Perhaps you have wondered, what is a Curious Cinema Club and why does our library have one? Essentially, this alliteration-loving group is a book club for films, but not just any films. The Curious Cinema Club strives to show films that ask big questions, films that go beyond the “hero beats the villain and saves the girl” narratives, and instead chooses to explore the complexities, subtleties, and absurdities of modern life.
The club probes the lesser-beaten path of art films, documentaries, foreign films and what they call “obscure classics”, not because we don’t love big Hollywood blockbusters and Marvel heroes, but because these titles don’t often make it to the big screen or get the attention we think they deserve.
Why at the library? Well, the library is not just a place for books. In fact, our DVD section is one of the most circulated sections in the library. It seems to follow that the library should not only engage in book clubs, but also film clubs.
Our first screening was for the film “Grizzly Man”, a documentary by the great director Werner Herzog, examining what would drive a man to want to live with grizzly bears in the Alaskan wild. The film proved to be an in-depth inspection into the life of this “grizzly man”, revealing his struggles with modern society, his dreams of ultra-conservation, and ultimately his tragic mistakes and misunderstandings.
We now have a copy of “Grizzly Man” in our collection as well as other great works by Herzog, including his more recent documentary on the internet, “Lo and Behold”, as well as “Fitzcarraldo”, one his most famous works of fiction, depicting the madness of a man obsessed with building an opera house in the middle of the Amazon. All highly recommended.
This month we will be screening director Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”, a film that deals heavily with the concept of change, as we see a New York City neighborhood amid a contentious liminal state. Themes of gentrification, racism and violence are weightily considered alongside moments of humor and poignancy. What is sure to be an interesting discussion will follow the film as well as a vote for upcoming screenings, previews for which will be shown before the feature. Microwaved popcorn and hot beverages will also be provided, so don’t miss out! And if you can’t make it, we also have “Do the Right Thing” in our DVD collection.
Curious Cinema Club meets the third Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm (feature film at 6pm) in the upstairs Meeting Room.