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Film series features ‘Freaks, Geeks and Othered Physiques’
Film series features ‘Freaks, Geeks and Othered Physiques’September 16, 2007SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
The Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee is sponsoring the Fall 2007 Disability Film Series “Freaks, Geeks and `Othered’ Physiques.” The film series calls into question popular culture representations of people who may not conform to the typical representation put forth by the dominant culture.
All films are screened at Watson Theater at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to all Syracuse University students and community members. These events are fully accessible with captioning, film narration and transcripts of discussions. Refreshments will be provided.
The films are as follows:
Sept. 17: “Gattaca” (1997)Vincent is one of the last “natural” babies born into a sterile, genetically-enhanced world where life expectancy and disease likelihood are ascertained at birth. Myopic and due to die at 30, he has no chance of a career in a society that now discriminates against your genes, instead of your gender, race or religion.
Oct. 1: “Dance Me to My Song” (1998)Rolf de Heer’s “Dance Me to My Song” is an extraordinary Australian work that was written by Heather Rose, who has cerebral palsy and communicates through a computer and a speaking machine. As the film opens, she’s at the mercy of a stupid and cruel care giver who neglects and insults her. Using her motorized wheelchair and her lively intelligence, she tries to figure a way out of her dilemma. In the opening shot, the heroine seems hopeless and alien. By the end, we identify more with her than with the “normals” in the story. Special presenter will be Raven James, post doctoral fellow in disability studies at SU.
Oct. 15: Selection of short documentary films about school inclusion. Special guest speaker will be Jonathan Mooney, acclaimed author of “The Short Bus” (Henry Holt & Co., 2007).
Nov. 5: “Benny and Joon” (1993)Mary Stuart Masterson stars as Joon, the mentally ill sister of Benny (Aidan Quinn), an auto mechanic who takes care of her. The quick-witted Masterson spends her days at home, painting with passion. Overprotective, Quinn actually sacrifices his life for Joon; he is too close and too concerned about her. The siblings go through housekeeper after housekeeper until a quirky character played by Johnny Depp comes along.
Nov. 26: “The Ringer” (2005)Pressured by a greedy uncle (Brian Cox) and a pile of debt, lovable loser Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) resorts to an unthinkable, contemptible, just-crazy-enough-to-work scheme. He pretends to be mentally challenged to rig the upcoming Special Olympics and bring home the gold. But when Steve’s fellow competitors get wise to the con, they inspire him to rise to the greatest challenge of all: becoming a better person. Special guest speaker will be Andrea Stafford, who has an M.A. in critical disability studies from York University
Dec. 3: “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)Meet the Hoovers, an Albuquerque clan riddled with depression, hostility and the tattered remnants of the American Dream. Despite their flakiness, they manage to pile into a VW van for a weekend trek to L.A. in order to get moppet daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) into the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. The film features Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette as the parents (he’s hoping to become a self-help authority), Alan Arkin as a grandfather all too willing to give uproariously inappropriate advice to a sullen teenage grandson (Paul Dano), and a subdued Steve Carell as a jilted gay professor on the verge of suicide.
The Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee (BCCC) is an organization made up of SU students who are working to create and support a positive climate toward disability that values individual difference in all University settings. The BCCC takes an active role in advocating for changes in University policy and practice. For more information, visit http://bccc.syr.edu.