New Film Clubs Stop, Collaborate & Watch


It could come as quite a shock to some that, until about a month ago, there had been no film clubs or societies on campus at Seattle University. This is especially surprising since the Film Studies program has been steadily growing for the past decade. But last quarter, two film clubs started on campus to allow film buffs and cinephiles to explore their interests. The two clubs are working together to bring students films that they might not have seen—or even heard of.

The presidents of the two clubs—Aniello De Angelis of Cryptic Celluloid and Devin Allen of SU Film Club—had never met prior to this academic year, but their mutual interest in film has brought them together and helped create Seattle University’s first film clubs. Though the clubs operate under different names, they will run symbiotically from different locations on campus. Cryptic Celluloid will operate out of the Wyckoff Auditorium, while SU Film Club will show movies in the Media Production Center. This means that, though they are different in name and location, they are both showcasing movies of similar genres and themes.

Devin Allen wants the club duo to foster and promote deep thought in its members.

“The movies aren’t chosen willy-nilly. We want the films to spark conversation,” he said. “It may not be after the movie, but it could still be in people’s heads.”
As Faculty Adviser to Cryptic Celluloid, Catherine Clepper is excited that there is now a space on campus for students to see films and discuss them.

“Watching movies as a group is the best way to see any film, both in the present moment and afterwards when you can decompress and talk about [them],” Clepper said. “There seems to be an excitement about people spending their extracurricular time… watching movies and discussing them.”

The presidents of both clubs have no intention of showing substantively weak films. They want hard-hitting, rich films that evoke thought-provoking discussions. Their first series was focused on unknown musicals and featured the bleak Lars Von Trier film, “Dancer in the Dark,” which was then offset by Jacque Demy’s “Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” Last quarter, discussions immediately followed the films and were held in Wyckoff Auditorium on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.

Following the series of musicals, the groups concluded fall quarter with a series of Road Films, featuring Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” Wim Wender’s “Paris, Texas” and Monte Hellman’s “Two-Lane Blacktop.” These films are, as De Angelis puts it, “The obscure, unloved and forgotten.”

Showing films like these and inciting conversation takes effort and requires notably more effort a than watching Netflix in one’s pajamas, but Clepper has faith in potential attendees.

“I think people are more willing to put the time and energy into digesting a film if they do it in public,” she explained. “It’s not like you’re in your room wearing your pajamas. I think that little bit of effort exerted by putting your shoes on and walking to Wyckoff is exactly what your brain needs in order to digest more
obscure films.”

De Angelis and Allen have big plans for winter quarter and have teased themes like “Brothers and Sisters,” a series that would examine films that have suggestive sibling relationships, such as Steve McQueen’s “Shame” or “Men with Swords.” Both films and the subsequent discussions will examine the phallic imagery of swords in films. In other words, they aren’t trying to please crowds with sugar-coated and easy movies; they’re going to challenge their viewers, not only to exit their comfort zones, but also to discover a new love for film and find hidden gems that might not have otherwise crossed their minds.

Announced during the first week of the quarter, their new series, which will run from Jan. 5-14, focuses on unique serial killer films. Movies such as Terrence Malick’s “Badlands” and the gritty “Man Bites Dog” are set to send attendees into both philosophical thinking as well as shocking them all the same. Following that, a series entitled “Crazy Romance” will take viewers through some great films such as “Something Wild” and “Pierrot le Fou.”

For more information, those interested can “Like” the respective group’s Facebook pages.

Scott may be reached at [email protected]