HFS is “Going Nuclear” for 2018-2019 screenings

By Allison McCausland

A&E and Online Editor

The Historical Film Series is back in full throttle this semester with its first film being 1964’s Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb on Tuesday Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Trexler Library. Under the year’s theme of “Going Nuclear,” the concept of nuclear warfare after the advent of the atomic bomb’s use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the developments nuclear energy had in the Cold War will be explored.

The film will play in the Air Products Room with free admission. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for students and faculty to take advantage of the free popcorn and drinks available before grabbing a seat. The screening also features raffles provided by the history program and TV/film department, with a copy of the film and Screendance tickets for this November among the prizes.

With each screening there is a panel afterword discussing the filming and historical context of the movie. This semester’s panel features the history program’s Dr. Sarah Nytroe who will discuss the context of the Cold War with Russia and how it impacted the satirical nature of the film. On the TV/film end, there will be a guest speaker, Stanley Kubrick scholar, Mr. Joseph Frieze, who will talk about the director’s influences and time making the classic comedy in the nuclear age.

HFS’s choice of Dr. Strangelove is about what happens behind closed doors when an insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust. Frantic at the prospect of annihilation, a war room full of generals and politicians fervently attempts to stop the impending doom at all costs. The film’s hallmark performances, three to be exact, are turned in by comedy legend Peter Sellers, who later on was nominated for his work.

The semester’s “Going Nuclear” theme ties to the committee’s goal of displaying “reel” history, or how events in the real world shape the media we consume and impact different cultures, and vice versa. This season is divided into two parts with the fall screening showcasing the American perspective of using nuclear warfare.

In the spring 2019 semester, the perspective will shift to that of Japan in the 1983 animated war drama Barefoot Gen. Barefoot Gen’s screening. The film is about the fateful bombing of Hiroshima from the perspective of a child living in the city during the end of World War II. The date of this screening will be announced toward the end of the fall, so mark your calendar for the exciting events to come.

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