MSSU Film Festival

About US

All films presented at 7 p.m., Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. (See Map)

No admission is charged.

For half a century our organization, now known as Missouri Southern Film Society, has programmed significant classic and world cinema.

Program notes are distributed before each screening and participation in informal discussions is encouraged. These promote greater perception and help stimulate a critical appreciation of the films.

Our first program, the British comedy The Belles of St. Trinian's, was shown Oct. 15, 1962 and we continue to explore creative traditional and new wave movements. For the last nine years films representing a specific country have been shown as an activity of our themed-semesters. Each fall the MSSU Institute of International Studies presents films that focus on the country featured during the themed semester. The Society's continuing offerings of films from other countries, recently restored and transferred to DVD format, are shown in the spring.

For more information call (417) 673-1261 or send an email.





Sep. 19
To Be or Not To Be
(U.S.A., 1942) Jack Benny, Carole Lombard.

A mixture of comedy and suspense that still appears full of barbed innuendoes, and which at the time told more truths about Nazism than its audiences probably realized. Jean-Luc Godard in Cahiers du Cinema labeled it "One of the 10 Best American Sound Films." Directed by Ernst Lubitsch of Ninotchka fame.

Oct. 3
The Last Wave
(Australia, 1977) in color. Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett.

Peter Weir's early film is an intriguing examination of mysticism and symbolism, centering on the plight of a lawyer who defends an aborigine on trial for murder. Kevin Thomas in Los Angeles Times labeled it a "Remarkable, breathtaking supernatural thriller...a truly venturesome, dazzling film."

Oct. 17
(Sterne) (Bulgaria/East Germany, 1959)

This Cannes Festival award-winner tells the story of the brief love between a doomed Jewish girl and a German sergeant who, embittered by the war, has become cynical. Although powerless to save her, he realizes that he can except something other than evil and acquires some of her courage and belief in humanity.

Oct. 31
General della Rovere
(Il Generale della Rovere) (Italy, 1960) Vittorio De Sica, Hannes Messemer

This is the enthusiastically applauded and compelling drama about a shady never-do-well who acts upon his best instincts when he is induced into impersonating the title character, a partisan leader who has been killed. Winner of the Best Picture Award at the Venice Festival and named as Best Picture and for Best Direction (Roberto Rossellini), Best Screenplay and Best Actor (De Sica) at the San Francisco Festival.

Nov. 14
Fox and His Friends
(Faustrecht der Freiheit) (Germany, 1975) in color.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder directs as well as stars in this politically perceptive tale of a working class buffoon who is fleeced of his lottery winnings by an elegant bourgeois lover. Time Out noted that "Fassbinder's precise, assured sense of milieu, and human compassion for his characters, make it a work of brilliant intelligence."

Feb. 20
Second Breath
(Le Deuxieme Souffle) (France, 1966)

Jean-Pierre Melville observes the lovingly intimate relationship between a cunning inspector and an aging gangster who he tricks into betraying his cohorts. Peter Cowie in 70 Years of Cinema described it as "a classic of its kind, a film that never appears purely functional in its progression toward final slaughter and redemption."

Mar. 6
The Hand In The Trap
(La Mano en la trampa) (Argentina, 1961)

This film by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson derives its title from St. Augustine, to the effect that he who puts his hand in a trap must carry the trap forever. A study of an adolescent caught in a corrupt aristocracy, it was labeled in New York Herald Tribune as "an engrossing film and a thoroughly satisfactory one in its Poe-like atmosphere."

Mar. 20
She And He
(Kanojo to kare) (Japan, 1963)

Written and directed by Susumu Hani, this drama of contemporary isolation explores the loss of sensitivity of the title characters who live in a sterile apartment complex. The leading role, played by Hani's wife, received 8 Best Actress Awards and Archer Winsten of New York Post called it "an extraordinary, very rare and touching film."

Apr. 3
The Blue Lamp
(Great Britain, 1950) Dirk Bogarde, Jack Warner.

The London Metropolitan Police attempt to apprehend a deranged killer in this semi-documentary tribute to the heroism of the British bobbie. New York Times commented: "Basil Dearden has directed it in a stunningly naturalistic style...and a large cast of excellent actors has been handled beautifully." Best Picture Award, B.F.A.

Apr. 17
An Unfinished Piece for Player Piano
(Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino)

(Russia, 1977) in color. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov and based on a play by Anton Chekhov, this is an affecting account of events at a party on a country estate. Vincent Canby of New York Times observed that "among the leisurely pleasures are the ensemble acting of an excellent cast and the extraordinary approach taken by this pre-eminent director."