by Lauren Schuster Asst. Features Editor
At the beginning of each fall semester, the members of the Manhattan College Film Society are tasked with picking a theme to set the tone for the club’s film screenings that year.
After the theme is established, members then must suggest films that would fall under the theme to screen throughout the course of the school year. This process is overseen by the club’s two co-leaders, senior students Sofia Tollinche and Marisa Washington.
“As co-leaders, obviously we are movie enthusiasts, so we have seen a couple [of films fitting the theme]. So we can also tell [the other members] ‘listen, we have these movies that we like, maybe you would want to see them, or not.’ We tend not to impose our own preferences and we let them choose before we do, and then we sit down with Dr. Toth and decide which ones are the better films to screen,” Tollinche said.
This year’s theme is new beginnings, which will be focused on, but not limited to, coming-of-age films. The films the club intends to screen this year include “Dead Poets Society,” “Lady Bird,” “Hard Candy,” “Eighth Grade,” “Dazed and Confused,” “A Silent Voice,” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” The club’s co-leaders and the club’s faculty advisor Margaret Toth, Ph.D., all voiced their excitement to examine the wide range of films and how they all still manage to fit the theme.
“A lot of these films we haven’t seen and some we have, so it just opens up more discussion about something we all love and just the little details that go in with it,” Washington said.
While the film screenings are meant to be fun opportunities to watch good movies, they also aim to get those in attendance to think a little deeper about the films. At each screening, a member of the Film Society gives the audience some key things to look out for about the film and then facilitates an open conversation with the audience about the film after it ends.
“The MC Film Society aims to gather together students and faculty who want to discuss film in a setting that is at once relaxed and rigorous. That is, the events are fun and open, but we also like to have serious conversations about the films we screen,” Toth said.
These conversations are mainly moderated by students who are members of the club, however, there are the occasional exceptions. This year, Adam Koehler, Ph.D., a professor in MC’s English department, will be moderating the discussion on the film “Dead Poets Society.”
“Each year, we invite one or two faculty members to present a selected film, usually based on their teaching and research interests. For example, last year, Dr. Marinaccio, an expert on NYC texts, presented ‘Taxi Driver.’ Dr. Koehler has taught ‘Dead Poets Society’ and has a provocative take on it that I’m sure attendees will be interested in hearing about,” Toth said.
In addition to the film screenings that are spread out over the course of the year, the club also organizes occasional outings in the city and script readings on campus. No dates for the club’s upcoming events have been announced yet.