Access to exceptional films made easier
Our article on the best and most seminal movies of all time has elicited requests for more information from film buffs and students, who want to know how to access at least some of those old classics.
Some of them are available in the libraries of embassies, others can be accessed for personal viewing on TV movie channels when they’re shown.
More experienced film buffs with extensive personal libraries of cinematic gems suggest that lovers of good movies look into TV-film shops and stalls in malls.
Even Quiapo is reported to have a stall or two that specialize in old foreign and local films.
On a more “sharing” level, we advise you and your like-minded friends to put up a film club in your school, office or community.
This will enable you to hold group showings of the best movies of your choice, followed by an informed discussion of their merits and contributions to evolving film language.
Film club screenings are also valuable due to their ability to focus viewers’ attention on different types of films in terms of filmmakers’ specific styles, countries or filmmaking periods represented, lead stars’ filmographies, etc.
Expectedly, some people may balk at the challenge of setting up a film club, but it isn’t as daunting as it may initially seem, now that so many old movies are readily available on discs.
First, get your group together and recruit around 30 like-minded friends, family members, classmates, schoolmates, co-office workers or neighbors to make up the solid core of your group.
Your new club may end up including 50 members in all, but the initial 30 will form the dependable core you need to make sure that your club doesn’t end up with a victim of our infamous “ningas cogon” mentality.
The venue for your club’s screenings could be a large living room or a similar space in school or at the office that can be made available on weekends.
Around three or four hours should be reserved for viewing, and then discussing two feature films on a large TV set with good sound and image resolution.
We once did a pilot project for a university in Manila, and our screening venue was its library. Choice of movies to view was initially a problem, but as the group gained experience, greater variety in choices made the screenings more interesting and instructive.
In addition, the group made it a point to get permission from film producers or distributors to screen their movies of choice.
Also helpful in sustaining members’ interest in the club’s screenings were the guest appearances of some acclaimed filmmakers, to make the discussions more stimulating and perceptive.
After some months, the club’s members happily observed that their view of the power and magic of cinema had expanded, and they were more open to different styles of visual storytelling, as well as various periods of filmmaking.
Why not put up a film club of your own, and see if you and your friends can benefit from it, as well?
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