The College of Central Florida is excited and proud to continue its long-running International Film Festival with a safe, socially distanced format featuring classic, international films and scholar film talks. Screenings will take place at the Ocala Drive-In theater located at 4850 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, for free followed the next day with an online discussion. Each film can also be screened from the safety of one’s own home at a time of convenience via free, internet film streaming services. The Ocala Drive-in film screenings and accompanying scholar film talks on topics central to each film can be viewed on the dates and times listed below.
The first film, “Man with a Movie Camera,” will be featured on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m. with online discussion on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. hosted by Janna Jones. This 1929 Soviet film by Dziga Vertov is an early experimental documentary that depicts daily life in the Soviet Union in 1920s, but it also is full of playful and breathtaking cinematic tricks. Vertov takes full advantage of the observational powers of the film camera, for he wanted to reveal the ways in which the cinema eye can capture ordinary life. This is a silent film and has a total run time of 80 minutes. Jones, the host for the Wednesday discussion, is a professor of Creative Media and Film in the School of Communication at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. A 20th century historian, Jones’ scholarship focuses on the history of cinema-going, historic movie theaters, amateur filmmaking, public exhibition, architectural preservation, urban and suburban history, and public art.
“The Sheik,” will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. with online discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. hosted by Linda Levitt. This film features Paris-educated Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassam, who is known for providing brides for wealthy Arabs. Currently celebrating its centennial, this Hollywood silent film solidified Rudolph Valentino’s stardom and earned him the nickname “the Great Lover.” In a classic example of Orientalism in Western art, Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan (Valentino) encounters Lady Diana Mayo (Agnes Ayres), a headstrong Western woman, in the African desert and kidnaps her. He intends to seduce her, and over time she develops affection toward her captor. Despite the presence of an independent female lead, the film reflects the social norms of the 1920s, offering a romantic drama particular to its time. This film has a total run time of 86 minutes.
“Metropolis,” will be presented Tuesday, March 30, at 8 p.m. with online discussion on Wednesday, March 31, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. hosted by Mark Neumann. This German science-fiction film (Giorgio Moroder’s edition) presents a highly stylized futuristic city where a beautiful and cultured utopia exists above a bleak underworld populated by mistreated workers. When the privileged youth Freder discovers the grim scene under the city, he becomes intent on helping the workers. He befriends the rebellious teacher but this puts him at odds with his authoritative father, leading to greater conflict. This film and has a total run time of 83 minutes.
“The Night of the Living Dead,” will be presented Tuesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. with online discussion on Wednesday, April 28, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. hosted by Sezin Koehler. After Barbra and her brother Johnny are attacked by a strange, lurching man while visiting their uncle’s grave and Johnny is killed, Barbra manages to escape to a nearby farmhouse as more of these murderous flesh-eating people come out of the woods. Barbra is quickly met by Ben, a Black man who quickly takes charge of the situation and everyone’s safety as best he can, all the while they continue to be violently set upon by hordes of the undead. With an unforgettable and heartbreaking conclusion, George Romero’s seminal 1968 horror film isn’t only a terrifying story of its own right, its social commentary on race in America has continued to remain relevant in the decades since. This film has a total run time of 96 minutes.
For links to the screenings and discussion, and for a full series list and more information on the International Film Series, contact Wendy Adams at 352-873-5800, ext. 1546, or visit www.CF.edu/filmseries.