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SOC International Cinema Series

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AU's International Cinema Series Brings Wealth of Foreign Films to Campus

AU's School of Communication partners with embassy cultural institutions and museums to host multi-year programs of international film screenings shown in SOC's Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater, McKinley Building. The program series includes classic and contemporary films from Brazil, China, Czech Republic, France, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom and other countries. Foreign language films are shown with English subtitles. Free and open to the public. First come, first seated | Campus directions

Image of Luis Bunuel


Objects of Desire: The Films of Luis Bunuel

A film retrospective presented by the American University's School of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences, American Film Institute, SPAIN Arts & Culture, Mexican Cultural Institute, Cultural Services of the French Embassy and National Gallery of Art.

The singular vision of filmmaker Luis Bunuel (1900-1983) may have dictated a similarly one-of-a-kind career arc. Co-creator, along with fellow Spaniard Salvador Dali, of the classic surrealistic films Un Chien Andalou (1929) and L'age d'Or (1930), the scandalous reception that greeted both films earned Bunuel no commercial opportunities, the Catholic Church's opprobrium, exile from the ascendant fascism of 1930s Europe and more than a decade without making a feature film.

"Los Olvidados, " the masterpiece from Bunuel's Mexican years, was initially savaged by Mexican critics, who faulted the film for its unapologetic depiction of savagery among Mexico City's disenfranchised youth and other unchecked social ills. Championed by poet Octavio Paz, then Mexico's cultural ambassador to France, the film was selected for the 1951 Cannes Film Festival where Bunuel won Best Director, reintroducing him to the world stage and reigniting his stalled film career. A unique blend of Italian-style neorealism, with its real locations and non-professional cast, and Bunuel's trademark surrealism, most spectacularly in a slow-motion Freudian nightmare that is one of the director's most iconic scenes. 

"Illusion Travels by Streetcar" is comic, surreal, political with marvelous cinematography. Two entrepreneurial transit workers renovate a streetcar on their own time, but the boss has a deal to replace it. They steal #133, on a mission: "an education of the public," and crisscross Mexico City, giving free rides to a cross-section of humanity. 


Friday, November 4 - Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater, McKinley Building, AU

Thursday, November 17 - Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater, McKinley Building, AU

Both Films are in Spanish with English Subtitles

Information on the entire film retrospective of more than 20 of Bunuel's most accomplished films is available here. SOC's 145-seat Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.