Author: Kara McVey
Movie buffs despair no longer. A new club, which is sparking the interest of our school’s film-lovers, is now up and running. This year, Rafael Cortina (first-year) founded the aptly named Film Club – a club in which movie-goers gather together to watch some of the most influential films of the past decades.
The Film Club gathers for bi-weekly screenings of some of the most critically and popularly acclaimed films of the modern era. Past films featured have included “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Graduate,” “Memento,” “Chinatown” and most recently, last year’s sleeper hit “(500) Days of Summer.” Cortina said that he was the president of a film club in high school, and was surprised upon coming here that Oxy didn’t have anything comparable.
While Oxy’s popular “Bad Movie Club” picks out the most tragically (and comically) misconceived films for club viewing, Cortina thought the school ought to have a “Good Movie Club” too. Cortina said that he started the club in the hopes of bringing together creative students and helping film become “an integral part of the campus community.”
He is already well on his way to achieving his goal. The club boasts over a hundred members with diverse general interests who can all gather together for the shared love of cinema.
The club board – known collectively as “The Sting” after the classic 1973 film – participates in choosing upcoming films, along with Cortina and Vice-President Daniel Watson (first-year). From nearly a century of possibilities, they try to cull the real gems.
In addition to the lesser known films that the Film Club screens privately, the board has also sponsored campus-wide screenings of more mainstream films like “The Hangover” and “Up.” Cortina feels that these events are a great way to engage Oxy students in creative exchange by fostering a deeper appreciation of cinema.
Through these events, Cortina is attempting to draw an audience and get the Film Club name out there, he said. By holding these campus-wide screenings, he hopes that people will become increasingly open to the idea of appreciating different types of film. “We try to show inspirational [and classic] films, [as well as] really powerful indie films that mainstream film audiences may not have heard of,” he said. The club’s appeal, however, is not based in the sometimes overly highbrow attitude of film culture. This is a club that realizes certain types of film aren’t for everyone.
This month, the club plans to host an open viewing of the critically acclaimed “Amélie,” starring Audrey Tautou and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Sometime later this semester, Cortina hopes to arrange a campus drive-in.
In the more immediate future, he is working out the details for a “dive-in” at Oxy’s Taylor Pool, which would bring students out of their dorms for a night of swimming and watching films on a projector screen.
In addition to the Film Club, Cortina is in the planning stages of a major project that could become a platform for Oxy students with interest in film to share their passion. The idea, which would use the mediums of both television and the internet, could potentially have a big impact on the school. Cortina has christened it “Cat-A-List,” and hopes that it will be up and running within the next year.
Its basic structure would be a weekly twenty-minute long compilation of student videos that could run in the Green Bean, the Cooler, the library and in a portal attached to MyOxy. Students would collaborate with the project by filming and editing short videos together, the topics of which could range from sports highlights to restaurant reviews. Eventually he hopes that the project will create a more centralized community here at Occidental.
“This campus has so many individual things going on,” Cortina concluded. “We want to bring people together.”
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