On Oct. 27, the English studies department and the Film Studies program hosted an Arts & Ideas event titled, “Film Studies Presents: Short Films Everyone Should See” in the Academic Sciences Building. The event featured four short films that were each less than 20 minutes long.
“Every semester, I try to do an Arts & Ideas event that is sponsored by the Film Studies program,” said Director of Film Studies Christopher Wielgos. “ I tried to pick films to screen that I think students will enjoy and also probably have rarely been able to see before, so I tried to make them interesting and at the same time, new and unique.”
The four short films that were screened at the event were “Curfew” (2012), “David” (2020), “The Best Men” (2016) and “The Neighbors’ Window” (2019). “Curfew” won the Academy Award in 2013 for Best Short Film and “David” was a part of the Cannes Film Competition in France in 2020.
“The best way to describe ‘Curfew’ is that it’s about a kind of down-and-out guy who meets his niece for the first time and through that relationship, sort of comes to a change in his life,” said Wielgos. “Will Ferrell is in [‘David’] and it’s about a psychologist, a patient and the psychologist’s son.”
“The Best Men” won the Film Short grand prize in 2016 and “The Neighbors’ Window” is about a middle-aged woman’s life being shaken up when two younger people move into the house across the street.
“[‘The Best Men’] is about two guys talking in a bar, one of whom is going to be the best man at the other’s wedding, and the groom asks his best man to help him kill his fiancee,” said Wielgos. “The last one is called ‘The Neighbors’ Window’ and it won the Oscar for Best [Live Action] Short Film in 2020.”
In terms of choosing these four short films to show at the event, Wielgos tried to find award winning films that aren’t shown in movie theaters.
“Besides the fact that they have won awards, I wanted to pick films that I thought would be effective to college students, that they would be either entertaining or would have a big message,” said Wielgos.
All four short films are comedies, with “The Best Man” being a dark comedy..
“I like all four of them and I think they’re all very good and ‘The Neighbors’ Window’ is the most dramatic,” said Wielgos. “If I had to pick one out of the four, [my favorite would be] ‘The Neighbors’ Window.’ It’s the most impactful to me.”
Students were encouraged to attend this event because they could be exposed to new things they haven’t experienced before and watching films is another way to see art.
“I would assume that [students] probably haven’t experienced or enjoyed these movies before and I would be surprised if any students have seen any of these [short films],” said Wielgos. “I think watching film is like any other art form [because] it’s a very impactful medium and we can learn a lot about ourselves.”
The main purpose of holding this event is to spread awareness of the Film Studies program for first year students who might not know about the program. Film Studies is a minor open to all majors.
Every three weeks , the English department tries to have Arts and Ideas events and they encourage students to attend them, as they offer a diverse range of learning opportunities outside the classroom.
On Nov. 29, the English department will be having their annual First-Year Writing Showcase in the D’Arcy Great Room, which will display written pieces by students that were nominated by their professors.
Photo Credit: Katelyn Leano