Lawrence Hosts the Independent Film Series

Naveed Islam

The new Cinema at the Warch Campus Center has been busy this term. Along with faculty and student groups sponsoring film screenings, there is the ongoing Movies at Midnight on Fridays and the Independent Film Series that plays regularly on Wednesdays. “We wanted to have a recurring series that had documentaries, foreign films and independents,” says Marianne Griffin, “so that people knew that there were movies going on here all the time.”
Marianne chose the films that will be shown at the Cinema as a part of this film with options from Sundance and the Wisconsin Film Festival. “I picked them all just to get it going on schedule,” she says, “We’re hoping that students will start giving their input from the next two terms onward or even completely take it over.” The Cinema is a great resource on campus for students but also for the people in the Appleton community, “I think these films expand your horizons. There isn’t any venue in Appleton or in the Fox Cities area. If you wanted to see these films you would have to drive down to Madisson or Mulwaukee.” Marianne picked movies that were very recent in order to give audiences a good taste of the kind of independent films that are out there.
The series kicked off on Sept. 16 with the critically acclaimed documentary, “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” about a Canadian heavy-metal band and their lives on the road. The film was directed by Sacha Gervasi and featured interviews from music legends Slash, former guitarist of Guns N’ Roses and Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich. “The Garden,” a nominee for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s 81st Academy Awards, was shown on Sept. 23. The film told the story of a group of farmers who worked at the South Central Community Garden only to see it sold to a private contractor and bulldozed.
“Afghan Star,” screened on Sept. 30, follows four contestants in an American Idol-style singing competition in Afghanistan. The film explores the tensions within a country that has its roots set in Islamic fundamentalism but growing into a free and modern nation. “Sunshine Cleaning” which was shown on Oct. 7, stars Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee Amy Adams, as a single mother who starts an unusual business – crime scene cleanup – with her sister in order to send her son to an expensive private school. The following films will be shown at the Cinema in the coming weeks:

10/21 FLOW: For Love of Water (2008): Independent Documentary; Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century-The World Water Crisis.

10/28 Sin Nombre (2009): Independent Foreign; Honduran teenager Sayra reunites with her father, an opportunity for her to potentially realize her dream of a life in the U.S. Moving to Mexico is the first step in a feateful journey of unexpected events.

11/4 Paper Heart (2009): Independent; Charlyne Yi embarks on a quest across America to make a documentary about the one subject she doesn’t fully understand: Love.

11/11 Bottle Shock (2008): Independent; The story of the early days of California wine making featuring the now infamous, blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as “Judgment of Paris”.

11/18 Cidade dos Homens “City of Men” (2007): Independent Foreign; Best friends Acerola and Laranjinha discover things about their missing fathers’ pasts which will shatter their solid friendship in the middle of a war between rival drug gangs from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.