The Valley Film Society


Saginaw Valley State University

2014-15 Season


September 26

In Bruges (USA/UK, 2008; McDonagh, 107 min.)

Black comedy about two English hit men sent to hide in Flemish medieval town after a failed crime. The two disparate men are of different character and goals. Their lively interplay, and several side plots, make for an interesting entertainment. Fine scenery of medieval town. Maltin gives it ***.

October 10

The Dinner Game (France, 1998; Veber, 81 min.)

For sport Pierre & friends each invite the stupidest man they know to their dinner in a competition to find the most stupid. When Pierre calls on his choice before dinner, he is injured, so must be tended by the stupidest man he knows–with hilarious consequences.

Compulsion (USA, 1959; Fleischer, 99 min.)

Film version of 1920's Chicago Leopold-Loeb thrill murder case, starring Orson Welles. Good characterizations, period decor, and well-edited courtroom scenes. Cast also includes E. G. Marshall, Dean Stockwell, Bradford Dillman, and Diane Varsi.

October 24

The King of Masks (China, 1997; Wu, 101 min.)

In the 1930's an aging street performer has no heir whom he can train to carry on his ancient tradition, so he buys a child on the black market–who is sold as a boy, but turns out to be a girl! Simple, eloquent, and moving.

October 31

Cyrus (USA, 2010; Duplass, 91 min.)

Comedy/drama about a middle-aged divorcé who meets the woman of his dreams, with whom he has instant good chemistry–until he meets her son, who will not let go of Mama. The boy/man is determined to sabotage her new-found relationship.

I’m So Excited (Spain, 2013; Almodóvar, 90 min.)

A flight to Mexico City is in danger, so the flight crew try to make passengers as happy as possible under this circumstance. Hint: it involves body and soul.

November 14

Delicacy (France, 2011; Foenkinos, 108 min.)

A French widow mourning over the death of her husband three years prior is courted by a Swedish co-worker. Audrey Tautou stars.

November 21

The Man Who Knew Too Little (USA, 1997; Amiel, 94 min.)

A dolt, while visiting his brother in England, inadvertently walks into a complex espionage scheme, while thinking that he signed up for an “interactive theater experience."


January 16

The Heineken Kidnaping (Netherlands, 2011; Treurniet, 127 min.)

A bold amateur kidnaping goes wildly awry in this fictionalized account of the 1983 abduction of beer magnate Freddy Heineken. This crime would become one of the Netherlands’s most notorious. Rutger Hauer stars.

January 23

Quartet (UK, 1948; 120 min.)

Four of Somerset Maugham’s short stories, each introduced by the author and each with a different cast & director: The Facts of Life, Alien Corn, The Kite, The Colonel’s Lady. The stories are varied in their plots, and their cinematic realizations are varied too. See IMDB for further details about each short story.

February 6

Paradise Road (USA/Australia, 1997; Beresford, 115 min.)

Based on factual account of group of women held prisoner by the Japanese during WWII. They form a chorus to create beautiful harmony amidst their misery. Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Kate Blachette.

February 20

London Boulevard (USA/UK, 2010; Monahan, 103 min.)

An ex-con tries to go straight by becoming a guard for a reclusive actress, but this is not acceptable to a crime boss in London. Other lines in the tale are our hero’s need to protect his disabled sister and his desire for revenge on criminal youths who attacked his friend.

March 20

Barbara (Germany, 2012; Petzold, 105 min.)

A woman M.D. in 1980s East Germany is banished from East Berlin to a small town because of a political error. Unhappy & fearful of her colleagues as possible Stasi agents, she is aloof from her colleagues, awaiting the time to defect with lover. An award-winning film.

March 27

The Blue Kite (China, 1993; Tian, 140 min.)

Saga of the life of a working-class Chinese family during the tumultuous 1950s and 1960s seen from the viewpoint of a child. Horrible tale of political repression. A condemnation of China’s communist political system. For a while filming was halted for “political incorrectness”.

April 17

La Dolce Vita (Italy, 1960; Fellini, 175 min.)

All-star international cast in this Fellini film depicts, by a series of episodes, one week in the life of a tabloid reporter who covers Rome’s shallow high society. He sees his life as worthless, but cannot change. A film classic.

April 24

Spider Forest (S. Korea, 2004; Song, 112 min.)

A recently widowed TV producer is drawn to an isolated cabin in a mysterious woods. There he finds that a hideous crime has occurred. He then encounters the killer and a surrealistic sequence of events follows.

May 8

The Gods Must Be Crazy (Botswana, 1980; Uys, 108 min.)

Offbeat farce about culture clashes in Africa involving a bushman (who has never encountered civilization before), a schoolteacher, a bumbling scientist, a despotic revolutionary on the lam.

May 22

Film selection meeting.

The purpose of this meeting is to allow the membership to nominate films for the next season. Anyone who joins the VFS for next season may nominate films either at this meeting or by mail. To be held in Curtiss 100, where our screenings are held.

All screenings will be held in room Curtiss 100 (which is across Groening Commons from the Performing Arts Center) at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays.