Film Club Retrospective and Coming Attractions

Another semester begins and that means that reading groups and our own film club are starting up again. I wanted to take some time to reflect on what we did last semester as well as look forward to what we having coming this semester. So let’s go on a trip back and to the future! Get it? It’s a movie reference.

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First, the stats. We watched the following films last semester: Modern Times, Young Frankenstein, High and Low, The Innocents, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Pan’s Labyrinth. Four out of the six films are in black and white, only the last two are in (glorious) color. They’re also the only two movies made in my lifetime. This semester I want to correct that, because there are some amazing color films from the 50s and 60s that use color in really fun and fantastic ways. Jacques Demy, here we come. We’ve got three horror-tinged films, though none of them are truly scary. Just based on our current group population, I’d guess that might continue this semester. Finally, we’ve got three American films and 2 movies with foreign language dialogue. I think that’s probably about right for a club focused on the depth and breadth of cinema history.

My favorite of these films was The Innocents, with High and Low coming in a close second. These are movies that make me excited about the possibility of cinema to create images and stories that can change the world, or at least help us understand the world a little better. Part of that change comes from discussing the films with friends, and so I want to take this time to thank all of the people who came to one or all of the movies we watched and discussed. “It was great! It was a relaxing way to end the week and to discuss academic subjects, even though we didn’t get to watch Gremlins,” Laura Kremmel testifies, because she was in the Writing Center with me and I prodded her to say something nice. I apologize for the Gremlins thing, end of semester stuff gets busy quick. We’ll work on getting that better this time around.

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Speaking of this time around, Film Club starts up again tonight! In a few short hours we’ll begin with The Seventh Seal, another black and white foreign language film. I promise we’ll watch some uplifting stuff this semester, because we need it and there are enough terrible things happening in real life. The best way to have a say in this is to join the Facebook group page and vote in the weekly polls. Did I say weekly? Yes! I did! Since there’s no homework and a limited time commitment, we’re going to a weekly schedule. You are welcome to join us every week or once in the semester or any amount in between. We’re all about low commitment and a stress-free environment. There will be food and drink every week, and if that doesn’t get you excited I don’t know how you’re alive. Finally, for two weeks sometime in the semester we’ll be watching my favorite film of all time, Fanny and Alexander, which will also be the topic of my Master’s thesis, so if you want to know what the heck I’m talking about, come on down to Drown 001. We’d be happy to have you.

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