‘Love and Loss’ Make the World Go ‘Round


Keeping an international perspective in selecting movies makes sense to UC Irvine Film Society coordinator Alice Parsons.

“Given our cultural mix [on campus], it just seems natural that we would appeal to a broad cultural background,” said Parsons, who oversees programs organized each semester by a handful of movie-loving students. “We’ve been devoted [to a world view] for a long time. We feel we should be educational as well as appealing.”

Besides, the chosen flicks are just plain good, Parsons said. And, considering that Orange County has few venues for foreign films, Parsons said, the film society has an obligation to offer pictures that may never have made it here. Hence the emphasis on foreign imports--six of the 10 movies in the upcoming series were made outside the United States.


Parsons noted that Chinese director Tian Zhuangzhuang’s “The Blue Kite,” which opens the winter series Friday, received little, if any, exposure in the county.

The 1993 release tells the story of a Beijing boy and his family during the ‘50s and ‘60s. The film sets the tone for the “Love and Loss, Relationships in Crisis,” program because it offers a very personal look at its characters, Parsons noted.


A serious look too. In fact, Parsons pointed out, only one of the offerings is a comedy (the Coen brothers’ “Raising Arizona,” starring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter), and another (Steve Soderbergh’s “King of the Hill”) is “mildly lighthearted.” Also coming up are “Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams,”Andrei Tarkovsky’s “My Name Is Ivan” and Krzystof Kieslowski’s “Red.”

“Yes, I guess there’s not much to laugh about in this group,” Parsons said. “But all of these are favorite films, definitely worth showing.”



In chronological order:

* Friday: “The Blue Kite,” directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang, China (1993).

* Jan. 19: “Toto the Hero,” directed by Jaco van Dormael, France/Belgium/Germany (1991).

* Jan. 26: “Raising Arizona,” directed by Joel Coen (co-written with brother Ethan Coen), U.S. (1987).

* Feb. 2: “Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams,” Japan (1990).

* Feb. 9: “My Name Is Ivan,” directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia (1962).

* Feb. 16: “My Father’s Glory,” Yves Robert, France (1990).

* Feb. 23: “Go Fish,” Rose Troche, U.S. (1994).

* March 1: “King of the Hill,” directed by Steve Soderbergh, U.S. (1993).

* March 8: “Fresh Kill,” Jessica Hagadorn, U.S. (1994). Clips from Hagadorn’s video, “Color Scheme,” also will be shown.


* March 15: “Red,” directed by Krzysztof Keislowski, France/Poland/Switzerland (1994).

All movies will begin at 7 p.m., with second shows at 9 or 9:30 p.m. depending on the film, in the UCI Student Center’s Crystal Cove Auditorium, near Bridge Road and Pereira Drive, Irvine. $2 to $4. (714) 824-5588.