Professor continues weekly foreign film series

Professor Ralph Pease continued his foreign film festival with two viewings of the movie “Alexander Nevsky” last Wednesday.

He hosts movie sessions every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Evans Complex, room 105. The movies are free of charge to participants, and some professors offer extra credit for attendance.

All of the films shown are in their original language with English subtitles. Because of the foreign nature, many of the classic works are unfamiliar territory for young modern movie-goers.

“It’s a great opportunity. All the films are in their original language with English subtitles. There probably aren’t a hundred students on campus that have heard of them,” Pease said.

As for the choice of picture, Pease said that he chooses influential films to present to the student body.

“One of the things is that every one of these films is on some critic or historian’s great ten lists,” Pease said.

Pease actually began this tradition decades ago in the seventies and eighties, before the VCR era. He recently restarted the movie viewings at Sam Houston as an outlet.

“When I went and talked to my dean about this idea. I said I’d like to have release time and do this,” Pease said. “I do everything: I supply the films and I write the handouts.”

This weeks film, “Alexander Nevsky”, was originally debuted in 1938 and directed by Sergei Einstein with D.I. Vassillev. The film, based on the title character Alexander Nevsky, is a depiction of the war between the Teutonic Knights and the people of Novgorod in the thirteenth century.

Nevsky himself is a larger-than-life leader who conquered over the Tartars and Teutonics, saved Orthodox Christianity in the region and was later canonized.

The director, Einstein, is well known for his films “The Battleship Potemkin” (1925) and “Ivan the Terrible.” He also pioneered the editing process with his use of rapid cutting and camera point of views.

The piece is an allegory of sorts for Joseph Stalin and the Nazis, intended as a propaganda piece. Stalin loved the piece, rushed its production and used it as propaganda for the war with Germany at the time.

“It’s truly a propaganda film, but it’s also a factual film,” Pease said.

For more information, contact Pease.

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