What we’re about
"Every great film should seem new every time you see it." - Roger Ebert
"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life time. We need to keep them alive." - Martin Scorsese
"Filmmaking is a collective assemblage of desires." - Isabelle Huppert
"Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls." - Ingmar Bergman
"What no human eye is capable of catching, no pencil, brush, pen of pinning down, your camera catches without knowing what it is, and pins it down with a machine's scrupulous indifference." - Robert Bresson
"What I mean by realism goes beyond reality" - Maurice Pialat
This group has been around for almost three years, and it's evolved a lot since I started it. While it's primarily a place for people that share a passion for film to come together and share their perspectives, I also feel it's really important to provide an entry point for anyone that doesn't have a lot of knowledge or experience with films to come and share and explore. The only requirement is curiosity, as well as a few broad ground rules to help things go smoothly.
1. The goal isn't to reach a consensus or convince anyone of anything. That doesn't mean we don't passionately express our experiences with a film, or have the occasional disagreement. It just means that it's a space where multiple opinions and perspectives can coexist and nothing should ever become combative in a way that makes things personal. There are as many lenses to look through as there are individuals on this planet, and no particular lens is the correct one. Whether it's social, political, critical, philosophical, aesthetical, historical, spiritual, technical, or purely personal -- it's all fair game. We encourage a broad and eclectic discussion of whatever comes up for anyone participating in the discussion.
2. It's OK to like things, and it's OK to not like things! No one should ever feel they have to justify their experience with a film, but I do encourage everyone to explore why they like or don't like specific things (within their comfort zone). No one is a bad person because they like a controversial director or film, and no one is obliged to like a film just because it's well regarded. This is a group where we can all explore a film together without feeling like we'll be judged for it, one way or the other.
3. Art can be entertaining, but it's also extremely valuable to explore subjects or themes that can be challenging or difficult. We don't shy away from films that explore taboo or controversial subjects in this group. That might mean that not every film or meetup is going to be for everyone, and that's OK! If something is offensive to someone, my hope is that we can discuss that in this group in a way that's non-confrontational and respectful towards everyone that chooses to participate. If something is not sitting well with you, feel free to bring it up in our conversation, but we ask that you do so in a way that's respectful and considerate that not everyone will share your perspective.
4. Piggybacking on rule number 3, the aim of the hosts in this group is to help the flow of the discussion and make sure we can cover multiple topics within the limited time we have available. Our group is introvert friendly, and we try to make sure everyone feels included in the discussion and has an opportunity to share their impressions of a film. If a host decides to move on from a topic of discussion to explore another facet of a film or subject, it's nothing personal. Our primary goal is to respect everyone's time and make sure a single topic doesn't dominate the discussion.
I've learned so much from hearing others talk about the films we've discussed, and I've found it useful to practice sharing my own impressions, both clarifying and gaining a deeper understanding of what motivates me to be a cinephile. Everyone has something unique to contribute, and there's always more to learn and discover, no matter how many films you've seen. Whether you're an avid cinephile with a deep knowledge you want to share, or just someone curious about films you haven't seen before, I hope you'll join us!
Upcoming events (2)See all
- The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson, 1977)Link visible for attendees
This is a lesser known Bresson film, but I really liked it when I watched it, and it's nice to see it up on the channel. As the description says, Richard Hell declared it “by far the most punk movie ever made.”
Please watch the film in advance of the discussion. You can watch it on the Criterion Channel using the link below.
“My sickness is that I see clearly.” Robert Bresson’s most controversial film (the French government banned viewers under the age of eighteen from seeing it, believing it would incite a rash of youth suicides) follows the journey of alienated teenager Charles (Antoine Monnier) as he searches for meaning in everything from religion and radical politics to drugs and psychoanalysis. Ultimately, all that may be left is the embrace of death. Made when the director was nearing eighty, this despairing yet undeniably resonant post–May ’68 manifesto is his deeply personal vision of the modern world as a spiritual wasteland, complete with footage of environmental degradation and nuclear destruction. No less an authority than Richard Hell declared it “by far the most punk movie ever made.”
- Afire (Christian Petzold, 2023)Link visible for attendees
I'm scheduling this one blind! Judging from the description, I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about.
Please watch the film in advance of the discussion. Description below is from the Criterion Channel, where the film is currently streaming.
While vacationing by the Baltic Sea, writer Leon (Thomas Schubert) and photographer Felix (Langston Uibel) are surprised to encounter Nadja (Paula Beer), a mysterious young woman staying as a guest at Felix’s family’s holiday home. Nadja soon distracts Leon from finishing his latest novel, not only because of her passionate liaison with lifeguard Devid (Enno Trebs) but also because her brutal honesty forces Leon to confront his artistic inadequacies. As Nadja and Leon grow closer, an encroaching forest fire threatens the group and pushes the writer to discover whether he can truly care for anything beyond himself. Christian Petzold’s acclaimed latest was the winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival.