Ebert Interruptus plans to go Cuckoo this year

The Academy-award winning film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) will be the subject for dissection in this year’s Conference on World Affairs Ebert Interruptus, the CWA’s annual week-long interactive film analysis.

Writer, producer, media consultant, radio host, and veteran CWA participant Terrence McNally will serve as the Ebert Interruptus host this April.  McNally says, “I’m honored, excited—and a bit intimidated—to be leading Interruptus this year, which was created and led for so long by Roger Ebert, and ably by Jim Emerson the last few years. Roger brought all his expertise, knowledge and experience to the party, and at the same time made audience members feel invited to co-create each session.”

CWA director Jim Palmer says he is “delighted Terrence has selected one of my favorite films, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” featuring Jack Nicholson’s stunning performance as R. P. McMurphy. “Cuckoo’s Nest” is one of only three films to have swept all of the top five Oscar categories—Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Adapted Screenplay.”  Palmer goes on to say, “Terrence once ran a camp for chronic schizophrenics, thus his natural selection of Cuckoo’s Nest, a great film that poses the always current question—who’s sane and who’s mad?”

McNally describes the film as having “very strong lead performances, excellent ensemble, enormous energy on the screen, huge humor and sadness.”  He continues, “When I think of it, I think of the Zorba-like energy of McMurphy, yet the film is ultimately tragic. And it’s about questions that never go away—sanity and freedom and control.”

Roger Ebert, who created the Interruptus with CWA founder Howard Higman in 1975, tells a story of being present in that same year at the world premiere of “Cuckoo’s Nest” at the Chicago Film Festival.  Roger says he has “never heard a more tumultuous reception for a film—no, not even during E.T. at Cannes.”

An uninterrupted screening of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will be held on Monday, April 8 at 4 p.m. in Macky Auditorium, to be followed by four days of Interruptus sessions from April 9-12, also in Macky at 4 p.m. each day.  During the four days of the Interruptus, any member of the CWA Interruptus audience may freeze the film by yelling, “Stop!” in order to make comments or ask questions.

The CWA’s annual shot-by-shot film analysis has inspired the commentary tracks for DVDs of “Dark City,” “Casablanca,” “Floating Weeds” and “Citizen Kane,” which won Variety’s Video Premiere award as the best DVD commentary of the year.

The Sixty-fourth Annual Conference on World Affairs will be held April 8-12, 2013 on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus. The week’s broad array of panels, plenaries and performances are all free and open to the public. A full schedule of events can be found at www.colorado.edu/cwa

March 20, 2013

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