McGill East European and Russian Film/Documentary Series: "The Czech Dream" (2004, Czech Republic, film, 87 minutes)
This film documents the largest consumer hoax the Czech Republic has ever seen. Filip Remunda and Vit Klusak, two of Eastern Europe's most promising young documentary filmmakers, set out to explore the psychological and manipulative powers of consumerism by creating an ad campaign for something that didn't exist. The campaign (designed by a renowned advertising agency) involved television and radio spots, 400 illuminated billboards, 200,000 flyers promoting Czech Dream brand products, an advertising song, a website and ads in newspapers and magazines. For two weeks, Prague streets were saturated with advertising for the fake hypermarket. The ads proclaimed: "Don't Go, Don't Rush, Don't Spend," drawing over 4,000 people to turn up on the "opening day." On May 31, 2003, they arrived at a green field where, instead of a hypermarket, they found just the dream hypermarket's façade (10m high and 100m wide). "Czech Dream" is a funny and provocative look at the effects of rampant consumerism on a post-communist soci
McGill East European and Russian Film/Documentary Series: "Tycoon – A New Russian" (2004, Russia, film, 128 minutes)
A stylish, slick crime drama based on the life of notorious billionaire Boris Berezovsky, "Tycoon" follows the life of Plato Makovski, a renegade Russian entrepreneur whose seductive and brutal climb to the top in the post-Soviet era flourishes as the line between business, crime and politics breaks down. Opening with Plato's assassination by car bomb, an investigation of his life through flashbacks, involving a vivid array of gangsters, mistresses, childhood friends, idealistic intellectuals and trigger-happy veterans, offers an inside view of a country in which gangsters and greedy politicians conspire to rub out their enemies. Building a media empire, Plato uses his genius to become a monster, unhesitatingly sacrificing his ideals and his closest friends until he topples. Compared by critics to "Scarface" and "The Godfather Saga," "Tycoon" is an epic tale of a visionary and scoundrel and, in the end, a bridge between the old Russia and the new.
McGill East European and Russian Film/Documentary Series: "Bringing Down a Dictator" (2001, documentary, 56 minutes)
This film documents the spectacular defeat of Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000, not by force of arms, as many had predicted, but by an ingenious nonviolent strategy of honest elections and massive civil disobedience. Milosevic was strengthened by patriotic fervour when NATO bombed Yugoslavia in early 1999, but a few months later, a student movement named Otpor! ("Resistance" in Serbian) launched a surprising offensive. Audaciously demanding the removal of Milosevic, they recruited where discontent was strongest, in the Serbian heartland. Their weapons were rock concerts and ridicule, the Internet and email, spray-painted slogans and a willingness to be arrested. Otpor! students became the shock troops in an army of human rights, pro-democracy, anti-war, women's groups and opposition political parties. Their slogan: "He's finished!" Trained in nonviolent action and partially financed by the U.S. and western Europe, they forged a unified political opposition, fought to stop vote fraud and systematically unde
McGill East European and Russian Film/Documentary Series: "Disbelief" (2004, USA/Russia, documentary, 105 minutes)
In September 1999, two working-class Moscow apartment buildings were bombed in atrocious and deadly attacks that authorities blamed on Chechen terrorists. As fear rippled through Russia, Vladmir Putin centred his presidential bid on settling the score with the breakaway republic of Chechnya, vying to "rub them out in the outhouse." With this visually stunning documentary, Andrei Nekrasov questions Chechen responsibility for the blasts and explores recent evidence that the bombings were orchestrated by Russian authorities, in order to discredit the Chechen leadership and to precipitate a second war with Chechnya.
McGill East European and Russian Film/Documentary Series: "Balkan Cabaret" (1999, Serbia, film, 100 minutes)
This film's purpose is to illustrate what happens when a pocket of civilization collapses. It features a collage of stories that take place during the course of one night in Belgrade. Law and order have broken down. The streets are teeming with police, but they don't act, and when they do, they are ineffectual. In fact, the cops are as much a part of the problem as the solution. Their job is no longer about honouring a meaningless term like justice; their purpose is to mete out punishment. Violence is no longer a regrettable tool; it is a pleasure.
McGill East European and Russian Film/Documentary Series: "Meet the Stans” – Parts One, Two and Three (2003, England, documentary, 40 minutes each)
In this BBC series, author and journalist Simon Reeve travels to Central Asia to meet the Stans: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. His journey provides viewers with a unique insight into these countries' culture and politics. Part One: Kazakhstan – The country has oil deposits thought to rival those of Saudi Arabia. But Simon also discovers former biological weapons factories with poor security that house 100 types of plague, a shrinking sea now home to camel farmers, and the region's best Beatles tribute band. Part Two: Kyrgyzstan – With none of Kazakhstan's natural resources, Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the world with both an American and a Russian military base. Simon also meets a member of a banned radical Islamic group before putting on a protective suit to visit one of the world's most highly radioactive sites. Part Three: Uzbekistan – In the most repressive of the "Stans" he visited, Simon finds himself followed by the secret police as he travels across the country. He meets the
Intrinsic and peptidergic control of the GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition of the median preoptic nucleus, a strategic hypothalamus site for hydromineral homeostasis
Dr. Didier Mouginot, Unité de neuroscience, Pavillon CHUL, Université Laval
Dr. Tzumin Lee, Dept of Neurobiology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester
Dr. Bryan Stewart, Dept of Zoology, University of Toronto, Mississauga
NSERC guest speakers will discuss the following programs: Strategic Projects; CRD and I2I. RSVP by phone or email. (Please note there is also a session taking place on the downtown campus on Feb. 7, 9:30-11:30 am, in Leacock, Room 232.)