Emory brings Universal Pictures series to Southeast

By Jessica Cook | Emory Report | Jan. 28, 2013

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"The 40-Year-Old Virgin" will screen on April 24 as part of the Emory Cinematheque series "Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 Years."
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

From horror flicks to comedies, to westerns and adventure dramas, Universal Pictures' multiplicity of identities has been one of its assets. The entertainment conglomerate thrives today as the oldest continuously operating film producer and distributor in the U.S., and honors its history of diverse films in the program, "Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 Years."  

Emory is the only venue in the Southeast to show the series. From Jan. 30 to April 24, Emory Cinematheque hosts the free 35mm screenings on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in White Hall 205. Presented by American Express in association with UCLA Film and Television Archive, the program represents a vast range of genres and iconic titles such as "Dracula"(1931), Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963) and "Back to the Future" (1985).  

Matthew Bernstein, Department of Film and Media Studies chair, says Emory was approached to show the unique series. "We have a special relationship with the UCLA Film and Television Archive that goes back several years, as they have allowed us to show rare archival prints, which is increasingly important as more and more new films are released in the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format."  

Bernstein says the films, from "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day and Rock Hudson to the popular 2005 film "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," are fun in and of themselves. He continues, "But we are not just showing comedies. As the only studio operating continuously for 100 years, from its low budget beginnings to its major prestige status today, Universal has had a fascinating history and an important identity. Our choice of films are meant to showcase the diversity of what they've produced and continue to produce—groundbreaking comedies, melodramas, westerns, horror, Technicolor camp, you name it."  

Along with the Universal Pictures series, Emory's film department presents other screenings such as "Under African Skies" on Feb. 6, a new documentary about Paul Simon's return to Africa decades after creating the "Graceland" album. Simon will be at Emory Feb. 10-12 to present the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.  

Salman Rushdie, University Distinguished Professor, also participates in special film events. Rushdie introduces a screening of Akira Kurosawa's classic "The Hidden Fortress" (1958) on Feb. 20 and discusses its influence on "Star Wars" in a panel discussion with Emory faculty on Feb. 22. The Atlanta premiere of his 2012 film "Midnight's Children" will be shown Feb. 27 at Landmark Midtown Cinema, followed by a panel discussion with author/screenwriter Rushdie, director Deepa Mehta and producer David Hamilton, Feb. 28 at Emory.

Visit filmstudies.emory.edu for the Universal series' complete listing and other event details.