'Roadside Cinema': A&M International's 2002 Spring Film Series Announced

If the coming of Spring is making you restless, satisfy your wanderlust by enjoying "Roadside Cinema' the Spring 2002 A&M International Film Festival. Ten films follow the open road and the stories along the way. All films will be shown at 7 p.m on Thursday evenings, in Bob Bullock Hall, room 101. The event is free and open to the public.

The Spring Film Series is as follows:

February 7, "Almost Famous" (2000), directed by Cameron Crowe. The festival's road trip begins with a young man chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine to chronicle a rock band's road tour. Writer/director Cameron Crowe says this semi-autobiographical story "is about. . .loving music." The film is rated R for language, drug content and brief nudity.

February 14, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" (1994), directed by Stephan Elliott. Our next stop is a gaudy roadside attraction that follows the travels of one transsexual and two drag queens as they trek through Australia. This amusing, outrageous comedy won an Oscar for best costume design. Rated R.

February 21, "Guantanamera" (1994), directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío. Shown in Spanish, with English subtitles, we join the journey of a casket and funeral procession from Guantanamera to Havana, Cuba. The halting progress of the casket is a subtle metaphor for Cuba under Castro. While the countryside slides past the camera, the road encourages a love story. The film is not rated.

February 28, "Central Station" (1998), directed by Walter Salles. The road trip continues by train, leaving from Central do Brasil where a letter-writer for the illiterate helps a young boy seek his unknown father in remote Brazil. Fernanda Montenegro gives an unsentimental but exceptionally fine performance as Dora, the prickly, emotionally-isolated older woman. The film is in Portuguese with English subtitles and is rated R.

March 7,"Smoke Signals" (1998), directed by Chris Eyre. Another journey triggered by death involves two Native Americans traveling from their Idaho reservation to Phoenix to retrieve a father's remains. The film offers fresh insight into the Native American experience and is rated PG-13 for some intense images.

March 21, "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" (1974), directed by Sam Peckinpah. Peckinpah, nicknamed "Bloody Sam," is known for his gory, violent and dark westerns. The journey in Bring Me the Head takes place in Mexico and involves an American piano-player, two nasty bounty hunters and of course, a head. Rated R.

March 28, "El Norte" (1983), directed by Gregory Nava. The quest to find a better life leads two Guatemalans to El Norte. Leonard Maltin calls this "a compassionate, heart-rending, unforgettable film." Rated R and shown in English and Spanish.

April 4, "Leningrad Cowboys Go America" (1989), directed by Aki Kaurismäki. Leningrad Cowboys is a dreadful band from Finland that travels to the U.S. and journeys through small-town America on the way to Mexico. It is a surreal comedy, where the dead bass player travels with the band packed in ice, and elf shoes for all. In English and Finnish, with English subtitles, it is rated PG-13.

April 11, "Airbag" (1997) directed by Juanma Bajo Ulloa. Trying to retrieve an expensive wedding ring lost during the bachelor's party leads several friends on a bizarre, amusing trip through the Spanish countryside. In Spanish with English Subtitles, this film not rated but is for mature audiences.

April 18, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998), directed by Terry Gilliam. Hunter S. Thompson's story about a trip through Nevada and a trip through the drug-impaired mind might leave one exhausted and ready to pull over at a rest stop. It features an all-star cast with Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio Del Toro as Oscar Zeta Acosta. Rated R.

After each film, there will be 15 to 30 minutes of commentary and questions and answers, led by Dr. Sean M. Chadwell, and Dr. William J. Nichols II, both assistant professors in the College of Arts and Humanities and creators of the series.

Last semester's film series, focusing on films that included some relation to food, proved quite popular with students and community members.

For more information on the "Roadside Cinema: The Spring 2002 Film Festival," contact either Drs. Chadwell or Nichols by phone, 326.2471, 326.2610, visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 418C, room 421B or email: schadwell@tamiu.edu, wnichols@tamiu.edu or visit the website: http://www.tamiu.edu/~wnichols/road.htm

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu