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Saturday, 25 February 2012 18:24

Multicultural Film Series presents three impressive documentaries

Multicultural Film Series presents three impressive documentaries capitalnewyork.com
Written by Diane Carson
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Webster University hosts a multicultural film series with three documentaries this Thursday through Sunday: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, (Miss)Representation and Being Elmo. Though different in subject matter and style, each work presents its subject in an informative, engaging way: the failure of St. Louis public housing, American media's appalling portrayal of women and girls, and the fabulous Kevin Clash, aka Elmo.

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth uses archival photographs, newspaper stories and newsreel footage to trace the chronology of the idea, the development, the decline and the implosion of St. Louis' infamous public housing. Into the history, director Chad Freidrichs interweaves contemporary interviews with residents of the apartments, begun in 1952 and demolished in 1972. Description of St. Louis' post WWII population decline and of many other urban changes provides important context, but it's really the first-hand reminiscing that brings the era to vibrant life in this thoughtful analysis of our local history.

(Miss)Representation brings together notable analysts, stunning statistics and well-chosen examples to interrogate the ways television and film objectify and demean women. The impressive breadth and depth of the personal and political details confirm how restrictive and insulting the pervasive commentary and images are. The impact on girls—their aspirations and self image—is of particular concern.

In Being Elmo Kevin Clash tells the astonishing story of how he became the Muppets' Elmo. Inspirational, funny, and absolutely charming both as himself and as Elmo, Clash expresses his early obsession with the Muppets and recounts Elmo's creation. Clash tenaciously pursued and realized his dream. This is for children and the child in all of us.

The Multicultural Film Series begins with The Pruitt-Igoe Myth at 7:30, Thursday, March 1st only. (Miss)Representation shows Friday, March 2nd at 7:30 only. And Being Elmo has three screenings: Saturday at 3:30 and 7:30 and Sunday, March 4th at 7:30. All events are in Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium. For information and the current schedule, you may call 314-968-7487 or you may go to the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.

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