Thursday, September 22, 2005
The screen at Centennial Hall has been blank for more than a year while the Steamboat Springs Arts Council worked to determine the future direction of the popular Free Friday Film Series.
Tonight, the series returns with foreign films chosen around the theme of childhood. Films will be shown every Friday through Oct. 14.
These are not children's films. Instead, they are director's looks at children and the struggles childhood.
"Childhood is such a rich topic," series organizer Dori Weiss said. "I like to choose a thematic link when I'm presenting a film series because it allows us to focus our discussion and our thinking. It affords me the opportunity to guide the audience to look for certain elements that might deepen their viewing experience."
Each film presents childhood differently from the approach usually taken by American films, Weiss said. "(Childhood) is an extraordinary way for a culture of a country to open up to us, but for Americans, it can sometimes be a harsh experience. These are not the idyllic childhoods as we envision them."
The series begins with a screening of "My Life as a Dog," a Swedish film directed by Lasse Hallstrm. It tells the story of Ingemar, an intelligent 12-year-old, as he tries to understand "life, death and mom" in 1950s Sweden.
"This is the film that Lasse Hallstrm compares all his other films to," Weiss said. Hallstrm's other films include "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "Cider House Rules" and "The Shipping News."
The four-week film series closes with "Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids," a documentary shot in India about the lives of child prostitutes.
The format for this season's Free Friday Film Series is a bit different than prior years. Each viewing will include an introduction by Weiss and Mike Martin. After the film ends, instead of the wine and cheese reception held in past years, the post-film discussion will be reconvened in the loft at the Cantina Mexican Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue. Attendees will be responsible for their own beverage and food costs.