films.

This film festival is a great opportunity to go out and see new films, learn more about another culture, or find out more about the issues portrayed in these films. So, grab a friend and make it a movie night!

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