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April 13, 2024
3:00 pm
Event Tags:
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Venue: East Classroom


Recommended Age
14 and over
Price (per student)
$51 - $100
Duration: 3 Hours

Film Appreciation Series

Price: Series price $75 (65+ Price: $60)

Our second Life After Death series features something for everyone: two remakes, two comedies, a dramedy, and a thriller.  The films explore many theories of what lies beyond death, and at 2:30pm each Saturday before class we’ll watch many scenes from the other movies that didn’t make the cut.

The Film Appreciation Series at the Appell Center is led by actor and film expert Luke MacCloskey and must be purchased in its entirety.

April 6 – Heaven Can Wait (Released 6/28/78) directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry, 101 minutes.  Joe Pendleton is prematurely snatched out of his body by an overly zealous celestial escort to heaven.  Joe must negotiate with Mr. Jordan for an acceptable body for his re-introduction to the world and is swayed by his affection for the lovely Betty Logan.  A remake of the classic Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Warren Beatty succeeded not only at the box office but with 9 Oscar nominations.  The film also stars James Mason, Buck Henry, Julie Christie, Dyan Cannon and Charles Grodin.

April 13 – Beetlejuice (Released 3/30/88) directed by Tim Burton, 92 minutes.  A young couple who dies in an accident find that the afterlife is even more of a bureaucracy than the world they left behind.  They hire a freelance “bio-exorcist” to help scare away the new living residents of their home.  A true cultural milestone of the late 1980s, the movie spawned an animated series, video games, a musical in 2018 and now a sequel to be released in September 2024!  We can enjoy it for its unique take on the afterlife, comedic performances and creative sets and use of Harry Belafonte songs.

April 20 – Always (Released 12/22/89) directed by Steven Spielberg, 123 minutes. A daredevil firefighting pilot takes one risk too many and finds he has more work to do in the afterlife.  Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter and John Goodman take over the main roles in Spielberg’s remake of A Guy Named Joe originally played by Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunn and Ward Bond. The remake displays Spielberg’s obvious love for the original movie, and he brings his own magical touch to an enduring love story.  The movie also features the last role of Audrey Hepburn.

April 27 – Truly, Madly, Deeply (Released 5/24/91) directed by Anthony Minghella, 103 minutes.  A woman struggles to deal with the death of her lover finding it hard to move on to a new love interest and assert her independence. Roger Ebert claimed the film was “a Ghost for grownups.” The film was written specifically for the lauded British stage actress Juliet Stevenson as a showcase of her immense talent with the incomparable Alan Rickman as her romantic costar.  The success of this movie launched Anthony Minghella’s Hollywood career, and he eventually won a Best Director Oscar for The English Patient.

May 4 – Defending Your Life (Released 3/22/91) directed by Albert Brooks, 111 minutes. Daniel Miller dies and must defend his actions on Earth in the afterlife. While awaiting judgement he falls in love with Julia. Truth drop: overcoming your fears is one of the main goals of this life in order to ascend to a higher phase of existence.  Of course, falling in love with Meryl Streep is great motivation for moving on!  This is such a brilliant take on life after death made all the more enjoyable with co-stars Rip Torn, Buck Henry and Lee Grant.

June 1 – The Others (Released 8/10/01) directed by Alejandro Amenebar, 104 minutes.  While awaiting her husband’s return from the war, Grace and her two young children live an unusually secluded existence behind the locked doors and drawn curtains of a secluded mansion.  This is our second genuine thriller of the series executed in the classic Hitchcock style. Nicole Kidman coming off Eyes Wide Shut and Moulin Rouge gives a commanding performance in a film written, directed and scored by Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenebar.

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