About the International Film Series

The International Film Series started in February 2011 as way to involve the Media Resources Department of the Weinberg Memorial Library in the life of our students, faculty and the community.  Each month during the Fall and Spring Semesters an award-winning film from the Media Resources Collection is shown and discussed.  Faculty members lend their expertise by leading the discussions and everyone is encouraged to participate.Popcorn with Butter!

Comedies and dramas from many countries including Great Britain, Italy, Columbia, Canada and Germany have been shown.  This web page will offer information about the upcoming film and the most recent films shown.

Admission to the films is free, but reservations are required.  Please contact Sharon Finnerty at sharon.finnerty@scranton.edu for more information or to be added to the International Film Series email list.

The Black Balloon
Image courtesy of NeoClassics Films.

The International Film Series Presents: The Black Balloon

When Thomas and his family move to a new home and he has to start at a new school, he just wants to fit in. That becomes more difficult when his pregnant mother is hospitalized and his father puts him in charge of his autistic older brother Charlie. Thomas struggles with the responsibility since he both loves and is sometimes embarrassed by his older brother. Will the support of his family and new girlfriend be enough to help Thomas fit in and accept his often chaotic family life?  

The director Elissa Down drew on her experiences growing up with two autistic brothers, and she offers a realistic and sympathetic look at a family with an autistic teenager.  The Black Balloon is in English and stars Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward and Toni Collette.

Please join us on Wednesday May 4th at 7 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for this free event. Professor Allison Lai will lead a discussion following the film.


Her
Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

The International Film Series Presents: Her

Set in Los Angeles in the not-too-distant future Her leaves the viewer with plenty to think about and discuss.  It tells the story of Theodore a lonely writer who is having trouble accepting the break-up of his marriage.  When he purchases a new operating system, OS1, which is advertised with the words “It's not just an operating system; it's a consciousness," his life begins to change. Before long Theodore comes to depend on “Samantha,” the voice of his constantly evolving operating system. When the relationship becomes intimate, it leaves both of them wondering if a romance between a human being and a cyber consciousness can be sustained. 

Directed by Spike Jonze, Her is in English and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams.

Please join us on Wednesday April 13th at 7 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for this free event. Professor Donna Witek will lead a discussion following the film.

Please note: This film portrays adult situations and language.


Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
Photo courtesy of

Film Movement describes the film as the story of Tania a former teacher from Russia, living illegally in Belgium with her son, Ivan. One day she is stopped for a routine check by the police and is arrested. Separated from Ivan, who manages to escape, she is placed in an immigration detention center for women and children. While utterly refusing to face expulsion, Tania begins a fight to preserve her dignity, identity and humanity, as well as find her son.

Directed by Olivier Masset-Depasse, “Illegal” is in French and Russian with English subtitles. Dr. Marzia Caporale will lead a discussion following the film.

Please join us on Friday March 11, 2016 at 7 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for a free presentation of the Belgian drama “Illegal.”

 

 

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
Photo courtesy of

Film Movement describes the film as a lighthearted comedic romp, where introvert Weichung begins to question his marriage to Feng when she signals she’s ready to have another baby, and an unexpected encounter with a friend from his past awakens long-dormant emotions. It all sets him off on a quest for true romance and desire.

Directed by Arvin Chen, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” is in Mandarin with English subtitles. Dr. Ann Pang-White will lead a discussion following the film.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 7 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for a free presentation of the Taiwanese comedy “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”

 

 

Like Water for Chocolate
Photo courtesy of

“Like Water for Chocolate” (Como Agua para Chocolate) is an internationally popular Mexican film that focuses on Tita, a young woman who discovers that her cooking has magical effects on others. Tita is the youngest of three daughters who is bound by tradition to remain unmarried so she can cook and care for her aging mother.  When Tita falls in love with the handsome Pedro, her mother forbids their marriage.  To remain close to Tita, Pedro agrees to marry her sister, Rosaura. This, of course, complicates life for everyone and Tita’s feelings are transferred to the delicious meals she creates.

Directed by Alfonso Arau, this award-winning Mexican film is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Please join us on Thursday, October 1st at 7 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for this free event. Dr. Ileana Szymanski will lead a discussion following the film.

Please note: This film portrays adult situations and language.

 

Lucky
Photo courtesy of

How could a recently orphaned, 10-year old homeless South African boy ever be called Lucky? Over the grave of his dead mother, Lucky makes a promise to make something of himself. Leaving the security of his remote Zulu village for the big city with the hope of going to school, he arrives on the doorstep of an uncle who has no use for him. Lucky then falls in with Padme, a formidable Indian woman with an inherent fear of Africans, who takes him in as she would a stray dog. Together, unable to speak each other's language, they develop an unlikely bond.

