Starting a local film club -- might be fun, might be a disaster

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Having thought about it for a while (about 2 years), I'm starting a film club for local friends. We have an air conditioned/heated outbuilding that we fixed up a few years ago and have been using for D&D and board gaming, and I've added a TV and BD player, both 4K UHD. I threw the idea out to local Facebook friends a few weeks ago and got positive responses from about 15-16 people. The cabin currently has seating for 10-12, some more comfortable than others.

Our wifi signal extends to the cabin so streaming (mostly Criterion Channel) will be available, not just physical media.

Programming will be the trickiest part -- navigating the sweet spot between crowd pleasing "classics" and films I think are important and want to raise awareness of. I don't want to bother with anything they might already have seen on TCM.

So, ILF -- any advice?

Manfred Hemming-Hawing (WmC), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 20:20 (four months ago) link

nothing useful -- but follow yr instincts

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 20:27 (four months ago) link

I love the Archers' six-film run from Col. Blimp through Red Shoes an inordinate amount, so I'd like to start with one of those. Thinking Black Narcissus -- it's in English, it's not too long and it's about as uncomplicated a story as they come, but we can talk about color motifs and such, and ooh and aah over Jack Cardiff's work.

Manfred Hemming-Hawing (WmC), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 20:37 (four months ago) link

Are you thinking of doing this on a regular schedule? Like, one movie a week or something like 12 hour binge day before every holiday when people have a day off? I know someone who does a 24 hour thing once a year (for New Years) and has a webpage archiving all the films shown commemorating the showtimes, break times, technical problem times. It's been going on for well over a decade.

Yerac, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 21:17 (four months ago) link

I think sometimes there are themes and there are votes about what to show.

Yerac, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 21:19 (four months ago) link

My idea is for a regular schedule. One idea I had was to offer supplemental viewing -- like if one main meeting was to watch a particular film, I might say I'll screen something else by the same filmmaker(s) or in the same theme on other nights in the following week, people can show up or not, no pressure.

Manfred Hemming-Hawing (WmC), Wednesday, 7 August 2019 21:30 (four months ago) link

I have been watching films most Sunday nights with a friend for 10 years or so now. Having just two people making choices has been relatively easy.

I was also lucky enough to have joined a really motivated book club at its inception years ago. I was an inconstant member at points when my job got more intense, but the other members were more persistent and they never dropped me. It’s been a really rewarding experience. We have over time decided to agree on some rules that have been very helpful. Voting on choices for the following meeting has been one of them

Dan S, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 23:33 (four months ago) link

Going to start this Sunday with Black Narcissus and Kristin Thompson's 13-minute breakdown of color motifs in same. Can't wait for the fall & winter when film soundtracks won't have to compete with the AC.

For the 2nd meeting I'm thinking about Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl, plus something to fill out the evening since it's just 59 minutes. Not sure what though. Something about colonialism but not too long...

Manfred Hemming-Hawing (WmC), Tuesday, 13 August 2019 19:35 (three months ago) link

Cool. Will they eat sausages?

TS: “8:05” vs. “905” (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:06 (three months ago) link

that sounds interesting re: the color. one of the things i really regret about film these days is that the color is so dull in most of them. i realize few things are going to look as good as "black narcissus"... well this crosses over nicely with "Technological/practical "backward steps" we all just accept now", doesn't it?

Abigail, Wife of Preserved Fish (rushomancy), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:11 (three months ago) link

Yeah, was thinking of posting that there myself but hadn’t fully read the thread yet so wasn’t sure if it hadn’t already been done

TS: “8:05” vs. “905” (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 15 August 2019 17:43 (three months ago) link

So far so good. Black Narcissus week 1, Where Is the Friend's Home? week 2. Pretty good discussion both nights. The Kiarostami had a couple of people laughing and a couple of people on the edge of tears, so it was fun to break down reactions.

The Chronicles of Ermagerd (WmC), Monday, 26 August 2019 03:06 (three months ago) link

Took last week off because I was slammed with work. For this week there was a call for some comedy to lighten the mood, so I'm going to show the animated short Logorama and Safety Last! w/Harold Lloyd.

One of the attendees is frustrated at people commenting during movies and getting up to refill their popcorn bowls, etc. and asked me to ask everyone to be still and quiet when the lights are down. I sympathized, but said as much as she might want it to be a cinema experience, it's going to be a living room experience, and a crackdown is guaranteed to be a total buzzkill and attendance-kill. I'll make sure she's in the seat where nobody moves into her line of sight.

WmC, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 17:41 (three months ago) link

Partially rescreened and rejected for comedy night: A Straightforward Boy, Schizopolis and Leningrad Cowboys Go America.

WmC, Wednesday, 4 September 2019 17:45 (three months ago) link

I love Safety Last!

Dan S, Thursday, 5 September 2019 00:23 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Logorama and Safety Last! were a big hit, and so was the program of SF shorts the next week — A Trip to the Moon, La Jetée, Solar Walk and World of Tomorrow.

Taking this week off (2 weeks on then a week off seems to be working out best for everyone) and trying to decide what to show on the 29th. Maybe Tokyo Story.

WmC, Friday, 20 September 2019 01:33 (two months ago) link


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