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 2020 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.

Contact Renee – renee.ursitti@ilsleypubliclibrary.org  to receive the Zoom link for the discussion.

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

Spring 2021
A Question of Perspective: A Lot Depends On One’s Point of View

It’s been said that we all awake each day to see a different world. That sentiment has never seemed so relevant. What one group calls trusted media, another denounces as fake news. One person calls something a fact and right away someone else speaks of alternative facts. One person claims something to be true and another immediately denounces it as a lie. We are a divided nation living in a divided world, perhaps more now than ever in our lives. These fault lines have tragic, real life consequences. Yet, here we are, inhabiting the same small blue planet, fated to live together. Never before has empathy been in such short supply and so dramatically needed. But empathy seems hardly possible without understanding one another’s perspectives.

The four films selected for our spring 2021 series and the Zoom discussion scheduled are designed to provoke our thinking by challenging us to grasp multiple perspectives on subjects ranging from conflicted returning war veterans to resolving painful family rifts. In this way we hope that our spring 2021 series will help each of us deepen our understanding of others and find pathways toward empathy. As always, our virtual series films are available on Kanopy. We hope you will join us for each film and discussion.

 

Click on the title of the film to be linked to it in Kanopy.

February 11 Film 1: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Zoom Discussion to start: 7:00 PM

The Best Years of Our Lives tells the interwoven story of three veterans who come home to a changed world. Though this film is 75 years old, its message is as current as today’s news. The authentic conflicts between these combat veterans’ perspectives and that of their families and communities make this film a true classic. The Best Years of Our Lives received nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (William Wyler) and Best Actor (Fredric March). The Best Supporting Actor Award went to Harold Russell, a non-professional actor who lost both hands during WWII. Others in the cast include Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, and Hoagy Carmichael.

March 11 Film 2: Rashomon (1950) Zoom Discussion to start: 7:00 PM

Conflicting perspectives are at the heart of Akira Kurosawa’s classic Rashomon. Following the death of a samurai, those closely involved give alternative, self-serving versions of what happened. But who is telling the truth? This film’s focus on truth, lies, and their life and death consequences rings eerily relevant to our own times. Rashomon’s awards include the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion, and an Honorary Academy Award for the best foreign language film for 1952. The cast includes Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyō, and Mashayuki Mori.

April 8 Film 3: The King of Hearts (1967) Zoom Discussion to start: 7:00 PM

Infamous for its massive destruction and death, we look back on WWI and wonder how the world could have fallen so deeply into such horrific violence. This truly poignant comedy pushes the question further- who exactly is sane and who is really deranged? A British soldier is sent to a small town in France to defuse a bomb planted by retreating German troops. While many of the villagers have evacuated, those living in a local asylum celebrate his coming and their own liberation in surrealistic scenes reminiscent of Fellini. Released at the height of the Vietnam War, The King of Hearts has become a cult classic. Alan Bates, Geneviève Bujold, Pierre Brasseur, and Françoise Christophe star.

May 13 Film 4: On Golden Pond (1981) Zoom Discussion to start: 7:00 PM

Of all the types of clashing perspectives none is more familiar to us yet so elusive as those within ourselves and among our family members. On Golden Pond reveals the evolving and sustaining love of an aging couple summering for perhaps the last time at their New Hampshire cabin. Making the situation more complex is the troubled relationship between father and daughter portrayed by real life father Henry Fonda and his daughter, Jane Fonda. Despite competing in a year of blockbuster films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, this quietly powerful story received three Academy Awards: Best Actor (Henry Fonda), Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn), and Best Screen Play.