Thinking in the Theatre

Written by Mary Krauss. Media by Ethan Maurer.

Globe Theatre- Greenville, IL
Source: Cinema Treasures

Last Wednesday was the first free movie event offered to the student body of Greenville University. It was held at the Globe Theatre, located on the Greenville town square. About 40 students attended the event, but what most of them didn’t know was the reason for this free movie. The event was actually because of an honors class taught by Dr. Matt Bernico called Cinematic Conversations. The students who are in the class plan the events by picking out the movies and handing all the promotion for the events. Dr. Bernico says, “The point of the class is to build film culture on campus. It’s really to get students thinking about movies in a deeper, more academic way.”

Many people tend to consume movies, books, and stories published in other forms of media without delving into the bigger picture. Some of the best movies are the ones that can cause a person to think in a different way than they normally would and can go as far as changing that person’s life. The discussions that take place after each movie really go a long way in opening someone’s eyes to the real meaning or the possible meanings behind even the simplest films.

My Neighbor Totoro
Source: Movie Mezzanine

I remember my first time attending the Cinematic Conversations event as a freshman at Greenville. It was a showing of “My Neighbor Totoro” (an amazing movie, by the way.) I also remember being confused about why there was a conversation following the movie. It was so interesting to engage in conversation with everyone in the theater and I felt as though it was something completely different from just watching a movie with some friends. It was thought-provoking and it was the first time I really started to think about anything for myself.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Source: The Prospect

The following summer, I read a book called “The Fault in Our Stars.” This book changed my entire thought process because I had begun to be more open-minded. The book helped me to see from a different point of view. Both the style of writing and the things discussed by the characters about life and death were intelligently done; however, they were almost contradictory to a Christian’s viewpoint. Though the book’s author, John Green, is a proclaimed Christian, his characters come to many conclusions that are absent of religion and are purely ideas of someone who knows no God.

I was raised as a Christian by parents who taught me only about Christianity, and while that’s all good and fine, I had never been introduced to any other concepts. Before I started reading the book I challenged myself not just to consume the story and move on but to really try to understand the concepts introduced to me. I struggled with the conclusions that the characters came to at first, but slowly I learned to accept that these characters wanted to find the truth as much as I did. Though it’s all fictional, it still introduces concepts and ideas that are entirely real.

Being encouraged to think more and understand more was a very crucial event that made me into who I am now, in my senior year at Greenville. Attending these events may not impact you in the way that they impacted me, but they are still a good way to get anyone thinking even a little bit. There will be six films in total throughout the semester. Since it started last week, there are now five remaining films. They will be held on Wednesday nights, and don’t forget, it’s completely free to attend! So, attend the next Cinematic Conversations event, enjoy the movie, and join in on the discussion!


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