“Night OUT” spotlights inequality

Story by Bridget Cooke, Staff Writer

Complimentary concessions are a large incentive to get college students out to see a movie — especially when they aren’t charged for admission either.
The Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center is hosting a free event titled “Night OUT: Film Series” at Woodland Theater in Davies Center, showing several films over the semester highlighting societal problems such as homophobic stereotyping and violence, women’s inequity and body dysphoria (a state of unease or general dissatisfaction).
Christopher Jorgenson, the Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center coordinator said he thinks film is a good way of raising awareness and opening minds.
“I wanted a film series for two reasons. One, I had never done one before, so I wanted to diversify my programming, and two, I like using movies as a way to introduce people to ideas or personal experiences that they have not yet been exposed to,” Jorgenson said.
The films already have started with “Transamerica,” an independent film focusing on a male-to-female transsexual played by Felicity Huffman. In the film, Huffman’s character discovers that she has a teenage son.  She accompanies him across the country, back to Los Angeles, where he hopes to become a porn star, and where she has made an appointment to have her
life-changing surgery.
“Iron-Jawed Angels” will play at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26. This film stars Hilary Swank and Frances O’Connor as suffragists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. The film highlights the struggles women made against a war-time patriarchal government that at first didn’t take their movement seriously.
Jorgenson said the films provide more impact than just hearing the facts of the story from a book or a lecture.
“‘Iron-Jawed Angels,’ of course, with suffrage … really chronicles a part of that struggle that people don’t really know about,” Jorgenson said. “When you see it, you think of some of the things that happened to those women, it’s just remarkable.”
Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center intern Bryton Fredrick said he is looking forward to exposing new concepts
to UW-Eau Claire students.
“My hope is that the films will reach a lot of new students, but will also reach current students who haven’t experienced films on campus before,” Fredrick said. “Hopefully the film series reaches these students in a positive way and makes their eyes open to new and different ideas.”
Another of the films, “The Laramie Project,” is a fictionalization of a documentary-style film. A crew of actors and a director travel to Laramie, Wyo., the infamous town where a gay University of Wyoming student was lynched by two men. This film focuses on the reactions by many different people within the town, some homosexuals themselves and others with varying viewpoints on the LGBTQ community.
The films will be shown every other week of the month until the end of the semester with the final movie, “Home for the Holidays,” shown Dec. 19. Snacks are offered free of charge at the showings.