Next week, someone else is taking over my position as Treasurer for University of Birmingham Film Society.
During the academic year, the group meets twice a week. I’m going to miss it when I’m in Switzerland! People expect us to be fairly academic about it, and though we do try and cover the more eclectic side of cinema, really it’s just a bunch of students watching a film and going to the pub afterwards. In my first year in particular, Film Society was a big part of my university life; I wasn’t really in to clubbing, which seems to account for most of the first year undergraduate social scene, so it was great having something else to get involved with. I think the same thing is true for a lot of students. My advice to anyone starting university this year would be this: Don’t feel like you have to go clubbing every week to make friends or fit in. Most universities have hundreds of societies, so you’re bound to find something that suits you. And if you’re starting at the University of Birmingham, join the film society! You could not find a nicer group of people to argue about Tarantino with on a Tuesday night.
Being on the committee this year has meant I could choose some of the films to be screened. It goes without saying that not everyone appreciates my taste in film – awkward indie comedies made up most of my choices – but it’s been brilliant getting to introduce the group to some of my favourite films. (Included below is a list of my screenings for anyone who’s interested.)
Film society has also introduced me to a lot of new films that I’m so glad to have found; Park Chan-wook’s Thirst, and the stop motion film A Town Called Panic stand out for me. And with an exciting schedule for next semester, I’m looking forward to finding lots more! The new committee has made some great choices, so it looks like the society is in safe hands until my glorious return in 2015.
My film screenings (with fun/obnoxious comments about why you should go and watch them if you haven’t already):
- Bright Star (2009) – I love this film dearly but it did not go down well. I guess Ben Whishaw moping about in a velvet jacket isn’t everyone’s idea of entertainment.
- Clerks (1994) – Needs no introduction. If you haven’t seen it, you should fix that.
- Eagle vs. Shark (2007) – I think people came to see this expecting a “Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus” style CGI fest, and this film couldn’t be further from that. But it does feature Jemaine from Flight of the Concords in a homemade eagle costume.
- Robot & Frank (2012) – This went down really well. Sci-fi heist movie… but not what you’re imagining when I say that.
- Bunny & The Bull (2009) – Possibly my all-time favourite film. Simon Farnaby is perfect.
- Seven Psychopaths (2012) – I thought the marketing for this film was pretty misleading, as it just looked like another action film. Because of this it had passed a lot of people by, but it has a smart story. And Christopher Walken.
- A Film With Me In It (2008) – A darkly self-aware farce. Very Irish.
- The Piano (1993) – Another Jane Campion, but this went down much better than Bright Star. A new take on the gothic genre.
- A Clockwork Orange (1971) – We needed to show some Kubrick. I fought for 2001, but it was just too long..
- The Road (2009) – The most tender yet crushing dystopia you will ever see. Possibly a low one to end on, though.
Seen any of these already? Tell me what you thought in the comments!