New film discussion group open to all


NIU film fans who want to come together in a group to watch and discuss films now have the chance to do so.

Organizing the film discussion group is the Graduate Film Society, a student group free and open to all who wish to attend.

“We all talk about films in our private lives so we wanted to do something to form a community in the university to get people to watch films and talk about them,” said Amy Paxson, a second year English graduate and president of the Graduate Film Society.

The group’s first showing on Friday ran the Jim Jarmusch film “Dead Man,” an artsy western starring Johnny Depp and many other familiar names like Robert Mitchum, Crispin Glover, Iggy Pop, Billy Bob Thornton and John Hurt.

The film was eccentric and provided the group with bountiful discussion as they talked about the themes of a spiritual journey, the idea of a decaying and destructive Manifest Destiny, and the poet William Blake.

Fifteen people attended, most of them partaking in the discussion, and were appreciative of the meeting’s film choice.

“I think it was a good session,” said Michael Keller, a second year M.A. student in English. “They made a good choice in choosing ‘Dead Man’ because it has a lot of literary value for us [English students], but it also has a lot of aesthetic value that other departments will pick up.”

Tom Chemler, a sophomore physics major, liked that there is a group on campus now that discusses film.

“I think this is a really, really great concept,” Chemler said. “Watching movies with people who are well-versed in literature and English really makes you appreciate these films more.”

However, the group does not want to intimidate those without a background in English, literature or film into not attending.

“[People] should just come and check it out,” Paxson said. “It’s not that intimidating; most of us don’t have academic experience with film and we just like to watch them, I mean, c’mon, we’re showing ‘Robocop.'”