The Middlebury Community Classic Film Club, MCCFC, provides an opportunity for folks to gather for thoughtful entertainment while building a sense of community.  The club normally screens four films in the fall and four in the spring all organized around themes. While the club normally gathers in the Sarah Partridge Community Meeting Room to watch the film together followed by a discussion of the film, this fall we are offering a virtual series from Kanopy and a discussion on Zoom. Since Kanopy is a streaming service, everyone is welcome to watch the films whenever they want prior to the Zoom discussion.  Discussion of the films is led by club convener Steve Gross. 

Our Tradition of Sharing Great Films:
Since the spring of 2018 we’ve seen powerful films in series such as Politics Around the World (Spring 2018), Immigration and Migration (Fall 2018), Courage (Spring 2019) and The Pursuit of Happiness (Fall 2019). Our films have included such classics as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, West Side Story, El Norte, The Color Purple, On the Waterfront, African Queen, The Joy Luck Club, A Raisin in the Sun, and Roman Holiday. We follow each film with an engaging discussion where we share our perspectives and experiences.

Shifting Gears after the pandemic:
In the spring of this year we started our series, Elections: Fateful Decisions in a Time of Turbulence, with Suffragette on February 11th and The Candidate on March 10th. Little did we know as we planned the series that the world was about to change and that things were going to be far more turbulent than we ever imagined. The Ilsley Library was closed to the public soon after our March meeting and we needed to find a way to carry on. So we decided to do what a lot of other groups were doing, namely to find a way to use technology to do virtually what we could not do in person. In the spring we had two film series using the library’s Kanopy service. The first series, Discovering the Strength Inside of Us, included such films as Charade (1963), A Quiet Passion (2017), Kon-Tiki (1950), Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), Loving Vincent (2017), and Is Paris Burning? (1966). We followed up with a second virtual series, A Question of Ambition, with A Star is Born (1937), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), The Battle of Algiers (1966), and The Bicycle Thief (1948).

For this session MCCFC and IPL will be using Zoom for its discussion following the film.  Contact Renee –  to receive the Zoom link for the discussion.

For helping setting up Zoom for the first time, view our video tutorial.
For help with Kanopy 

Fall 2020
Being True to Ourselves in a Turbulent World

During World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt referred to her era as “no ordinary time”. If she was alive now, she might view our times in a similar way. We face a pandemic, a renewed struggle for racial justice, an economic crisis, and a looming environmental catastrophe. As if that was not enough, we are in the midst of a national election that promises to be as divisive as it is consequential. The challenge of our context is clearly there but so is the potential that our circumstances can open up new doors of self-discovery. How might simply living in these times help us learn something new as we remain true to ourselves? The four films in this fall’s series were selected to give all of us new perspectives on just this question and our monthly Zoom meetings will be a wonderful forum for sharing perspectives with one another.

Click on the title to go directly to the film in Kanopy.

Film 1
Chaplin (1993)  October 8th – Zoom Discussion to start: 7:30 PM.

When we first think of Charlie Chaplin we probably envision the immortal Little Tramp with the Derby hat, oversized shoes and walking stick who took over the world of silent films for decades. But there was so much more to this film genius and his own journey of self-discovery that sheds light on all of us. Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin (Chaplin’s daughter) and Dan Aykroyd star in this biopic directed by Richard Attenborough.

Film 2
La Strada (1954) November 5th – Zoom Discussion to start: 7:30 PM

This is the story of Gelsomina, a young woman who is sold by her mother to Zampanò, a man who makes his living by showing off his brutish strength to small crowds in post war Italy. Gelsomina suffers as his assistant but learns to keep hope of a different future alive. Zampanò’s own journey is one of an equally powerful self-discovery. Fellini’s classic film has an otherworldly atmosphere that is ironically relevant to our own time of pandemic and political upheaval.Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, and Richard Basehart star in Federico Fellini’s classic Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film.

Film 3
Albert Nobbs (2011) December 3rd – Zoom Discussion to start: 7:30 PM

Albert Nobbs is a woman in 19th century Ireland who dresses as a man in order to escape the oppression women of that era faced. Becoming a butler in an attractive Dublin hotel seems to be an answer to one part of her dilemma but she discovers that life and relationships are poised to throw her into complicated and painful circumstances. Staying true to oneself takes on a different set of meanings in this story of identity, fear, and possibility. Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) was nominated for best actress and Janet McTeer (Hubert Page) was nominated as best supporting actress.

Film 4:
Moonlight (2016) December 17th – Zoom Discussion to start: 7:30 PM

This story of Chiron is divided into three parts: childhood, teenage years and becoming a young adult. At each stage Chiron is challenged by hardship and yet supported by key people in his life. His struggles and his relationships provide a powerful lesson in what it means to discover who we are inside and how that truth can be sustained and deepened. Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Naomi Harris, and Mahershala Ali star in this Academy Award and Golden Globe best picture winner for 2016.