WSFF – December Feature Film

4 12 2009
Join us for the December feature film on 12.19.09:
Winner of NO Academy Awards in 2009 – or ever!

1:30 PM
Southwest Branch
of the Seattle Public Library
9010 35th Ave SW
View.  Snack.  Engage.  Socialize.

Obviously, this film requires an explanation – because I could hear all of you murmuring, “What in the world?  I thought this is a serious Forum about weighty movies and topics?”  Indeed, it is!  But, let’s remember that it is December after all, and many of us are busy and can’t really think straight with all the holiday shopping and parties we are committed to.  And before you finish your Christmas shopping frenzy, it might behoove us to watch this film with an open mind to see and hear the message behind Confessions of a Shopaholic produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

We will also discuss and generate together a list of films you would like to watch and discuss in 2010.

Check out trailer below and hope to see you on the 19th @ 1:30PM.


WSFF – Your thoughts?

2 12 2009

Now that we had our official first forum last Saturday, what are your thoughts?

I thought it was a great start to a new ongoing event in West Seattle [and beyond] – a fantastic meeting room, yummy snacks, excellent audio [thanks to Bose!], and best of all, an engaging “round table” discussion about the characters, not to mention getting to know some neat people in our community!

So overall, I think we achieved the mission of the Forum:  View. Snack. Engage. Socialize.

But that’s just me.  I would love to hear what you thought about it so that people can get an idea of what WSFF is all about.

Launch of the West Seattle Film Forum

11 11 2009

Join us for the launch of WSFF on 11.28.09:
Slumdog Millionaire
Winner of 8 Academy Awards 2009

10:00 AM
Southwest Branch
of the Seattle Public Library
9010 35th Ave SW
View.  Snack.  Engage.  Socialize.

If you haven’t seen the film or you don’t quite remember what it was about, check out the trailer below.  Hope to see you on the 28th!

What? A message in a Hollywood film?

11 11 2009

Yes!  Every film – classic, new, comedy, drama, foreign, animation, documentary – expresses a perspective or the worldview of the maker.  It is not merely art but also a message.  Consider the following quote from James Cameron, the Academy Award winning director of Titanic, on what’s behind the upcoming movie Avatar:

At Comic Con 2009, Cameron told attendees that he wanted to make “something that has this spoonful of sugar of all the action and the adventure and all that, which thrills me anyway as a fan, but also wanting to do something that has a conscience, that maybe in the enjoying of it makes you think a little bit about the way you interact with nature and your fellow man.” He added that “the Na’vi represent something that is our higher selves, or our aspirational selves, what we would like to think we are,” and “the humans in the film, even though there are some good ones salted in, represent what we know to be the parts of ourselves that are trashing our world and maybe condemning ourselves to a grim future.”

The message in a film, however, is not always obvious – or even intentional.  Some of us may remember the film Close Encounters of The Third Kind?  If not, you are probably too young!  No worries.  Here’s what Steven Spielberg discovered about the heart of the film during an interview, as told by film critic Jeffrey Overstreet in his book Through A Screen Darkly:

As Steven Spielberg continued to speak with James Lipton on In the Actor’s Studio, addressing a live audience of film students, he spoke more about his childhood.  He had grown up quite happy, until his parents divorced and his world split in two.  In one world, his mother was a concert pianist.  In the other, his father was a pioneering computer scientist.

Lipton, keeping this in mind, smiled and observed that the culminating moments of Close Encounters were clearly a manifestation of Spielberg’s dreams.  “How do the scientists communicate with the spaceship?  Through music made on their computers.”

I gasped.  I’d never thought about that.  Was the movie really about Spielberg’s longing for his parents’ reunion?  Spielberg nodded, smiling, and then I saw emotion well up inside of him – that moment of realization art can provide even decades later to the person who crafted it.

“You know,” the filmmaker said, astonished, “I would love to say that it was all conscious and that I planned that – but honestly, I had no idea.  Until this moment!”

Somehow, the audience understood the gravity of what had just taken place.  Laughing, they applauded for joy.  “Thank you so much for that observation,” Spielberg added later.  “Thank you so much.  I had no idea that’s what I was trying to get at.  I had no idea.  Thank you.”

So, was the longing for Close Encounters of The Third Kind really a longing for a world beyond this world or simply a longing for his home – for this broken life to make sense?

Hello West Seattle and Beyond!

13 10 2009

This forum is about life.  What is it about seeing moving images on the big screen that make us laugh out loud, shed unexpected tears, sense indignation or satisfaction, look at things from a new perspective, or feel inspired to live in a different way?  Why do we feel connected to a certain character?  Why do we long to experience what the characters experienced?  What do these longings, emotions, thoughts, intentions tell us about who we are?  What do these stories captured on film and our experiences as we view them teach us about life?  How do these stories, if at all, point us to the meta-narrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Glory and satisfy our longing for true lasting happiness in life?  Why do we do we have the hopes and dreams that we have?  Why is this life so messy?  Is there any hope?  What does true happiness look like?

These are the things we hope to discuss through this forum and have some meaningful conversations about life – and get to know some people you never knew existed in West Seattle and beyond!  The Southwest Branch of the SPL on 35th SW has graciously given us the permission to have pizza and snacks as long as we behave.  So come and check it out!

By the way, feel free to leave comments.