If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that we’re about more than just features and reviews. There’s a reason why ‘closer look’ discussion guides form a big part of our coverage. At Damaris Media, we believe that films should be experienced in community – and that community groups of all kinds can be enriched by what films have to offer.
So why not start a film club? Going to the cinema or watching a DVD together isn’t just a great way to be entertained and to unwind; it’s a way into the best kind of conversations.
Everybody has something that chews them up and, for me, that thing was always loneliness. The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are. – Tom Hanks
Why film clubs?
- Films are brilliant. The cinema is one of the few places in our society where people of all beliefs and backgrounds can come together to experience something meaningful. Sure, some films are effectively just noise and escapism, but many others are packed with intriguing characters, moral dilemmas, big ideas and hidden truths. Stories like this help us work out what our values are and how we want to live.
- People are brilliant, and we’ve never been more in need of strong, meaningful communities. To build community, we need to share experiences, communicate our hopes and fears, and explore life together. In a culture where we often struggle to find common ground and to have conversations which matter, films provide a fun and accessible way in.
Cinema is universal, beyond flags and borders and passports. – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Convinced? Here’s how.
- Get together a group of keen people. They could be friends, family, work colleagues, or from an organised community such as a school, church, U3A or Rotary group. All that matters is that you’re all up for spending a bit of time together enjoying films and conversation
- Decide when, how and where you want to meet. In someone’s home? In a local pub? In a community space? Do you want to go to the cinema as a group first, or put on a DVD? Meet wherever you feel comfortable, and however often suits you. Weekly might be a bit much, but a fortnightly or monthly group can get a bit of momentum going.
- Decide on your focus. Do you want to use your film club to talk about particular topics which matter to you – marriage, parenthood, work, women’s issues? If you’re part of a community group, this might be the case. I’ve recently started tagging all the discussion guides on this blog with keywords so that you can search by theme. Alternatively you might want to keep up with the latest cinema releases, or you might be fans of a particular genre – such as romance, comedy, or family films. In this case, keep an eye on the blog homepage for what’s new, or search by category.
- Get started! This blog is here to be a resource for you, and Damaris Media also publishes free official resource packs (such as this one for Risen) which come with additional quizzes, activities and videos. If there’s any film – old or new – you’d like a discussion guide for, give me a shout ([email protected]) and I’ll see what I can do.
All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies. – Steve Martin