The UW Cinematheque is proud to welcome the accomplished and acclaimed screenwriter/director David Koepp to the UW Madison campus on March 11 and 12. Koepp, a native of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, has contributed to the screenplays for numerous contemporary blockbusters, including four directed by Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), War of the Worlds (2005), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)), three by Brian DePalma (Carlito’s Way (1993), Mission: Impossible (1995), and Snake Eyes (1998)), David Fincher's Panic Room (2002), and Sam Raimi’s Spider Man (2002). More recently, he has penned the scripts for Ron Howards’ Angels and Demons (2009) and Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014). In 1996, Koepp made his debut as writer/director with The Trigger Effect, and has since gone on to helm four other features: Stir of Echoes (1999), Secret Window (2004), Ghost Town (2008), Premium Rush (2013) and Mortdecai (2015).
Koepp will join us to introduce two of the films he wrote, War of the Worlds and Ron Howard’s The Paper (1994) on March 11. On March 12, he will present his delightful Ricky Gervais comedy, Ghost Town. Koepp will participate in post-screening discussions for all three programs.
All three screenings will be held at:
4070 Vilas Hall
821 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
Wednesday, March 11, 3:30 p.m.
WAR OF THE WORLDS
USA | 2005 | 35mm | 116 min.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins
Faced with an invasion of well-armed aliens from outer space, working class divorced father Ray (Cruise) faces numerous deadly challenges in his efforts to protect his daughter (Fanning) and son (Justin Chatwin). Matching the intensity of Jaws and Jurassic Park, Spielberg’s update of H.G. Wells’s canonized novel deftly infuses the hyperbolic sci-fi premise with post 9/11 anxieties. Screenplay co-author David Koepp, who also wrote the scripts for the two Spielberg-directed Jurassic Park movies, will talk about his writing in a post-screening discussion.
Wednesday, March 11, 7:00 p.m.
USA | 1994 | 35mm | 112 min.
Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close Director Howard's throwback to the classic newspaper picture updates the fast-paced dramatics and comedy of movies like Five Star Final (1931) and His Girl Friday (1940) to a modern-day tabloid in NYC. In a 24-hour period, New York Sun Assistant Managing Editor Henry Hackett (Keaton) tries to get to the bottom of a double murder case, all while trying to re-negotiate his position and keep his pregnant wife (Marisa Tomei) happy. The sterling supporting cast includes Close and Duvall as the paper's chief editors, and Randy Quaid as a dogged reporter. The fun, classically-structured screenplay is by David Koepp, working in collaboration with his brother, Stephen. David Koepp will participate in a post-screening discussion. "The Paper gets a lot of things right about working on a newspaper, and one of them is how it screws up your personal life." (Roger Ebert).
Thursday, March 12, 7:00 p.m.
USA | 2008 | 35mm | 102 min.
Director: David Koepp
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Tea Leoni, Greg Kinnear Gervais, in his own inimitable way, plays Bertrum Pincus, a misanthropic dentist who, after undergoing a minor surgical procedure, wakes up with the ability to see dead people, all of whom want something from our hero. A possibility for romance is introduced when one ghost (Kinnear) asks Bertram to look after the widow (Leoni) he left behind. One of the most underrated comedies of the last decade, Ghost Town is kept afloat by a witty script and great performances by the entire cast, including Kristin Wiig, sidesplitting as a barely competent surgeon. Writer/director Koepp will join us in person for a post-screening discussion.
Special Thanks to David Bordwell
All three of these screenings are free and open to the public. Seating limited.