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Cinema Series opens with a Shining double feature

The Georgia Regents University Cinema Series (formerly the Film Series) kicks off this week with a double feature celebrating the work of Stanley Kubrick. Co-chairs of the cinema series, professors Matthew Buzzell and Rick Pukis, have orchestrated more than just a name change for this year’s film screenings.

The biggest changes are the times and location of the films. For the past several years, the movies have been shown on Monday nights in University Hall room 170, which is a lecture hall. This year, Buzzell said he wanted to do something different.

“I wanted to bring the film series back to the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre where it was when I was a kid,” Buzzell explained. “My parents would take me to see foreign and classic cinema here on this campus.”

Starting this week, the films will all take place in the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, which has just has a brand new projection system and screen installed, Buzzell said, and the films will no longer be shown on Monday evenings. The new night will be Thursday.

“I think Thursday is an evening when people can breathe a sigh of relief moving into the weekend,” Buzzell said.

Also new this year, there will be an additional screening time for most of the films.

“I also wanted to add an extra screening of films when we could,” Buzzell said. “So we’ll be screening films on Thursdays at 11:20 a.m. and 7 p.m. But not for every film.”

The Cinema Series at GRU will kick off its fall program on September 19 with a double feature showcasing director Stanley Kubrick and his film “The Shining.”

“For our kick off of the series, we’re doing a Stanley Kubrick themed double feature,” Buzzell said. “We’re going to be showing the recent documentary ‘Room 237’ at 11:20 a.m. At 7 p.m. we’re going to show ‘The Shining’ and then at 9:30, we’re going to do an encore screening of ‘Room 237’.”

For those who have never heard of “Room 237,” it is a documentary about radical and diverse interpretations of the hidden meanings contained within “The Shining,” Buzzell said. He added that viewers in attendance will get to participate in a special opportunity to view both films together.

“[Room 237] also is kind-of a celebration of all things Stanley Kubrick,” Buzzell said, “So that should be very interesting to see — the unique possibility is to be able to see ‘The Shining’ and then to see this film that discusses a great number of interpretations of it.”

Over the summer Buzzell spent quite a bit of time in New York City screening independent films in order to select what he feels are the best and most relevant films to bring to Augusta, he said. Other films being shown during the fall series are: “The Act of Killing,” a documentary in which Indonesian death squad leaders are challenged to reenact their real-life mass-killings. The film was directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog; and director Jem Cohen’s “Museum Hours,” which Buzzell has endorsed as his favorite film of the year. A teleconference question-and-answer session with director Jem Cohen is tentatively scheduled following the 7 p.m. screening.

Admission for students, faculty and staff will remain free, made possible by the Office of Student Life and Engagement. Admission for the general public is also free and made possible by the support of the Westobou Festival.

The GRU Cinema Series shows films Thursdays, September 19, October 17 and November 14 at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre on GRU’s Summerville campus. Films will show at 11:20 a.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, visit gru.edu

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