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International film series offers free Friday films

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jan 11, 2018

Four highly acclaimed international films released in 2016 will be presented for free at 7 p.m. on Fridays by the Center for International Education. The Spring Semester films are: “Neruda” Feb. 2, “The Handmaiden” March 2, “The Salesman” April 6 and “Nocturama” May 4. Films are shown in Room C105.

Feb. 2: “Neruda,” a 2016 film from Chile set in the 1940s. Pablo Neruda is a seductive poet and committed communist, but an impassioned senate speech backfires, leaving him on the run from political authorities. While hounding his quarry, a dapper inspector increasingly worries he may be turning into a mere literary device: is a man truly his own author? Director Pablo Larrain (“Tony Montero,” “No”) continues his studies of history, ideology and fiction, resulting in an absorbing, enigmatic chase film. The Village Voice wrote: “Identities are always slightly unfixed in Neruda … [it] reaches dizzying, exhilarating velocity by flouting the conventions of its hidebound genre.”

March 2: “The Handmaiden” (South Korea, 2016). Plot summaries are the enemy of this twisty delight, which offers the addictive pleasures of a best-selling page-turner, the handsome period trappings of an Asian “Downton Abbey” and an exploration of sexual imagery as intelligent as it is intense. A wealthy, bedridden heiress finds herself seduced by two new arrivals: a handsome count and an attentive female servant. But who is working for whom, and will the heart’s desires defeat the love of money? The AV Club wrote: “‘The Handmaiden’ is a fiendishly clever, sinfully funny con-job melodrama … and quite improbably, the year’s most genuinely romantic movie.”

April 6: “The Salesman” (Iran, 2016). Writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s latest film won him a second Foreign Language Oscar in five years. A married couple are about to star in a small production of “Death of a Salesman” when the wife is shockingly attacked in their Tehran apartment. But the husband’s pursuit of justice, and the group’s adaption of Arthur Miller, are both frustrated by Iranian social repression. The New York Times wrote: “With exquisite patience and attention to detail, [The Salesman] builds a solid and suspenseful plot … and packs it with rich and resonant ideas.”

May 4: “Nocturama” (France, 2016). After pulling off a series of terrorist attacks throughout Paris, a group of teens and twenty-somethings hide out overnight in an upscale department store. Inside they are gradually beset by the forces of consumerism, ghosts and their own consciences. Equal parts “Dawn of the Dead,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Breakfast Club,” this sumptuous provocation was controversial in France. As its director was writing the script in 2015, the Charlie Hebdo massacre occurred, and the film was released soon after the Bataclan attack. “‘Nocturama’ is at once damnable and debonair. It seduces as it repels,” wrote The New Yorker.

Warning: films have adult content, are not suitable for children and are subtitled when necessary. The films will be shown at the Grayslake Campus, 19351 W. Washington St. in Room C105. Films have subtitles when necessary, include adult content and are not suitable for children.

For more information, contact Chris Cooling, CLC film instructor, at (847) 543-2623 or Or visit the series’ Facebook page at