Through an odyssey marked by greed, violence, and, ultimately, belonging, Lucky shows how a child's spirit can bring out decency, humility and even love in adults struggling to survive in the new South Africa.

Directed by Avie Luthra, this award-winning South African film is in Zulu, Hindi and English with English subtitles.

Please join us on Tuesday, September 22nd at 7 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for this free event. Jean Lenville, Assistant Dean of the Library, will lead a discussion after the film.

 

The Visitor

Please join us on Tuesday May 12th at 7 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater in The DeNaples Center for a free presentation of The Visitor. The Visitor tells the story of an economics professor, Walter Vale, who after losing his wife has lost his passion for teaching. When Walter's college sends him to a conference in Manhattan, he is surprised to discover that a young couple has moved into his seldom-used apartment in the city. Tricked in a real estate scam, the couple, Tarek and Zainab, have nowhere to go. Walter allows the couple to stay in his apartment and unexpectedly develops a connection to them that invigorates his mundane life.

When Tarek is arrested and taken to a detention center, Walter is compelled to help which gives new focus to his life.

A New York Times Critics Pick, The Visitor is directed by Tom McCarthy and stars Richard Jenkins. The Visitor is in English.

 

East/West

The International Film Series is proud to present the French drama East/West (Est/Ouest) on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater in the DeNaples Center. A discussion led by Dr. Sean Brennan will follow the film. East/West follows a young couple invited back to the Soviet Union after the end of World War II. Alexei Golovine (Oleg Menchikov), his French bride Marie (Sandrine Bonnaire), and their son are forced to cope with the grim reality of the post-war Soviet Union after their arrival. The film details the internal and external pressures put on the family, especially Marie, who is viewed with much suspicion. Marie tries to survive in the harsh circumstances and finds a hope of freedom when she meets a touring French actress (Catherine Deneuve). However, she is forced to make a difficult choice: leave her husband and child behind, or stay in the Soviet Union and face a dark future.

Directed by Regis Wargnier, East/West is in French and Russian with English subtitles.

 

Shadow Magic

The International Film Series is proud to present a touching story of the introduction of motion pictures to China in the early 20th century. In Shadow Magic photographer Liu Jinglun (Xia Yu) is intrigued by the talk of westerner Raymond Wallace (Jared Harris) about “moving pictures”. Liu unintentionally defies the traditions of his culture as he tries to bridge the gap between western technology and his Chinese community. The film follows the internal struggle of Liu as he deals with cultural conflict, loyalty to his family and friends, and trying to improve his social standing so that he can be with the woman he loves.

Directed by Ann Hu, Shadow Magic is in Mandarin and English with English subtitles.

 

The Big City

The International Film Series presents a free screening of The Big City (Mahānagara) on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater in The DeNaples Center. Dr. Satyajit Ghosh will lead a discussion after the film.

One of famed director Satyajit Ray’s greatest films, The Big City (Mahānagara) is set in Calcutta in the early 1960s. The film centers on the changes in society and how they affect a traditional Indian family. Subrata and his wife Arati are having trouble supporting children and his parents on his salary as a bank clerk. With her husband's reluctant support Arati takes a sales job in the city, but some family members have trouble adjusting to her new-found independence.

The Big City is in Bengali with English subtitles.

 

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun

The International Film Series presents a free screening of The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil) on Wednesday, November 19th, at 7:00pm in the Moskovitz Theater in the DeNaples Center. Dr. Annie Hounsokou will lead a discussion following the film.

Set in Dakar, Senegal, The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun is director Djibril Diop Mambety’s tribute to street children. It tells the story of Sili Lam, a resilient twelve year old paraplegic who is the lone girl in the competitive world of male newspaper vendors. With the local policeman suspicious of her good fortune when she sells all her newspapers and the newsboys taunting her, can Sili persevere and rise above her difficult circumstances?

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun is in Wolof with English subtitles.

 

Beauty and the Beast

Please join us on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater in the DeNaples Center for a free presentation of Jean Cocteau’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête). Mr. Peter Tafuri will lead a discussion after the film.

If you’ve only seen the animated version of this fairy tale, come see Jean Cocteau’s 1946 French adaptation for a unique film experience. When Belle’s father is imprisoned by the Beast for picking a rose from the Beast’s garden, Belle bravely takes her father’s place and a magical adventure follows.

Beauty and the Beast is in French with English subtitles.

