Mustang Movie Club to start this fall

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Enter a room full of students talking in hushed excited whispers as the lights are turned out. A projector illuminates the wall with a well-known movie—’The Hangover.’ The whispers turn to silence as the movie begins. This is the vision that the Mustang Movie Club has for next semester, to offer members a chance to have fun watching movies and then to discuss them in depth.

Alex Van Allen, history junior and club secretary treasurer, said, “Students watch a ton of movies, especially during the summer when the blockbusters all come out. We want to help people see that movies can be more than just mindless fun, and that they can get a deeper enjoyment out of them.”

The members’ of the movie club aim is to show films that are widely known or familiar to students so they won’t get caught up in watching them for fun like they might if they were watching something for the first time. Watching something familiar also lets students think with a different perspective while they watch, encouraging thought-provoking analysis, said Ashley Lomeli, nursing junior and club president.

The members said they plan to screen movies from their own DVD collections as well as Moffett Library’s media collection such as ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘American Sniper,’ and ‘Goodfellas‘ in the fall to help keep the screenings free, and helps add a variety of movies that the club can show.

Club members had their second meeting April 22 where they chose movies to screen next semester and decided how often to meet.

“We will be meeting to show a movie once a month next fall and spring,” Lomeli said. “We want to find movies that fit the themes of certain months, like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ for October because it is a horror parody, and ‘Men in Black’ for February for human rights.”

The officers said even though they are intended for members of the club, all students are welcome to attend screenings and discussions.

“We don’t want to restrict screenings to just our members,” Allen said. “We would like all students to be able to attend so that more people will go and find out about the club and hopefully join.”

Students like Sean Swarthout, kinesiology sophomore, and Samantha Strange, athletic training junior, are excited about the movie club in the fall, and both have a few movies to suggest.

“This sounds like a great opportunity for students to think outside of the box and see some great movies like ‘American Sniper‘ and discuss things like how it isn’t just about war, its an internal struggle. It sounds like fun and I wish them the best starting the club up in the fall,” Swarthout said.

Strange, said, “It would be fun if the club showed some of the Marvel comics movies like ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Captain America,’ and ‘Iron Man‘ to talk about all the ways they interconnect with each other. Even though I’m sure most people already know about that, it’s something that I’m sure people watching only for fun might not really think about and appreciate.”

While recognizable movies will likely draw a bigger audience, Lomeli said she is pursuing other ways to fill the seats.

“I am going to talk to professors soon about them making movie club screenings extra credit for their classes so we can have higher attendance,” Lomeli said.

Members invite others interested in joining the Mustang Movie Club to join the club’s Facebook page and to get involved on their blog to discuss movies anytime between meetings, which at this time are not regularly scheduled yet.

Lomeli said, “We want our first meetings to be a fun, in a relaxed environment that would feel inviting; our first one was at Fuzzy’s Tacos but we plan to have them on campus in the future. We don’t have a set long-term meeting schedule or set locations this semester so the Facebook page is a great way to stay in touch.”

History of the mustang movie club

Student organizations such as the Mustang Movie Club don’t simply start themselves overnight. It takes planning and work. The newly formed Mustang Movie Club has been in the planning stages for nearly a semester and its members hope to officially get started in the coming fall semester, according to Lomeli and Brinton Tench Coxe, associate English professor and club adviser.

“I suggested the idea of a student run film club to a couple of my students who took my World Film class who seemed particularly interested in a movie club on campus. I have also this semester been promoting the club in my classes this semester, especially my film class encouraging students to come to meetings and join the club since more members are still needed” said Coxe.

Ethan Metcalf, mass communication senior and Wichitan editor, and Lomeli approached Coxe with the prospect of a student film club. Coxe declined the offer to lead the critical discussions after each movie. He made it clear that this was a student club. He said he wanted the students to be the ones discussing the films and initiating conversations at meetings. However, Coxe did agreed to attend meetings and screenings to mediate as club adviser.

Metcalf took it upon himself to find out what the club could do to make money, how to show movies for free to students, and what was needed to get the club started.

Metcalf said, “While looking into how to start the club I talked with Yvonne Franke, a German assistant professor about how the German club members do their screenings. We decided to use our own DVDs to keep it free so we could show more movies per semester.”

Lomeli worked on recruiting the required number of members to start the club as well as anyone else interested and picking movies that the club will show.

Lomeli said the club has to have eight members to form, and this is one of the hardest parts of planning the club. Lomeli also said  she had trouble at first finding people interested in joining, and finding people who took the club seriously. Most people looked at it as just hanging out watching movies. she said the club has about five members.

“I’ll be graduating this semester and can’t participate with the movie club once it gets started, but I’m glad I could lay the groundwork for the club because most schools, especially larger ones have clubs like this. As our university grows hopefully more student run organizations will pop up as a result,” Metcalf said.

 

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