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January 13, 2017

Classical Receptions Film Series

Every film on this list will be shown on Thursdays in RCC 320 at 7 PM.

If you have any additional questions, ask Professor Benjamin Stevens (


Winter's Bone (Granik 2010), a young woman's harrowing odyssey into adulthood--and into her family's charged history--in the hard-bitten Ozark Mountains. 

1/25:  Ex Machina (Garland 2015), a sharply lyrical depiction of the desire for artificial life, with shades of mythic Pygmalion and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


Cold Mountain (Minghella 2003), a gorgeous adaptation of Homeric homecoming to a South wracked by the Civil War and crossed by unsung American traditions.


The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Jones 2005), a grimly rollicking take on Faulkner's As I Lay Dying--and so on ancient myths of Agamemnon--in the sere landforms of the Mexican-American border. 

2/15: The Virgin Suicides (Coppola 1999), a gauzy vision of classical Greek tragedy as modern American confession, shedding unflinching light on the psychodrama of teenage suburbia. 


Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Mitchell 2001), the seminal rock opera and '80s period piece, exploring a transgender life in the shadow of the Cold War and in the light of Plato's Symposium

3/1: The Two Faces of January (Amini 2014), a sunny, sordid adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's sardonic novel, a study of American dreams of Europe unraveling as lurid personality takes hold. 

3/22: Volver (Almodóvar 2006), a sensitive and heartfelt take on the story of the Odyssey's Penelope, and so a meditation on the many things it can mean to come home. 

3/29: Eve's Bayou (Lemmons 1997), a sultry, gimlet-eyed drama of desire in conflict with obligation to family--and the subterranean practices of magic that make life bearable. 


Moonlight (Jenkins 2016), a humane and yet impossibly knowing depiction of growing up different and discovering community, with art design and performances of astonishing certainty. 

4/12: Chi-Raq (Lee 2015), a blistering transportation of Aristophanes' Lysistrata to the south side of Chicago, where pervasive gang violence and killing is met by the ultimatum of sexual abstinence. 

4/26:  Lars and the Real Girl (Gillespie 2007), a quirky, loving ode to the human capacity to love quirk, and on that basis to forget about fearing difference--with a special place for the myth of Pygmalion.

5/3: Roman Holiday (Wyler 1953), a seminal depiction of American love of Europe--at least as it appears on screen, with the sly suggestion that, like Hepburn's princess, we must all break out of our shells.