 

Philomena

Please join us on Tuesday September 16, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater in the DeNaples Center for a free presentation of the 2014 Best Picture Nominee Philomena. Dr. Lawrence Kennedy will lead a discussion following the film.

The title character of Philomena is played by Academy Award winning actress Judi Dench. Philomena, an elderly Irish woman, is searching for her son who had been adopted almost 50 years earlier. With the aid of journalist Martin Sixsmith, played by Steve Coogan, she heads to the United States to find her son.

Directed by Stephen Frears, Philomena is in English.

 

Waiting for Happiness

Please join us on Friday May 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for a free presentation of the Mauritanian/French drama Waiting for Happiness. Dr. Annie Hounsokou will lead an engaging discussion following the film.

New Yorker Films describes Waiting for Happiness as the story of the diverse people of the small transit city of Nouadhibou in Mauritania which serves as a resting stop for people from all over the world. The lives of its inhabitants are pared down to two basic choices: adaptation or exile. In the latter category is Abdallah, a citified college student who temporarily returns home and, unable to speak or dress like a native, becomes painfully, comically alienated. Opposed to him is Khatra, an alert, curious boy apprenticed to the wizardly local electrician, who demonstrates how apparent oppositions (such as magic and technology, tradition and modernity) might be reconciled through improvisation and patience. Waiting for Happiness spins its overlapping stories and intersecting characters into a prismatic cascade of enigmas, epiphanies, deadpan gags, and haunting images: a light bulb glowing in the middle of the desert, a low window disclosing passersby from the knees down, huge ships bobbing in the offshore haze with the tantalizing promise of distant happiness.

Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako, Waiting for Happiness is in French and Hassanya with English subtitles.

The Chess Players

Please join us on Friday April 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for a free presentation of the Indian drama The Chess Players. Professor Bonnie Oldham will lead a discussion following the film.

Directed by India’s noted filmmaker Satyajit Ray, The Chess Players is set in 1856 India where the British are poised to take over the kingdom of Awadh. But Awadh’s King and the Indian aristocracy prefer chess, poetry and music to focusing on their political and family responsibilities. Will the aristocracy see the game of chess the British are playing before their king is taken?

The Chess Players is in Urdu, Hindi and English with English subtitles.

Shun Li Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on Friday March 28, 2014 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for a free presentation of the Italian drama Shun Li and the Poet. Professor Allison Lai will lead a discussion following the film.

This award-winning film tells the story of two outsiders who become unlikely friends. Shun Li works in a textile factory near Rome, slowly paying off the broker that brought her from China to Italy, while saving money so she can bring her young son to join her. She is suddenly transferred to work as a bartender at a pub in a small fishing village along the Venetian Lagoon. The pub is the hangout of the local fishermen, including Bepi, a handsome old Slav immigrant nicknamed "The Poet."  A delicate friendship, based in part on their love of poetry, grows between Shun Li and Bepi, but the locals don’t approve, and gossip soon threatens their innocent relationship. Zhao Tao earned Best Actress honors at the 2012 David di Donatello Awards for her portrayal of Shun Li.

Directed by Andrea Segre, Shun Li and the Poet is in Italian and Mandarin with English subtitles.

Foreign LettersPlease join us at 7:00 p.m. on Friday February 21, 2014 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for a free presentation of the American coming-of-age film Foreign Letters.  A brief discussion will follow the film.

Set in the 1980’s, Film Movement describes Foreign Letters as the story of Ellie, a 12-year-old immigrant from Israel who is lonely and homesick. Life brightens when she meets Thuy, a Vietnamese refugee her age. Trust slowly builds as the two teach each other about life in America. As Ellie and Thuy become inseparable, they eventually hurt and betray each other. Ellie must give up her most prized possession, in order to save their friendship. Based on filmmaker Ela Their’s experiences, Foreign Letters is a story about prejudice, poverty, shame, and the power of friendship to heal us.

Foreign Letters is in English, Hebrew and Vietnamese with English subtitles.

A Screaming Man

Set in present day Chad, A Screaming Man is described by Film Movement as the story of Adam, an aging former swimming champion, who is a pool attendant at a popular hotel. When the hotel is taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son, Abdel, leaving Adam humiliated and resentful.

Meanwhile the country is in the throes of civil war. Rebel forces attack the government while the authorities demand the population contribute to the war effort. Can Adam and his family survive the changes that are breaking their world apart?

Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroum, A Screaming Man is in French and Arabic with English subtitles and is the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for a free presentation of the drama A Screaming Man. Professor George Aulisio will lead a discussion following the film.

