Film and video have become a very influential medium in today’s society. Even the shortest movies can tell some of the most compelling stories. A movie can make someone laugh obscenely, fall in love, cry or inspire them to seek out a new aspect of life.
SU students can view a wide variety of current films on a weekly basis with showings provided by a few clubs on campus. One group, the Foreign Film Club, introduces students to rare cinema with origins outside the United States.
The purpose of the Foreign Film Club is to provide a setting for students to view highly praised and influential films from a foreign country. It also provides an outlet for intellectual curiosity and gives students a break from a lecture in the classroom.
After each showing, the club then donates the film to the Ezra Lehman Library for other students or professors to use on campus.
Club President Chris Piper described the group as an extension of the Art of Film class taught by English Professor Michael Pressler. Pressler is also the Foreign Film Club’s adviser.
Pressler believes that students need to get past the barrier of subtitles and watch a foreign film to teach themselves about a different culture besides their own.
Watching film is also a leisurely way to learn as opposed to reading from the traditional textbook. In film, viewers are more likely to feel as if they are interacting with characters displayed on the big screen compared to those learning from within the classroom.
Modern language professor, Angela Bagués believes that foreign film plays a role in education for everyone, and not just SU students.
“You can see different cultures, different ways of doing things and you can be much more open-minded when watching these films,” Bagués said.
Blandine Mitaut, a French professor in the SU Modern Languages Department, believes that no one should remain ignorant of what other people do around the world.
“With foreign film you have access to cultural practices and different ideas from nations where those films come from,” Mitaut said. “I believe it is vital for a university to promote representations of what other societies are like.”
In one of its showings this semester, the club hosted the award-winning film titled “Osama.” The movie was filmed after the fall of the Taliban and was released in 2003. “Osama” told SU students the heart-felt story of a small Afghan family who had no male members left in their household. Women were not allowed to hold jobs, so the family dressed the young daughter, Osama, as a boy to make money.
Future films the club will be showing this fall include “Grave of the Fireflies” from China and popular 1950’s film “The Seventh Seal” from Sweden.