Films from Abroad

UW-Eau Claire’s International Film Society has four fine foreign films for us

Laura Lash |

Each fall and spring semester at UW-Eau Claire, the University Activities Committee and the International Film Society collaborate to create a diverse film series for the on-campus Woodland Theater. I’m honored to be a Community Member of the UWEC International Film Society. As a group, we met, talked films, shared titles and synopses of 50-plus favorites from all over the spectrum and deduced what four foreign films should show as part of the dozen chosen for this spring. The Woodland Theatre screens films from all genres, countries and years of distribution. Our goal is to share worthwhile films that will enhance your appreciation of the cinematic arts. Here is the allure of each of our coming attractions.

A Winter Journey Feb. 6-8 • Russia • 2013 • Directed by Sergei Taramaev,  Lubov Lvova • A Winter Journey gives us a glimpse into the life of Erik, a male opera singer who is preparing for competition with Franz Schubert’s piece “Winterreise” (“A Winter Journey”). His world is twinged when he encounters Lekha, a rogue bully of a man. Scuttling adventures ensue, with a crisp, frozen landscape as backdrop for their chaste tryst. This film gives us a glimpse of current LGBT street politics within the Russian community.

The Salt of the Earth April 24-26 • France/Brazil/Italy • 2014 • Directed by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders • Four decades have passed since Sebastião Salgado began photographing cultures, conflict and our shared history with crisp images. This film turns the lens on this humanitarian as he imparts his empathy onto a new subject: isolated territories and natural products of the Earth. Frame within frame, this newly Oscar-nominated documentary offers travel, insight, and compassion for all the elements of our planet.

Memories of Murder Feb. 20-22 • South Korea • 2003 • Directed by Bong Joon-ho • Based on the real-life investigation into a serial killer of during late ’80s, Memories of Murder portrays two detectives fraught with entanglement of the crimes. With intimate close-ups of each characters’ emotional conflagration, coupled with noir-ish weather and sound to cloak each scene, you will come to understand why this became South Korea’s most watched film of 2003.

The Amazing Catfish May 8-10 • Mexico/France • 2014 • Directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce • Two women meet in hospital, and the orphaned one – a woman with no living family – gets drawn into the life of the matriarchal main character, a woman living with AIDS. Their yellow VW Beetle – a bright spot – brings them to carefree vacationing times. A family portrait of illness and caregiving, with lighter moments of humor, The Amazing Catfish explores what it means to be adopted into someone’s family and lifestyle.