Fall Semester - 2013

The General

What do you do when the love of your life and your beloved locomotive are stolen from you by enemy troops?   If you’re Buster Keaton, you deliver laughs and excitement while doing whatever it takes to recover what is yours!

The General is a 1926 silent film set in the midst of the American Civil War. Keaton plays Johnny Gray, an engineer whose train, The General, is stolen by Northern spies while the lovely Annabelle Lee is on board. Gray embarks on a daring adventure to save the day.

Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever made, The General captures the visual aspects of the Civil War while being thoroughly entertaining.

Join us for this free event on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.  Kevin Norris will lead a discussion following the film. 

This screening is being held in conjunction with the Lackawanna County Library System's Scranton Reads event and is open to the public.

Sleeper

What would you expect to find when you woke up after being cryogenically frozen for 200 years? 

See Woody Allen's slapstick vision of the future in one of his funniest films.

Swank Motion Pictures describes Sleeper as the story of health food store owner Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) who enters the hospital for a routine gall bladder operation. When he expires on the operating table, Miles' sister requests permission to cryogenically freeze her brother's body. After 200 years, Miles is unwrapped by a group of scientists and awakens to a "brave new world" of deadening conformity, ruled with an iron fist by a never-seen leader. Miles is forced to flee for his life when the scientists—actually a group of revolutionary activists—are overpowered by the leader's police.  Stop in to find out what happens next…

Join us on Wednesday September 25, 2013 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.  Jean Lenville, Assistant Dean of the Library, will lead a discussion following the film.   The event is open to the public and free of charge.  Light refreshments will be served.

Spring Semester - 2013

Corpo Celeste

The International Film Series presents the Italian drama Corpo Celeste at 7 p.m. on Friday April 12, 2013 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library. Dr. Marzia Caporale will lead a discussion following the film.

Adolescence is a time of change, challenge, and transformation. The Italian coming-of-age drama Corpo Celeste portrays 13-year-old Marta facing the trials of youth as a newcomer to Calabria, Italy after living 10 years in Switzerland. With a mother trying to make ends meet by working at a bakery, Marta sets off into the city bright-eyed and restless. She seeks a community in the local church where she prepares for the rite of confirmation. Despite her hope, she soon realizes the hypocrisy of the priest and the misplaced morality of the local community. Through these interactions, Marta realizes she must take the first step in shaping her own life, as she climbs towards adulthood.  

Corpo Celeste is the writing and directing debut of Alice Rohrwachers, and is in Italian with English subtitles. The event is open to the public and free of charge. Light refreshments will be served.

I am David

Photo courtesy of Swank Motion Pictures

Can a young boy survive in the free world after escaping from a Communist concentration camp with few belongings and limited instructions?

This is the  challenge for 12 year-old David as he travels across Europe attempting to reach safety and discover his true identity.  Adapted from Anne Holm’s novel North to Freedom, I Am David takes us on a remarkable journey.

Join us for a free showing of I Am David on Thursday February 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.  Mr. Neil Grimes, Reference Librarian, will lead a discussion following the film.

Directed by Paul Feig, this inspirational drama is in English.

Please contact Sharon Finnerty at sharon.finnerty@ scranton.edu or (570) 941-6330 for reservations.

Fall Semester - 2012

Trip to the MoonWere you enchanted by the 2011 silent film The Artist? Did you find your imagination sparked by the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret or the Academy Award winning film Hugo? Then The International Film Series’ presentation of the 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon is for you!

A Trip to the Moon is considered a timeless masterpiece of French filmmaker George Méliès. The film tells the story of an expedition of astronomers to the moon and the mysteries they discover. The Extraordinary Voyage, which gives a behind the scenes account of the making of A Trip to the Moon and its restoration, will also be shown.

Make your own expedition to Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library at 7:00 PM on Thursday November 15, 2012 for this free screening. Professor Kevin Norris will lead a discussion following the film.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity. The film is open to the University community and the public. Seating is limited so contact Sharon Finnerty at (570) 941-6330 or sharon.finnerty@scranton.edu for reservations. English subtitles are provided for the French language portions of the film.

Viva Cuba

Join us for a presentation of the Cuban drama Viva Cuba at 7 p.m. Thursday October 25, 2012 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.  Dr. Yamile Silva will lead a discussion following the film.

Viva Cuba is described by Film Movement as a tale akin to Romeo and Juliet.  The friendship between two children is threatened by their parents' differences. Malú is from an upper-class family and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito, as she thinks his background coarse and commonplace. Jorgito's mother, a poor socialist proud of her family's social standing, places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malú and Jorgito.

Directed by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti, Viva Cuba is in Spanish with English subtitles.

