The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

A cinematic cornucopia

While the history of film is not nearly as extensive as that of other forms of art, appreciation for cinema has quickly permeated into present-day culture. However, most people do not embrace the eclectic blend of films in the world of cinema. By means of example, Kyle Slattery ’16, the organizer of Grinnell’s new Eclectic Film Society, said that most people do not find themselves watching films that “advocate for militant anarcho-syndicalistic revolution through the framework of a story about alien frozen yogurt.”

The Eclectic Film Society focuses on older films, genre films or lower budget films that have been overlooked or underrated. Whether it is an independent film, a documentary or a genre film, the student group attempts to analyze the provocative elements that do not seem to fit mainstream ideology.

Screenings take place every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Bucksbaum 161, and are followed by an hour or so of discussion.

Slattery’s appreciation for film watching inspired the origins of the student group. Slattery participates in online film-oriented communities and his personal research guides his decisions as to what films to show.

“A lot of the films that we watch don’t make any attempt at representing reality,” Slattery said. “But because [these films] don’t look like the Hollywood constructed reality, people reject them.”

The Eclectic Film Society dedicates every month to a designated genre, and the month of October was, appropriately, focused on horror. Some of the hidden gems of the horror genre that the group watched included: John Carpenter’s “They Live,” Larry Cohen’s “The Stuff” and Nobuhiko Ôbayashi’s “House.”

November will take the theme of Western films.  In the future, the club plans to focus on East Asian cinema, black cinema and science fiction.

Although the College lacks a film major and has limited film studies courses, Slattery hopes the Eclectic Film Society will foster interest in the discipline at the school.

“I’d like to not only broaden people’s horizons for cinema, [so] they can look outside of what’s playing at the Strand, but also get people to appreciate the richness and depth of analysis of cinema,” Slattery said.

Much like the varied nature of the club, turnout thus far has been diverse. According to Slattery, students from various disciplines have joined the relatively new student group.

“I think what makes film so interesting is that it’s multi-textured. It allows [for] the influence of so many disciplines: post-colonial studies, psychological studies, gender studies, politics … It’s a nexus of ideologies,” Slattery stated.

While the student-group only started in early October, the Eclectic Film Society highly hopes to incorporate voices and opinions from the greater community into their colorful conversation on cinema. Slattery expressed that “the nature of film is so democratic and multi-perspectival. We’d like to get as many people from as many places as we can.”

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