Film Club 2020–21
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Delis Alejandro, (310) 566-1530 or   

Hickory dickory dock…Hugo ran the clocks

September’s Film Club discussion of Martin Scorsese’s first (and only) family adventure—Hugo—kicked off our 2020-2021 Art of Cinema season on a truly positive and uplifting note. The winner of five Oscars, the movie centers on the exploits of an orphaned boy who secretly keeps the clocks running in a 1930’s Parisian train station. His solitary life changes when he is befriended by the adventurous Isabelle. Through his interaction with her and others (including an automaton!) and his need to fix things (including himself), Hugo eventually creates his own sense of belonging and positively influences the lives of others who frequent the station. One of the people he meets and impacts (and vice versa) is real-life French film pioneer, Georges Méliès, who is Isabelle’s grandfather. The film was a glimpse into Méliès’ genius that repurposed his considerable skills as a magician to those of an early and notable film producer. You can see Méliès’ ground-breaking 1902 adventure film, A Trip to the Moon, that’s featured in Hugo, here.

 

Hugo is adapted from Brian Selznick’s 2007 book The Invention of Hugo Cabret that spent 42 weeks on the New York Times best seller list for children. Selznick has some Hollywood in his blood: He is the grandson of legendary Hollywood producer, David O. Selznick. For more about the adapted screen play, check out Fr. Vince Kuna’s blog on the topic.

 

Hugo has many outstanding qualities, including its award-winning soundtrack. Two of its Oscars were for sound (best mixing and best editing)—while others were awarded for cinematography, production design and special effects. While acknowledging all of these technical accolades, many in the Film Club felt that Hugo and it's lasting appeal has more to do with the wonderfully told story about opening yourself up, reaching out and embracing the purpose of your life.

 

film club discussion guide 1

October Discussion: The Mission

October 8 | 7:00 p.m. | via Zoom

 

Film Club will be moving on to another aspect of sound: Original musical score. We’ll be focusing on 1986’s The Mission, starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons, a British-produced period drama about the experiences of 18th century Jesuit missionaries in South America, who fought to defend the Guarani Indians from slavery. The film’s extraordinary score is by Ennio Morricone and blends liturgical chorales, native drumming and Spanish-influenced guitars to capture the cultures represented in the film. Look for more information in the weeks ahead!

 

HEY, WHO DO YOU KNOW…? Fr. David and the Film Club would be thrilled to receive your recommendations for guest speakers who are involved in some aspect of film making. If you know someone who you think would be an interesting guest, contact with your suggestions.

 

Delis Alejandro, (310) 566-1530 or   

Hickory dickory dock…Hugo ran the clocks

September’s Film Club discussion of Martin Scorsese’s first (and only) family adventure—Hugo—kicked off our 2020-2021 Art of Cinema season on a truly positive and uplifting note. The winner of five Oscars, the movie centers on the exploits of an orphaned boy who secretly keeps the clocks running in a 1930’s Parisian train station. His solitary life changes when he is befriended by the adventurous Isabelle. Through his interaction with her and others (including an automaton!) and his need to fix things (including himself), Hugo eventually creates his own sense of belonging and positively influences the lives of others who frequent the station. One of the people he meets and impacts (and vice versa) is real-life French film pioneer, Georges Méliès, who is Isabelle’s grandfather. The film was a glimpse into Méliès’ genius that repurposed his considerable skills as a magician to those of an early and notable film producer. You can see Méliès’ ground-breaking 1902 adventure film, A Trip to the Moon, that’s featured in Hugo, here.

 

Hugo is adapted from Brian Selznick’s 2007 book The Invention of Hugo Cabret that spent 42 weeks on the New York Times best seller list for children. Selznick has some Hollywood in his blood: He is the grandson of legendary Hollywood producer, David O. Selznick. For more about the adapted screen play, check out Fr. Vince Kuna’s blog on the topic.

 

Hugo has many outstanding qualities, including its award-winning soundtrack. Two of its Oscars were for sound (best mixing and best editing)—while others were awarded for cinematography, production design and special effects. While acknowledging all of these technical accolades, many in the Film Club felt that Hugo and it's lasting appeal has more to do with the wonderfully told story about opening yourself up, reaching out and embracing the purpose of your life.

 

film club discussion guide 1

October Discussion: The Mission

October 8 | 7:00 p.m. | via Zoom

 

Film Club will be moving on to another aspect of sound: Original musical score. We’ll be focusing on 1986’s The Mission, starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons, a British-produced period drama about the experiences of 18th century Jesuit missionaries in South America, who fought to defend the Guarani Indians from slavery. The film’s extraordinary score is by Ennio Morricone and blends liturgical chorales, native drumming and Spanish-influenced guitars to capture the cultures represented in the film. Look for more information in the weeks ahead!

 

HEY, WHO DO YOU KNOW…? Fr. David and the Film Club would be thrilled to receive your recommendations for guest speakers who are involved in some aspect of film making. If you know someone who you think would be an interesting guest, contact with your suggestions.

 

About Film Club

What is Film Club?
Screenings with Meanings

The Film Club brings together movie lovers for a monthly discussion on a selected film. The 2019-2020 theme is Art of Cinema and with each film is chosen not only for its meaning, but also in the context of a specific aspect of filmmaking (e.g., screenwriting, set decoration). It’s amazing how much more you can see once you begin to appreciate the techniques that make one film stand out from the rest.

