Few films ‘based on true events’ feel as ridiculously over the top as Doug Liman’s American Made (2017). Based on the life of pilot Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), the film follows Barry as he becomes a CIA informant taking photographs of communist rebellion groups in Central America, starts smuggling cocaine for Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel, and subsequently smuggles Russian guns to the Nicaraguan Contras on behalf of the United States Government. Let’s not forget that most of Barry’s bizarre smuggling career took place during then-President Ronald Reagan’s infamous “War on Drugs”. It sounds too comical to be true, and yet the story told by the film is closer to fact than it is to fiction.
Aspiring screenwriter, Kimberly Morles, was an intern for the Film Studies Program at FIU this past summer term. With a passion for cinema and writing, she has published various articles and presented valuable input, reflected in her active participation in the Film Studies Program’s biweekly newsletter. Kimberly’s time spent as an intern allowed her to gain invaluable hands-on experience that she would to share with you, our readers and hopeful future interns.
We at FIU’s Film Studies Program hope that you, the members of our community, have managed to get back on track after the chaos brought upon us by Hurricane Irma. As we move towards establishing a sense of normalcy again, there are few things in this world that help as much as watching a movie among friends. That said, we hope you’ll be as excited as we are to hear that starting this Friday, September 22, O Cinema will begin a week-long celebration of one of the most prolific and revered directors in the history of cinema: Stanley Kubrick.
When one decides to remake or re-adapt a narrative for the screen, there’s always a question of whether or not the new product will match or surpass the story many hold dear. In the case of Andy Muschietti’s It (2017), not only is the film a worthy successor to the 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of the eponymous Stephen King novel, but it’s an exceptionally good horror film overall. Muschietti, whose only other major film release was 2013’s Mama, manages to distill the primary themes of the first half of Stephen King’s monstrously long narrative on childhood trauma, and present it as a movie which manages to deliver some genuine scares.
Welcome back, film lovers! Now that the hectic first week of classes is officially over and the dust has settled, it’s time to start getting cozy with our classes and enjoy all that film has to offer.
In the last year, have you found yourself at a screening of Pan’s Labyrinth on campus? How about Saving Private Ryan? Pulp Fiction? All of those screenings, along with countless others over the years, have been brought to you by The Film Initiative: Underground. The club has been around since 2011, hosting a wide array of film screenings around campus and promoting student filmmaking through various means such as filmmaking workshops and by orchestrating the FIU Student Film Festival. They are very much the real deal and if you’re reading this newsletter and haven’t heard about them yet, you’ll probably want to start paying attention.
The third installment of Michael Winterbottom’s “Trip” series, The Trip to Spain is pleasant and genuinely funny, with darker undertones than its predecessors.