Our Way to Begin a Film Study Group

It seems that no activity draws people together more often than watching movies. From family movie nights to film clubs, people love to gather for the comfortable, relaxing, and sometimes intellectually-stimulating activity of watching movies.

Our own movie-watching activity started 7 years ago when Pam Hassebroek invited a few women over to share a movie with her, with the notion that we can all learn more about what a film communicates if we share our observations.

In an attempt to include women from a variety of different experiential circumstances and belief systems, the invitees were thought to be compatible and conversational, but not necessarily acquainted. The idea is that people tend to observe different aspects of film based on their own personal lives, thus can bring their different perspectives to our discussions. Continuing to include only women as group members is an attempt to eliminate any restraint that might exist to open discussion in the presence of men.

From the outset, Pam has not formally introduced members nor has she encouraged group members to present their own backgrounds to the group. Not that this has been openly stated nor restricted by any means, but she simply wants to inhibit bias from anyone who consciously or otherwise might be predisposed to either enhance or discredit opinions from women with certain types of life choices and experiences.

More members now eagerly anticipate the monthly gathering in "The Movie Room" to watch and then discuss the carefully-chosen film of the month. A wide variety of movies have been seen and discussed according to themes: foreign film, documentary, comedy, psychiatry, and persuasion.

The evening always starts with food and wine, along with the mandatory popcorn as the movie starts. Chips and delicious guacamole prepared by our "in-house chef" have become a signature movie snack.

Our movie group has now ventured beyond The Movie Room to learn more about how motion pictures are made. For example, we have traveled together to observe the settings of the The Walking Dead, to attend film festivals in Crested Butte, CO and Atlanta, GA, and to attend the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conferences in Atlanta, Chicago, and next year, Toronto.

The movie industry is flourishing in Georgia as well as in many new places around the world, so these are exciting times for movie fans to witness. We hope that you will continue to contribute to our discussions by the occasional comment or other communication. We especially love to be liked on Facebook.