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Pitt-Bradford offers free film series for 60th anniversary | Local

BRADFORD, Pa. — The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will hold a free 60th Anniversary Film Series this year for the enjoyment of the Bradford and campus communities.

Each film was selected by a member of the Pitt-Bradford faculty who will introduce the film and lead a discussion following the showing. Shows are free, and light refreshments will be served. Movies will be shown on the big screen in the Bromeley Family Theater.

“We thought the university’s 60th anniversary celebration was the perfect chance to invite the campus, Bradford and surrounding communities to come the beautiful Bromeley for a thought-provoking film. We also wanted to share the talents of our faculty, who will lend their insights to what we see on the screen. We’re looking forward to some penetrating, multi-generational discussions,” said Richard Esch, president of Pitt-Bradford.

The Film Series committee noted that the films are for mature audiences. More films may be added to the series and will be announced later.

Each showing will take place at 7 p.m. with exception of the first film in the series, “The Haunting” (PG) which will be shown at 6 p.m. Oct. 14. This 1963 thriller starring Julie Harris is the first on-screen adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 book, “The Haunting of Hill House,” which also inspired the popular 2018 10-episode show of the same name on Netflix.

In 2010, filmmaker Martin Scorsese told IndieWire that he considered “The Haunting” the scariest horror movie of all time. Faculty members Matthew Hileman, adjunct professor of art history and director of the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center, and Dr. Nancy McCabe, professor of writing, will lead the discussion. This film is presented in partnership with the Marilyn Horne Museum.

On Nov. 15, Dr. Rebecca McHugh, associate professor of psychology, will introduce and lead a discussion for the 1995 movie “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” (PG-13), starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo as three New York drag queens traveling cross-country on their way to Hollywood.

On Jan. 20, 2024, Dr. David Merwine, associate professor of biology, will present the 1990 Academy Award Best Picture nominee “Awakenings” (PG-13) starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro and based on the psychologist Oliver Sacks’ 1973 memoir of the same name. Williams plays a neurologist based on Sacks who discovers the benefits of the drug L-DOPA for catatonic patients.

Dr. Drew Flanagan, assistant professor of history, will explain the broader context surrounding one of cinema’s most-beloved romances, “Casablanca” (PG), on Feb. 10, 2024. The 1942 film won Academy Awards for Outstanding Motion Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Actors Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for their roles.

While the romantic storyline is straightforward, the nuances of the political situation that is at the center of the movie can be harder to fully understand. Flanagan, whose teaching and research interests include Germany and France during World War II and African colonialism, will be on hand to explain what expats, Vichy France, Nazis and resistance have to do with why Rick and Ilsa can’t just be together.

Finally, on April 13, 2024, Dr. Julia Morgan, assistant professor of philosophy, will present the 2021 documentary “Summer of Soul” (PG-13) that celebrates Black History, culture and fashion at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969. Directed by Questlove, the film features performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, the 5th Dimension and more.

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