group watching a black and white movie

Our Way to Begin a Film Study Group

Although it is a sedentary and mostly silent activity, watching a movie has a way of drawing people together.  From family movie nights to film clubs, people love to gather for the comfortable, relaxing, and sometimes intellectually stimulating activity of watching movies.

Our own movie-watching activity started 9 years ago when Pam Hassebroek invited a few women over to share a movie with her, with the idea in mind that we can all learn more about what a film communicates if we share our observations.

A Group Brings Different Perspectives

Her idea was to augment her knowledge, perceptions, and experience with the accumulated knowledge of women from a variety of experiential circumstances and belief systems. The idea is that people tend to see different aspects of film based on their personal lives, thus can bring different perspectives to discussions. Thus, Pam seeks invitees thought to be compatible and conversational, but not necessarily acquainted. Continuing to include only women as group members is an attempt to eliminate any restraint to open discussion that might exist with men in our audience.

From the outset, Pam has not formally introduced members nor has she encouraged group members to present their own backgrounds to the group in a formal way. Not that this has been openly stated nor restricted by any means, but she simply wants to inhibit bias from anyone who consciously or otherwise might be predisposed to either enhance or discredit opinions from women with certain types of life choices and experiences.

Today, even more members eagerly anticipate the monthly gathering in “The Movie Room” to watch and then discuss the carefully chosen film of the month. We have watched and discussed a variety of movies according to themes, e.g., foreign films, documentaries, comedies, movies on psychiatry and persuasion.

The evening always begins with food and drink, along with the mandatory popcorn as the movie starts. Chips and delicious guacamole prepared by our “in-house chef” has become a signature movie snack. Following this time together in the bar, we move into The Movie Room so that the “work” of the evening can begin.

Broadening Our Focus

Our movie group has now ventured beyond The Movie Room to expand our knowledge about motion pictures. For example, we have traveled together to see the settings of The Walking Dead, to attend film festivals in Crested Butte, CO and Atlanta, GA, and to attend the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conferences in Atlanta and Chicago.

The movie industry is flourishing in Georgia as well as in many new places around the world, so these are exciting times for movie fans and scholars to witness. We hope that you will continue to add to our discussions by the occasional comment or other communication. We especially love to be liked on Facebook.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email