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ISSUE 118 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/1/2004

Cinematic revolutions

By Joel Beard
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 1, 2004

"I got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it."

Rufus T. Firefly may have been referring to the St. Olaf Film Club in this hilarious quotation from the Marx Brothers' wild and unrestrained 1933 film "Duck Soup." Though he was right in saying that Film Club is a club, he was wrong about the potential uses of it. No beatings have ever occurred in the name of Film Club, except during the frequent intellectual spars in the always lively and enlightening discussions following the weekly film showings.

Each Friday night at precisely 7 p.m. in Viking Theater, an assortment of students gather together to watch a movie that was considered by a certain number of people to be a valuable contribution to the world of film. "I watch movies that I wouldn't usually take the time to watch, and I come out feeling more enlightened about the art of film, Elsa Marty `07 said. Following the viewing, all are encouraged to remain for a time of discussion in order to further their understanding and appreciation of the manifold aspects of each movie, as well as film in general.

"People want to talk about movies, so it's natural that they would want to gather together. It's a community," said Film Club co-president Tyler Beane `06.

Starting last year, Film Club decided to organize the film schedule around monthly themes, which have ranged from Film Noir to Shakespeare to Katharine Hepburn to New York City. This organizational scheme is designed to facilitate continuity in discussions that build off of each film in a successive manner. "Cinema has for some time been a prominent form of art in America, yet it is rarely the subject of academic endeavor," Dan Cooley `06 said. Film Club is almost finished with its first theme of 2004-05, "Comedic Ensembles," after having laughed and cried through Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums," hooted and hollered under the farcical barrage of the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup," and nearly perished in the humorous grip of "The Odd Couple."

This Friday, Film Club will be showing "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" to round off its first theme. Then Film Club will say farewell to comedy and enter the frightening world of "Creepy Characters," which will be haunted by such personalities as Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotton) from Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) in "The Night of the Hunter," the horrifying Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) in the film adaptation of Stephen King's "Misery," and finally, in preparation for Halloween, Film Club will reach back into the ancient vaults of film's creepiest characters and resurrect the eternal standard of creepiness, the original film vampire himself, Max Schreck as Nosferatu.

Film Club wants to let it be known and shouted in the hallways and classrooms that it is a club for the people. "Film is the ultimate hybrid of all the things I love about art," Chloe Cotherman `07 said. Film Club invites all that show interest and commitment to join in the fun and friendly decision-making process that goes on behind closed but unlocked doors. Come Friday and find out much, much more than you thought possible.

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