Movie überfans, rejoice. The film school at Arizona State University is giving you the chance to see four little-seen films on the big screen for free over the next four months, and you don’t have to be a student or university employee to take advantage of the deal.
The Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film is hosting a Film Forum that explores versions of four films later remade by Hollywood. The free screenings include: “Ringu,” which inspired the creepy 2002 box-office hit “The Ring;” “Infernal Affairs,” which American director Martin Scorsese based his 2006 Oscar-winner “The Departed” on; “La Cage aux Folles,” the predecessor of the 1996 comedy “The Birdcage;” and “Hairspray,” the 1988 John Waters cult hit remade in 2007 with John Travolta, Michelle Pfieffer, Zac Efron and Queen Latifah.
“These original versions will likely please fans of the remakes while also revealing nuances and surprises that provide for interesting points of comparison,” says Jason Davids Scott, a School of Theatre and Film lecturer and the forum’s curator, in a release.
One movie will play the first Wednesday of each month on the big screen inside Neeb Hall, an auditorium-style lecture facility on ASU’s main campus in Tempe. Here’s the lineup in greater detail:
Feb. 3: “Ringu” (Japan, 1998) — This modern, stylish Japanese horror film based on an old Japanese folk tale and a popular series of novels by Koji Suzuki inspired the 2002 American movie “The Ring.”
It’s Japan’s highest-grossing horror film ever and is considered by some to be even more disturbing and powerful than Hollywood’s version. (Note: This film was released without a rating in the United States and contains adult content).
March 3: “Infernal Affairs” (Hong Kong, 2002) — Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning film “The Departed” was based on this flick about police corruption and urban gangsters.
It stars some of the biggest names in Cantonese-language cinema, including Tony Leung (a six-time winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards), and captured dozens of accolades from around the world.
April 7: “La Cage aux Folles” (France, 1978) — Better known to American audiences as the basis for Mike Nichols’ film “The Birdcage,” this movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, spawned two sequels in French and was the basis for a Broadway musical.
May 5: “Hairspray” (USA, 1988) — John Waters’ low-budget cult hit launched the career of Ricki Lake and featured the last performance by Waters’ longtime star Divine (actor Harris Glenn Milstead), who died shortly after completing the film.
A clean-cut, good-natured tale of teenage angst and racial strife in 1960s Baltimore, “Hairspray” became a Tony-winning Broadway musical before being remade as a musical film in 2007.
What: See the original movies that inspired Hollywood remakes such as “The Ring” and “Hairspray” on a big screen.
When: 7:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month through May
Where: Room 105 at Neeb Hall, 920 S. Forest Mall on the ASU main campus in Tempe
Information: (480) 965-5337 or, for a map, go to www.asu.edu/map/interactive/?campus=tempe&building=NEEB