 

The Film Club also hosts two seasonal events: A Holiday Party, featuring a classic Christmas movie, and Oscar Night, where we review the nominated films and vote for our “best picture of the year.” (Our track record for predicting the Oscar has been uncanny.)

 

The Film Club meets in the Grand Pavilion on the second Thursday of the month from September through May. Our discussions are led by Father David Guffey, CSC, Director, Family Theater Productions.

 

Season Schedule

 

 2020-2021 Film Club Schedule  

 Date Topic Film
September 10 Sound Hugo
October 8 Original Musical Score The Mission
November 12 Costume Design Julie & Julia
December 10 Holiday O, Henry's Full House
January 14 Cinematography 1 Lawrence of Arabia
February 11 Cinematography 2 Amelie
March 11 Visual Effects TBD
April 8 Oscars  
May 13 Multiple Categories A Man for All Seasons

 

 

That's a Wrap!

Just Mercy

The film, Just Mercy, was the focus of July’s virtual Film Club. Based on an actual case in the early career of Byron Stevenson, now an acclaimed public interest lawyer, the film shows not only Stevenson’s unbending desire to seek justice and mercy but also gives the viewer an unsettling glimpse of what it’s like to be helplessly and unjustly accused or imprisoned. The film, set in 1980s Alabama, portrays a justice system that often delivered just the opposite to the poor and people of color.

 

Joining in the conversation led by Fr. David Guffey, CSC, Director, Family Theater Productions, was Monsignor Torgerson and 77 Film Club followers eager to share their reactions to the movie. Fr. Guffey said, “Great storytelling in film offers us a way to live inside the life of other people to share in their experiences and so widen our perspective on life. Though the real events on which the film was based occurred over 30 years ago, the issues of race-based prejudice are remarkably contemporary. This makes the film especially important now. It is important to have the conversation we had at Film Club. It will be important to continue the conversations about race as we listen to the stories of people most affected, and together envision ways of reform based on the universal dignity of every person as a beloved child of God.”

 

Many also commented about Bryon Stevenson and his inspirational life’s work. One person said, “When you look at what he decided to do, you have to believe that he was guided by the Holy Spirit.” The Monsignor commented, “As a young man, he could have written his ticket and gone to any important law firm. Instead, he chose a more difficult and rewarding path.”

 

Indeed, Bryon Stevenson is the hero of the film and his work continues today. You may be interested in reading about two of his recent projects—a memorial and a museum in Montgomery, AL—designed to recognize the suffering of many while serving as a catalyst for informed, societal change. Click on the links to find interesting stories about The Legacy Museum and the Memorial to Peace and Justice.

 

The Film Club will not be discussing a movie with you in August so we can take the time to prepare for next season when our Art of Cinema series returns. We’ll be giving you news as it evolves at stmonica.net/filmclub—and we can hardly wait (as the old song goes…) to see you in September.

 

Little Women

It had been a long hot day leading up to the virtual Film Club on June 11, but you’d never know it listening to the animated discussion about Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. Fr. David Guffey led the discussion and Fr. Vince Kuna offered his perspectives, as he compared the book with the screen adaptation. Guests were given the chance to have an “around-the-dinner-table” discussion in break-out groups, before a general discussion that touched on Gerwig’s unique and contemporary approach to the classic story, the outstanding acting, character development, cinematography, set design, choreography and even the story’s backdrop: The Civil War. 

Click Here to view the Discussion Guide for Little Women

 

Field of Dreams
It’s true. If you build it…they will come
  • Over 100 people joined the Film Club’s virtual get together on May 14, featuring Phil Alden Robinson, director and screenwriter of our film of the month, Field of Dreams. The conversation afforded an insider’s view of how the film evolved from a novel to a major motion picture and let us in on the challenges and rewards along the way. A big thank you to Phil Robinson, our guest, Fr. David, our moderator, and all of you who helped create such a wonderful evening.

      film club field of dreams wphil robinson

Archive

  • The Art of Cinema Series: 2019-2020 Season            

     

    September

     

    History of Film

     October

     

    The Apartment 

    Screenwriting

     November

     

    Vertigo

    Mis-en-scene

     

    December

     

    Christmas in Connecticut

     January

     

    City Slickers

    Set Decoration

     

    February

     

    Oscar Night

     March

     

    Julie & Julia*

    Costume Design

     April

     

    Darkest Hour*

    Makeup

    May

     

    A Man For All Seasons

    Classic*

     

    *Replaced by virtual Film Club discussions of Groundhog Day (March), Rear Window (April) and Field of Dreams (May).

     

    2018-2019 Season
    September Gravity
    October Cinema Paradiso
    November Hidden Figures
    December White Christmas
    January Stan & Ollie
    February Oscar Night
    March A Man of His Word
    April Of Gods and Men
    May The African Queen

     

     

    2017-2018 Season
    September The Way
    October A Beautiful Mind
    November A Man Called Ove
    December The Bishops Wife
    January The Post
    February Oscar Night
    March  Nine to Five
    April  Inside Out
    May Roman Holiday

     


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27Sep
YMA Fall Retreat Day Two Sunday, Sep 27 @ 9:30 AM
28Sep
YMA Peace & Justice Monday, Sep 28 @ 7:00 PM
28Sep
TTF Drop-In Lounge Monday, Sep 28 @ 7:30 PM
29Sep
Mental Wellness Series Tuesday, Sep 29 @ 7:00 PM
29Sep
YMA Vespers Tuesday, Sep 29 @ 7:30 PM

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