Faculty Picks: History Professor Alan Ball teaches Honors Program sections of History 1001 and 1002.
His pick is Terry Gilliam's movie, Brazil.
I would like to recommend Terry Gilliam’s movie Brazil—a film that I would not have selected twenty years ago, as I would have guessed that more than a few people had seen it. Recently, however, I asked a classroom of students about the movie and discovered that not one of them had even heard of it. Perhaps because of my enthusiasm for “Monty Python” back in the 1970s, I was excited to see the movie when it was released in 1985, knowing that two of the Pythons had been involved in the project. I’m convinced, though, that I would have applauded this movie in any case—even without the Python connection—because of the acerbic wit with which it imagines a community with features not entirely remote from those discernible in our world today.
Faculty Picks: Assistant Professor of English, Leah Flack, teaches Honors Program sections of English 1301 and English 1302 and will be teaching a HOPR 1953 in Fall 2013. Her pick is Richard Linklater's movie, Before Sunrise.
My college roommate once told me that it is impolite to recommend an 800-page Russian novel to a person and practically rude to give one to someone as a gift -- as this creates a sense of obligation to read said novel and a sense of awkwardness when that novel remains unopened. So, I cannot recommend Leo Tolstoy's Anna Kareninato to you, even though I think everyone should read it. I can recommend Richard Linklater's 1995 film Before Sunrise, a romantic film that depicts the wanderings of a heartbroken young American man (played by Ethan Hawke) and a young French woman he met on a train (played by Julie Delpy) through Vienna on a single night. This film relies mostly on superb dialogue and acting set against the backdrop of a beautiful city (translation: not much happens in the way of plot), and it captures an ephemeral moment of human connection. If nothing else, this film offers a window into a world before iPhones and Facebook, when two people could spend an entire life-changing night strolling the streets together and run the risk of never seeing each other again.