A couple of weeks ago I decided to start a movie club at work. I figured that the other assistants must feel the same way I sometimes do, which is that we elected to work in the movie business for a reason, and that reason probably wasn't to answer phones and handle correspondence and filing for the rest of our lives. Most of us have graduate or post-graduate degrees in film and/or critical theory, so why not take a few hours every couple of weeks to flex those muscles? We decided that we should all watch the AFI top 100 films, discussing one every two weeks at lunch time.
So far, it's a slow burn. I'm hoping more people want to participate, but I'm not sure how to really foster participation. Two weeks ago, two of my coworkers and I met up to discuss Citizen Kane. We struggled a bit because when we'd watched it as film students, we had tons to talk about, but when watching it for a second time in a more casual environment, it seemed awkward to sit around the lunch table discussing deep focus. Also, with a movie like Citizen Kane (and indeed, like many movies on the list), it can be difficult to discuss the film with fresh eyes, since everything has been referenced so many times since in pop culture. I pulled a few discussion questions off the internet, but mostly we talked about how what we liked about the movie the first time around differed from what we liked about it - or how much we liked it - a few years later.
Today, two different coworkers and I discussed The Godfather. We had toyed with the idea of discussing it along with The Godfather Part II, which is #32 on the list. In the end, I didn't make enough time to rewatch the second installment. The Godfather was easier to discuss, but still, three people working on a freeform "So...what did you think about The Godfather?" type of discussion can be a bit awkward. I love The Godfather so much, but I haven't discovered whether the tone of these discussions should be like "Oh man that scene is so cool!" or "The lensing techniques used are really reminiscent of blah blah film scholar doucheyness."
Has anyone ever started or participated in a book/movie club, and if so, do you have any tips? In two weeks, I'd love for some of my coworkers and I to discuss Casablanca, but it seems difficult to drum up interest. It's for our own personal edification that we should watch these movies, but until I figure out how to be a more competent discussion leader, maybe this is an exercise more in watching great movies than talking about them.
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