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Movie series continues with “Corpse Bride”

The Drake University Honors Council and the Visual Arts Association of Drake joined forces to host a screening of the animated movie, “Corpse Bride” last Friday, Feb. 18.

“Corpse Bride,” a Tim Burton film, centers on a man named Victor Van Dort, who, at his wedding rehearsal, flubs his vows and takes to the woods to practice them. When he finally gets it right, he puts the ring on a finger, thinking it’s a stick, and finds himself married to the corpse bride, Emily, who claims they are husband and wife. He’s taken to the Land of the Dead, leaving his betrothed waiting for him.

This particular movie showing is the continuation of the Honors Council’s John August movie series. August, a Drake University graduate, and honors program alum turned extremely successful Hollywood screenwriter and director, was very enthusiastic about the event.

“We asked him if we could possibly show his movies, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, absolutely,’” Honors Council Publicity Chair Emily Garnett said. “He even agreed to do a live Skype Q and A session with us, which is pretty slick.”

August had originally planned to have the Skype session during a previous screening but had to cancel due to scheduling conflicts.

“I see it as a good opportunity for any kids here interested in film or screenwriting to get to talk to somebody who’s in the business,” Garnett said.
Because August has made an effort to keep in contact with the honors program since his graduation–he’s even given the honors program a sizeable endowment for new courses and innovative programs–getting his thumbs-up to show the films was easy.

Past John August films the Honors Council has shown include “Big Fish” and “The Nines.” August is also known for his work on several blockbuster hits such as “Charlie’s Angels” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” among a handful of others.

Previous screenings have been in Bulldog Theater in Olmsted, although “Corpse Bride” was viewed in room 336 in the Harmon Fine Arts Center because it was co-hosted by VAAD.

“Our event on Friday was unique in that we were partnering with VAAD,” Honors Council President Josie Pokorny said. “It has taken additional work to coordinate with them to decide on a date and location that works for both organizations, as well as coordinating publicity and food.”

The Honors Council is hoping to nail down another date for a movie screening in March, although no specifics have been decided yet.

“It gets tricky with Spring Break and midterms going on then, so it might bleed over into April,” Garnett said.

The biggest problem the Honors Council has been struggling with has been trying to drum up enough interest in the program to keep it going.
“I was pleased with the number of people who came to ‘Big Fish’ and ‘The Nines’ in the past, about 25 students for each event,” Pokorny said. “I would always like to see the numbers increase though.”

Anyone is allowed to attend the events, whether they’re a Drake student or not.

“One time an elderly couple showed up on a date wanting to see the movie,” Honors Council Fundraising Chair Lauren Phillips said. “They asked if they could watch, and we’re like ‘Yeah, come on in, have some popcorn.’ It was the cutest thing.”

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