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The Escapist

A Sundance favorite

The Escapist

Without straying too far from formula or stock characters, "The Escapist" shapes a standard prison-break drama into a metaphysical study of freedom and reparation.

Set in a grim London institution (played to perfection by Kilmainham Jail in Ireland), the movie centers on Frank (Brian Cox), an aging lifer with a perilously drug-addicted daughter. Circling Frank are the usual suspects -- the vulnerable new cellmate (Dominic Cooper), the resident psychopath (Steven Mackintosh), the ruthless king con (Damian Lewis) -- but the stereotypes are beside the point: "The Escapist" has loftier goals than simply getting its characters from pokey to pavement.

Structuring the escape and its planning as parallel story lines, the director, Rupert Wyatt (who also wrote the script with Daniel Hardy), keeps faces close and words to a minimum. Drama, and the cadences of prison life, are asserted by an urgent, discordant score (by Benjamin Wallfisch) whose naturalistic taps and groans reduce the need for visible brutality. The hissing of water during a shower rape is as agitating as any choreographed image of sexual assault.

Filming the prison like a decaying museum, the cinematographer, Philipp Blaubach, conjures mystery from soaring iron stairways and a vaulted, light-spilling ceiling. Not until the film's final moments does the need for that mystery become clear.

— J. Catsoulis, New York Times

The Escapist

Thu September 24, 2009, 7:00 & 9:15, Muenzinger Auditorium

UK, 2009, English, Color, 102 min, Not Rated, Widescreen, 1.85:1, 35mm

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

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Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

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(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
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Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

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