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NAU film series is back with focus on 1971, heritage months

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"Real Women Have Curves"

America Ferrera in the 2002 film, Real Women Have Curves. The movie will be screened on Sept. 21, 2021 as part of NAU's annual Tuesday night film series.

NAU’s long-running Tuesday night film series is back.

In a change from the past, this year’s series will screen movies every other Tuesday night from September to November.

Northern Arizona University's College Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Arts and Letters Film Series, co-sponsored by the Cline Library, promotes understanding and appreciation of cinema at NAU and the greater Flagstaff community.

This season will feature two distinct themes in two different series.

The first Tuesday of each month, plus a special November 30 screening, will feature films of 1971, a retrospective of movies celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Then on the third Tuesday of each month, we will feature films celebrating National Heritage Months.

As it has since 2004, the film series will screen a mix of genres and artists, with both well-known and little-known films from across decades.

The series began with a cult classic, 1971’s Harold and Maude, directed by Hal Ashby.

On September 21 we salute National Hispanic Heritage month with Real Women Have Curves, an award winning 2002 movie written and directed by, starring, and focusing on the stories of women. Writer Josefina Lopez adapted her coming-of age teleplay about a high school student, played by America Ferrera – several years before her hit series Ugly Betty – who is torn between her dreams and family obligations. Patricia Cardoso directed Ferrara and a cast of known and little-known actors in a film critic Elvis Mitchell called “effervescent and satisfying, a crowd pleaser that does not condescend.”

October 5 will be a 50th anniversary showing of Peter Bogdanovich’s first film, The Last Picture Show. This sad and moving classic, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s small Texas town coming-of-age novel, was nominated for eight Oscars and won two for veteran actors Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman in unforgettable supporting roles.

We commemorate Disability Pride and Heritage Month with a 2021 Oscar winner, The Sound of Metal. Riz Ahmed was Oscar nominated as Best Actor for portraying Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer who struggles to navigate life and find his identity as he begins to lose his hearing. The film has been heralded as an evocative look at the experiences of the deaf community. With six Oscar nominations it won for Best Editing and Best Sound thanks to director Darius Marder presenting the world from drummer Stone’s point of view.

In the 1970s, only about one out of every 200 films was directed by a woman. Our November 50th anniversary movie was written and directed by and stars Elaine May who co-stars with Walter Matthau in her debut film, A New Leaf. This rarely-screened film is one of the funniest movies ever, and which film critic Roger Ebert described as “hilarious, and cockeyed, and warm.”

November is the month in which we celebrate contributions of Native and indigenous people during Native American Heritage Month. On November 16, we will screen local director Deidra Peaches Tó éí ’iiná até (Water is Life), The documentary explores the impact of industrialization and its ramifications on the environment, particularly its impact on the Navajo Nation. Deidra has said, "As a documentarian, I cannot express to you… (h)ow difficult this experience has been. Jake Hoyungowa and I had created a film entirely from our perspective, on faith that the story alone will do the issues at hand justice." Deidra Peaches will introduce the movie and follow the film with a question-and-answer session.

We conclude this season’s film series with a 50th anniversary celebration of the wonderful and beloved Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder in one of his most popular roles. This family film classic will have the added benefit of being a sing along, so bring the whole family to sing along with “The Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination,” the “Oompa Loompa” song and more.

Before each film a local film expert offers a short introduction to set the film in its historical, artistic and cultural context. Each film is followed by a discussion.

The film series is free and open to the public. Parking behind Cline Library in lot P13 requires a permit, which community members can get by following directions at our film series website at


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