This film was chosen in conjunction with the Scranton Reads: One City, One Book project and is open to the University community and the public.

Desk Set

It’s 1957 and computers are just being introduced into the corporate world.  When a consultant arrives at the Federal Broadcasting Company and starts asking questions, everyone feels threatened – especially the Reference Department. Will the “electronic brain” make the staff redundant?

Join us for Desk Set on Friday September 21, 2012 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library, and see if man, woman or machine is superior!   Free show (including popcorn) at 7 p.m.

This classic American comedy stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in their eighth film together and is presented by the International Film Series (formerly the Foreign Film Series).   Jean Lenville, Assistant Dean of the Weinberg Memorial Library, will lead a discussion following the film.

Spring Semester - 2012

King of Devil's IslandJoin us for a presentation of the Norwegian thriller King of Devil’s Island at 7 p.m. Friday May 4, 2012 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.  Dr. Kathryn Meier and Professor Mark Meier will lead a discussion following the film.

Described by Film Movement as the true story of the infamous Bastøy Boys Home correctional facility in Norway, the movie begins with the arrival of seventeen-year-old Erling, a rumored murderer.  He clashes with the island facility's governor (Stellan Skarsgård), who believes manual labor, rigid discipline, and harsh punishment are the only methods that can turn the boys into honorable members of society. Erling slowly rouses the rest of the boys out of their resigned existence, and encourages them to fight to lift their spirits. When tragedy falls at the hand of the cruel dorm master, Erling leads his comrades in a courageous and vicious rebellion that will bring them head to head with the Norwegian Army. 

Directed by Marius Holst King of Devil’s Island is in Norwegian with English subtitles.

AlamarThe Mexican drama Alamar will be presented by the Foreign Film Series at 7 p.m. on Friday March 23, 2012 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.  Professor Kevin Norris will lead a discussion after the film.

Film Movement describes this beautifully scenic film as the story of a father and son. Jorge has only a few weeks with his five-year-old son Natan before Natan leaves to live with his mother in Rome. Intent on teaching Natan about their Mayan heritage, Jorge takes him to the pristine Chinchorro reef, and eases him into the rhythms of a fisherman's life. As the bond between father and son grows stronger, Natan learns to live in harmony with life above and below the surface of the sea. 

Directed by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio, this award winning film is in Spanish and Italian with English subtitles

Four MinutesThe award-winning German drama Four Minutes will be presented by the Foreign Film Series at 7 p.m. on Friday February 10, 2012 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.  Dr. Monika Moyrer will lead a discussion following the film.

Four Minutes tells the story of two very different women:  Jenny, a convicted killer with enormous musical talent and Traude, an aging music teacher at the women’s prison who is grooming Jenny to perform in a prestigious piano competition.  With powerful performances from Hannah Herzsprung as Jenny and Monica Bleibtreu as Traude, Four Minutes is an unforgettable film.

Directed by Chris Kraus, Four Minutes is in German with English subtitles.

Fall Semester - 2011

Promo FlyerThe Foreign Film Series will present the Columbian drama The Colors of the Mountain at 7 p.m. Friday December 2, 2011 in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library. Dr. Yamile Silva will lead a discussion following the film.

The Colors of the Mountain is a film about a boy’s desire to play soccer in an area surrounded by war. The boy, Manuel lives with his parents, who are hard-working farmers, in a remote, mountainous region of the Columbian countryside, according to Film Movement. As military forces square of against rebels in a civil war, Manuel and his friend Julian try to play soccer as much as possible.

Manuel received a soccer ball for his birthday, but a few days later the ball gets kicked into a minefield. Not wanting to lose a huge part of their lives, Manuel, Julian and their albino friend, Poca Luz, embark on a journey to find the precious soccer ball.

This award winning film is directed by Carlos Cesar Arbelaez and is played in Spanish with English subtitles.      

Promo FlyerThe Foreign Film Series goes domestic this month with the presentation of the American dramatic comedy Helena from the Wedding on Friday November 18, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library.   Professor Sheli McHugh will lead a discussion following the film.

Written and directed by Joseph Infantolino, Helena from the Wedding is described by Film Movement as the story of Alex (Lee Tergesen) and Alice (Melanie Lynskey) who are hosting a New Year's Eve party for their closest friends at a remote cabin in the mountains.  But when the other couples arrive in various states of discord, their hopes for a relaxing weekend are quickly thrown out the window. The tensions in the cabin are compounded when Alice's friends bring along a surprise guest - the very young and very beautiful Helena (Gillian Jacobs). As the New Year creeps closer and closer, Alex and Alice must keep the evening from spiraling out of control.