Frankenstein film festival opens tonight at Troy

Published 10:33 pm Monday, August 23, 2010

The Troy University College of Communication and Fine Arts is sponsoring the 2010 Frankenstein Film Festival as its contribution to the university’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) and the Common Reading Initiative of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” or “The Modern Prometheus.”

Dr. Catherine Allard will open the festival at 7 p.m. tonight with a free screening of the 1931 version of “Frankenstein” directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff. The screening will be in Room 101 of the General Academic Building (GAB) and the public is invited.

Dr. Maryjo Cochran, CCFA dean, said the college has purchased an extensive library of ‘Frankenstein” films and television programs for this project.

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“The semester-long festival will feature an assortment of ‘Frankenstein-themed’ films– from classic to quirky – documentaries and cartoons,” Cochran said.

The Common Reading Initiative for incoming freshmen requires them to read a specific book and to attend at least one of the lectures held during the first two weeks of school.

“A faculty committee chooses a book that is applicable to any major, minor or discipline,” Cochran said. “This year, the faculty chose Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and the faculty will incorporate elements from this book into their classes. “Frankenstein’ will raise ethical questions that foster discussion. Although there may not be a right or wrong answer, the students will have opportunities to engage in stimulating conversations.”

The idea behind the Common Reading Initiative is that reading is at the core of all that people do.

“We’ve found that our students don’t do a lot of reading, not pleasure reading,” Cochran said.

“So we want to give them the nuts and bolts of being educated humans who realize the pleasure of reading and discussing and doing something more than tweet or Twitter.”

The Troy University faculty took the Reading Initiative a step further by hosting the Frankenstein Film Festival that will include 15 films for the entire season.

The Frankenstein films will be screened in Room 101 of the GAB on Tuesday evenings from 7 until 9:20 p.m.

“Each screening will begin with a 10-15 minute mini-lecture about the specific film and/or Frankenstein themes and issues,” Cochran said. “Following the film, there will be a brief question and answer period.”

On Tuesday Aug. 31, Dr. Kenyon Holder will screen the 1944 film, “Bride of Frankenstein.”

September films include “Frankenstein,” 2004 with De Niro and Branagh, “Santo Contra la hija de Frankenstein” in Spanish, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

In October, the films will be “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and the audience will be invited to sing-along and to dress as their favorite characters. Other films will be “Frankenstein,” 2003 with William Hurt and Donald Sutherland, “The Addams Family vs. The Munsters,” and Mel Brooks’ 1994 “Young Frankenstein” and the university students’ costume contest.

Also, in October, the Troy University Pied Pipers will present the “Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein” cartoon and costume festival for children.

“Frank Science,” the idea that the food source can be made better through chemistry, will lead off the November programs followed by “The Addams Family,” 1991 and “Jurassic Park.” 1993. “Kung Fu Frankenstein” in Chinese will close out the Frankenstein Film Festival on Nov. 17.