World Film Forum putting thrills on big screen downtown

November 5, 2012  

World Film Forum

Patricia Hart, director of film and video studies and professor of Spanish, will be presenter for one of three fall World Film Forum showings at the Lafayette Theater downtown. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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Three highly regarded European films will combine with the ambience of a traditional downtown theater in the coming weeks to provide a vintage cinematic excitement in Purdue's World Film Forum.

Showing free on Nov. 13, Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, all Tuesdays, the three films -- from Germany, Spain and France -- will bring the tingle of mystery and suspense to the updated Lafayette Theater, 600 Main St. in Lafayette, along with expert introduction and post-film discussion. This is the first time for the forum to use the Lafayette Theater.

Each film will have English subtitles. The forum's sponsors are the School of Languages and Cultures and the Film and Video Studies program, both in the College of Liberal Arts.

"The classic cinema feel of the remodeled Lafayette Theater and its big screen will really provide a wonderful viewing opportunity for these three timeless foreign films," says Patricia Hart, director of film and video studies and professor of Spanish.

Antonia Syson, chair of the forum committee and assistant professor of classics, notes both continuity and change from last year's forum, which connected to a conference on "Revisioning Terrorism" in the political sense.

"Our theme this year relates to a very different kind of 'terror,' with three films of mystery and suspense," Syson says. "We're thrilled that the Lafayette Theater will give even more people the chance to come and chat about some fascinating movies.

"It's not just that we all benefit from the varied perspectives from all around the world that the films themselves offer. These screenings also give us the chance to enjoy the amazing richness and diversity of the Lafayette community. We hope that people will find the informal seating arrangements around cafe tables friendly and welcoming."

For each showing, doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with free popcorn and a cash bar available. The program will begin at 7 p.m. and finish by 9:30 p.m. The films are:

* Nov. 13 (Tu) -- "M" (1931, Germany, drama, 110 minutes, English subtitles, not rated). Fritz Lang's classic suspense thriller set in Berlin, where child murderer Hans Beckert eludes capture and ignites an atmosphere of suspicion. Presenter: Fritz Cohen, professor emeritus of German. URL for movie:

* Nov. 27 (Tu) -- "The Devil's Backbone" (2001, Spain, drama/horror, 108 minutes, English subtitles, R). An orphan in Spain's civil war in 1939 finds the living more frightening than the dead. Presenter: Patricia Hart, professor of Spanish. URL for movie:

* Dec. 4 (Tu) -- "With a Friend Like Harry" (2007, France, comedy/drama/thriller, 117 minutes, English subtitles, R). A supposed friend from the past tries to help a writing career by eliminating distractions. Presenter: Clotilde Landais, visiting assistant professor. URL for movie:

More about the forum is at

"It's a great chance to see three interesting foreign films on a big screen while munching free popcorn," Hart says. "Introductions and discussions with Purdue film faculty are the icing on the cake."

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