Campus News

Buffalo Film Seminars announces fall lineup

Scene from "Spotlight" featuring Boston Globe Spotlight reporters meeting in an office setting.

Reporters meet in a scene from "Spotlight," which won the Academy Award for Best Picture for its depiction of the Boston Globe's coverage of the child molestation scandal in the Boston Archdiocese.


Published August 6, 2018 This content is archived.


“Spotlight,” the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up in the local Catholic archdiocese, is among the films being screened in the fall 2018 edition of the Buffalo Film Seminars.

The popular, semester-long series of film screenings and discussions is hosted by UB faculty members Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson. Each session begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Aug. 28 and running through Dec. 4, in the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St. in the University Plaza, directly across the street from the South Campus.

Christian, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English, and Jackson, SUNY Distinguished Professor and James Agee Professor of American Culture in the Department of English, will introduce each film. Following a short break at the end of each film, they will lead a discussion of the film. The screenings are part of “Film Directors” (Eng 381), an undergraduate course being taught by the pair. Students enrolled in the course are admitted free; others may attend at the theater’s regular admission prices of $9.50 for adults, $8 for students and $7.25 for seniors. Season tickets are available any time at a 15-percent reduction for the cost of the remaining films.

Promotional poster for "The Big Parade," 1925.

Promotional poster for "The Big Parade," 1925.

“Goldenrod handouts” — featuring production details, anecdotes and critical comments about each week’s film — are available in the theater lobby 45 minutes before each session. The handouts also are posted online one day before the screening.

The series opens on Aug. 28 with the 1925 silent film “The Big Parade,” directed by King Vidor. The film tells the story of an idle rich boy who joins the army and is sent to France to fight in World War I. He befriends two working-class men, witnesses the horrors of trench warfare and finds love with a French girl. The screening will feature electronic piano accompaniment by Philip Carli.

The remainder of the schedule, with descriptions culled from IMDb and other sources:

  • Sept. 4: “Scarface,” 1932, directed by Howard Hawks and Robert Rossen. An ambitious, violent and nearly insane gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.
  • Sept. 11: “Christopher Strong,” 1933, directed by Dorothy Arzner. Katharine Hepburn stars as a famous female flier who is drawn into a potentially disastrous affair with a member of Parliament.
Movie poster for "Laura.".

“Laura,” 1944, directed by Otto Preminger.

  • Sept. 18: “Laura,” 1944, directed by Otto Preminger. A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.
  • Sept. 25: “Bitter Rice,” 1949, directed by Giuseppe De Santis. Two criminals on the run end up working in a rice field and decide to recruit other workers for their next robbery.
  • Oct. 2: “Rashomon,” 1950, directed by Akira Kurosawa. A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.
  • Oct. 9: “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” 1964, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.
  • Oct. 16: “Mouchette,” 1967, directed by Robert Bresson. The tragic story of a 14-year-old girl living in rural France who is forced to grow up quickly due to the unfortunate circumstances that surround her.
  • Oct. 23: “Get Carter,” 1971, directed by Mike Hodges. When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.
  • Oct. 30: “The Elephant Man,” 1980, directed by David Lynch. A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there’s a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
  • Nov. 6: “Three Colors: Blue,” 1993, directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. Juliette Binoche stars as a woman who struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child.
  • Nov. 13: “Infernal Affairs,” 2002, directed by Alan Mak and Wai-Keung Lau. In this Hong Kong crime thriller, an undercover cop infiltrates a notorious crime gang, while a member of the gang has worked his way into the police department. They have the same objective: to find out who’s the mole, and who’s the cop.
Similar scenes from “Infernal Affairs,” 2002 and “The Departed,” 2006.

Similar scenes from “Infernal Affairs” and “The Departed.” Both films tell the story of undercover cops infiltrating crime gangs and moles from the gangs infiltrating the police departments.

  • Nov. 20: “The Departed,” 2006, directed by Martin Scorsese. An undercover cop and a mole in the police department attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson.
  • Nov. 27: “Spotlight,” 2015, directed by Tom McCarthy. When the Boston Globe’s tenacious “Spotlight” team delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, the reporters’ year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Winner of the Academy Awards for Best Picture and for Best Writing, Original Screenplay.
  • Dec. 4: “The Man Who Would be King,” 1975, directed by John Huston. In this adaptation of the famous short story by Rudyard Kipling, two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great. Stars Sean Connery and Michael Caine.