"Roadside Cinema," Texas A&M International University's Spring Film Festival's trip through road movies, continues with "Central Station." The film will be shown Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. in Bullock Hall 101. The showing is free and open to the public.
"Central Station" (1998), directed by Walter Salles, takes a train ride with a letter-writer for the illiterate who helps a young boy seek his unknown father in remote Brazil. Dora the letter-writer, played by Fernanda Montenegro, works and watches humanity in Central do Brasil, the main train station in Rio de Janeiro. Recently orphaned Josué chooses Dora to help him locate his missing father because Dora is the only person in Rio Josué knows. Montenegro gives an unsentimental but exceptionally fine performance as the prickly, emotionally isolated older woman and was nominated for a 1999 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Vinicius De Oliveira, who plays 9-year old Josué, gives the role of the bitter, street-smart orphan a refreshing genuineness. Salles chose him for the part after seeing De Oliveira shining shoes in the Rio airport. The film manages to escape stereotypical presentation, and offers clear insight into the characters and, more importantly, into the Brazilian psyche.
The film is in Portuguese with English subtitles and is rated R.
After the show, 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 series creators.
The next film, "Smoke Signals," will be shown on Thursday, March 7. 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.
For more information on the "Roadside Cinema," 2002 Spring 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 visit the festival's website: http://www.tamiu.edu/~wnichols/road.htm.
University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
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