Friday, November 03, 2006

Eat, Watch, Talk, Fellowship

Started a neighbourhood filmclub recently. I know a ‘filmclub’ sounds rather pretentious but at least one can’t mistake its intent.

The idea came about because of a couple of Mass Com. students who thought it would be interesting to meet, watch movies, and engage in a little conversation. We’re all amateurs, non-experts, getting together to have a little dinner and immerse ourselves in movie magic for a few hours.

In September we screened Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, and two weeks ago, it was that overlooked gem Groundhog Day by Harold Ramis. Silence of the Lambs was big but that was years ago, but not Groundhog, and that’s the whole point. It’s certainly a good way to think outside the box(office) and get acquainted with interesting films, enjoy them as art and entertainment, and explore what they’re trying to say.

For instance, we sympathised with Groundhog's protagonist Phil (Bill Murray) who, stuck in a recurring single day, wondered if there was meaning to his nightmare: if there were no tomorrrow, wouldn't life have no consequences? This rom-com ends happily with Phil finding love and redemption.

Someone said that while we may have come from different places, we all watch the same movies. That says a lot about our times and how much movies shape our worldviews and inform our attitudes and behaviour. The plan is to eventually work out genres and themes so there is some kind of structure to our viewing. In the meantime, some movies we want to view together include:

  • The Elephant Man (1980) directed by David Lynch
  • Babette's Feast (1987) directed by Gabriel Axel
  • Downfall (2004) directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
  • L'Enfant (2005) directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
  • Ikiru (1952) directed by Akira Kurosawa
  • Capote (2005) directed by Bennet Miller
  • The Ninth Day (2004) directed by Volker Schlondorff
    The list is not etched in stone and will probably change. Note that this is not a free-for-all public event but a get-together among friends. And of course, we do not intend to watch questionable material and risk being hauled away in the night :)


    discordant_dude said...

    Wow, dat's a great initiative! Was thinking of doing something like that with my students but too much bureaucracy and other obstacles.

    David BC Tan said...

    you could come and visit one of these days with your students... :)