A Promising Start for Grinnell’s burgeoning film scene


Movies will be shown every Friday in the Harris Cinema at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Graphic by Elisa Carrasco Lanusse.

Allison Moore

After a year and a half of pandemic-induced Netflix alone and chill, Grinnell students are ready to watch movies together again.

On Friday, Sep. 17, students gathered in the Harris Cinema to watch “Promising Young Woman.” The Student Government Association (SGA) and Popcorn House collaboratively hosted the movie showing, a regular event set to occur every Friday at 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

The idea originated from a group of friends who, two years ago, would regularly get together to watch movies and play games on the weekends. Katie Goodall `23, a resident of Popcorn House, explained that “instead of pregaming we’d all go to game night. After that we’d go to Harris and we had a blast doing that.”

Despite a year of working from home, the game night crew stayed together and were approved for a project house for when they returned to campus this fall, which they decided to call Popcorn House. Wanting to spread the fun across campus, Goodall said that Popcorn House’s new goal is to provide a space for substance-free activities that would replace Friday and Saturday night parties.

Indeed, Harris Cinema is the perfect place to gather in person after eighteen months of awkward Zoom hangouts. Though the armrests of Harris chairs may prevent couples from cuddling, the padded seats and great acoustics more than make up for this small inconvenience.

Film enthusiasts slowly leave Harris Cinema after the 7:30 p.m. showing of “Promising Young Woman.” Photo by Isabel Torrence.

On the red carpet Friday night, Grinnellians sported various fashion looks. One group of friends was so comfortably dressed that they could have just rolled out of bed. Another group wore cute bandannas and mom jeans, channeling their inner Rosie the Riveter.

After the 7:30 p.m. showing, Zoe Knoernschild `24 said, “Harris is always a good time.” This was Knoernschild’s third time watching “Promising Young Woman” and it did not disappoint. “I had never seen a movie that talked about the things that it did in the way that it did,” she said. “It managed to deal with some serious topics in a way that was both lighthearted and really powerful.”

Moviegoers Ashley Pacheco `24 and Conor Martin `24 enjoyed going to a Harris movie for the first time. “I really enjoyed myself and came into it blind,” Pacheco said. Martin said that he would “definitely come back” to another Harris movie.

Pacheco acknowledged the film’s serious subject matter and the way it confronted sexual assault. “Especially in a college culture, I think it is so interesting that this was selected.” Others seemed to agree with Pacheco as students could be heard discussing the film as the end credits rolled.

“Promising Young Woman” stars Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham, an unlikely pairing. “Bo Burnham was a surprising one in that role,” Martin said. Indeed, Bo Burnham fans were not used to seeing him in such a straightforward dramatic role, yet he excels as the seemingly charming, too-good-to-be-true love interest. Mulligan shines in her role as Cassie, a woman with a troubled past and a mysterious hobby.

Emerald Fennell’s feature film directorial debut won the Oscar for best original screenplay at the 93rd annual Academy Awards. Sharp, careful direction from Fennell makes for a well-paced and riveting viewing experience. Moreover, the elaborate and vibrant sets and costumes only added to the movie’s brilliance.

To sample the vibe at Popcorn House’s movie nights, stop by Harris for the next film on Friday, Sep. 24, Marvel’s “Black Widow” at 7:30 and 10 p.m.