Beyond the big hits: new club geared toward a different kind of movie debuts
By Jessica Mitchell
The college has a new film club who won’t be showing classics and masterpieces of cinema. The club is oriented toward films gone astray from the social norms and may have topics of questionable merit. This is a cult film club.
“There is already a group on campus called [Cineclub] and they’re more into art films and films that are great cinema – we think of them as an art,” said Matthew Schmeer, associate professor, English, and cult film club adviser. “This is the stuff on the flip side. Maybe it’s trashy or maybe these are films that have dedicated followers and didn’t do well at the box office. They were overlooked yet there is something redeeming in the story, something that draws us in.”
Kary Faria da Cunha, club president, founded the club and approached Schmeer to be the adviser after taking his creative writing course in fall 2011. Both of the men share the knowledge and appreciation for cult and low budget films.
“I have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to movies,” Faria da Cunha said. “Probably over 10,000 hours or more of movie watching experience. […] I like more of the dark, horror and twisted movies and then [Schmeer] is the lighter side – the comedy. It’s a good yin and yang team, I think.”
Faria da Cunha already devised a schedule of movies that will be shown for the rest of the semester. Opening night, on April 11, housed “Brainscan” followed by “The Fly” on April 18. “Brain Damage” will be showing on April 25.
“The third [movie] is called ‘Brain Damage,’ and it’s probably in my top 10 favorite films,” Faria da Cunha said. “It’s about a parasite that latches on to the back of a person’s neck and inserts a liquid that gives a type of euphoria. While under this euphoric state the host lures victims for the parasite and the parasite eats the person’s brains. […] It’s really bizarre.”
The next three films shown after that will be “The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8thDimension,” “Big Trouble in Little China” and “Evil Dead II.”
The club does not discriminate against any genre of film. Horror will share equal time with comedy and science fiction. “The Princess Bride” and “Monty Python” may possibly work into the club’s movie schedule, said Faria da Cunha; he wants the club to appeal to everyone and encourages student feedback.
“I think the cult film club will add a lightheartedness to normal movie showings,” said Alyssa Ebling, student. “These movies aren’t supposed to be taken seriously.”
Aside from playing the designated film, every meeting will have popcorn, beverages and a club discussion.
“We kind of want this to be audience participation, where you can talk about the film,” Schmeer said. “Talking to the screen will be encouraged, and they will, of course, talk and discuss the films and what makes the film interesting or great or particularly horrible.”
The club was set up through the continuing education department as to not infringe on the rights of the films. Members will have to call 913-469-2323 and give the operator the CRN number for the club, 21481. The CRN is only good for the first three films. A different one will be provided to members when necessary.
“The club is geared towards the students who want to have a lot of fun, it’s a real casual environment,” Faria da Cunha said. “Entertainment is basically an escape from space and time. Whether you’re looking at Kandinsky or Van Gogh or Gusav Klimt, it’s an escape. That’s basically what we want to do – fall and transport into a world for a couple hours.”
For more information on the club, contact Mathew Schmeer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kary Faria da Cunha at email@example.com. The club meets at 5 p.m. every Wednesday in the Craig Community Auditorium (GEB 233).
Contact Jessica Mitchell, features editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.