For Immediate Release — August 31, 2004


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516



Series Renamed to Honor Late Film Professor Alan Lutkus

GENESEO, N.Y. — The State University of New York at Geneseo has announced the fall schedule for its popular film series.

In addition, the college announced that the International Film Series has been renamed The Alan Lutkus International Film Series as a tribute to Lutkus, "whose unrelenting drive to establish a film studies program and his enthusiastic contributions to the series are a legacy long to be remembered," said Rose McEwen, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, and coordinator of the Latin American Studies Program.

Lutkus, an associate professor of English at SUNY Geneseo, died Aug. 15 after a long illness. He was 63. In 2002, the college introduced a new film studies minor, 20 years after Lutkus suggested the idea.

The fall portion of the yearlong series includes films in seven languages that explore a diverse range of themes, including gender and immigration, and various cultural and geographical regions of the world. 

All films free and open to the public.

The film series is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Latin American Studies Program, the IFS Committee and the following academic departments: anthropology, biology, communicative disorders and sciences, English, foreign languages and literatures, and psychology.

Here is a list of the films with descriptions, show times and venue.

Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) (Canada, 2001; 172 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

Based on an ancient Inuit legend, this is an epic drama with elements of dark magic, tribal intrigue, sexual rivalry, revenge, courage and reconciliation, all set in the starkly beautiful landscape of the eastern Arctic. The film was shot on location and is the first feature film made in Inuktitut, the Inuit language. It is also notable for being filmed entirely in digital video format, and then transferred to film. The outstanding production qualities of Atanarjuat (winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes) make the film’s three-hour length well worth it. In Inuktitut with English subtitles. Discussant: Duane McPherson of the biology department.

Ran (Japan, 1985; 160 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

Akira Kurosawa’s masterful adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Ran is the story of an aging warlord who decides to divide his kingdom between his three sons. The two eldest sons are quite happy, but the youngest thinks his father has gone mad and predicts that it won’t be long until the two older brothers are fighting with each other. Winner of numerous awards, including an Oscar for Best Costume Design. In Japanese with English subtitles. Discussant: Ellen Kintz of the anthropology department.

Osama (Afghanistan, 2003; 82 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

One of 2003’s most powerful films and the first feature filmed in post-Taliban Afghanistan, Osama is the poignant look at the lengths a 12-year-old girl will endure to ensure her family’s survival under the oppressive Taliban rule. Based on a true story, the film, shot in Kabul with a cast of amateur actors from that city, follows the protagonist as she disguises herself as a boy in order to work and blend into the male-dominated society without drawing suspicions. Winner of the 2003 Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe. Discussant: Rose-Marie Chierici of the anthropology department.

La Promesse (The Promise) (Belgium, France, Luxembourg, 1996; 93 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

Igor and his father, Roger, are making a decent living renting apartments to illegal immigrants and sometimes making them work illegally (among other scams). But when the building inspector pays a surprise visit and immigrant Amidou falls off a scaffold in his hurry to hide, things start to unravel, particularly when Igor makes a promise to the injured Amidou that ultimately exposes the different values of Igor and Roger, and of Amidou’s wife, Assita. Named Best Foreign Language Film by the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. In French with English subtitles. Discussant: Margaret Matlin of the psychology department.

Kamchatka (Argentina, Spain, 2002; 105 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

Marcelo Piñeyro’s marvelously touching, Oscar-nominated film of a family who hides out in a suburb of Buenos Aires while struggling to stay together in Argentina immediately after the 1976 coup d’état, when thousands of Argentineans (men and women, and even babies) "disappeared" for speaking out against the new regime. With gentle humor, Piñeyro’s film examines politically charged fears through the lens of the protagonist family’s children. In Spanish with English subtitles. Discussant: Rose McEwen of the foreign languages and literatures department.

Good-Bye Lenin (Germany, 2003; 121 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after she wakes up from a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. Since she has to avoid every excitement, the son tries to set up the GDR again for her in their flat. But the world has changed a lot. In German with English subtitles. Discussant: Ganie DeHart of the psychology department.

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (West Germany, 1974; 93 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

When an elderly white German cleaning lady and a much younger Arab immigrant fall in love and marry, they are faced with outrage and intolerance from all corners of their respective communities. An incisive look at how society attempts to enforce conformity and regulate desire, this classic by noted director Rainer Werner Fassbinder is also a miraculously charming and gentle film. In German with English subtitles. Discussant: Daniel Humphrey of the English department.

Billy Elliot (England, 2000; 111 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

If you have ever felt out of place then you will feel right at home with Billy Elliot, a working class boy secretly learning ballet while his out-of-work father thinks he’s paying for Billy to take boxing. This joyous film is a celebration to being yourself. If you have the urge to dance a few quick steps in the aisle, we’ll forgive you and probably join in. Discussant: Robert Owens of the communicative disorders and sciences department.

L’Argent de poche (Small Change) (France, 1976; 140 min.)

7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey 135)

In the picturesque French town of Thiers, several primary school children are learning some important lessons in life as the end of the school term approaches. Small Change presents the viewer with 10 boys and girls whose adventures illustrate the different stages of passage from early childhood to adolescence. Some episodes are funny, some serious, some sheer fantasy. Together they animate the notion that childhood is often perilous but also full of grace. In French with English subtitles. Discussant: Gérard Gouvernet of the foreign languages and literatures department.

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