Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cinestudio is an Underused Campus Resource

KYRA LYONS ’20

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

In the search for the per-fect college, students often create a checklist of their most desired attributes in a campus and its culture. Although seemingly arbitrary, one of the top characteristics I took into account during my search was the proximity of a movie theater to the cam-pus. In doing research about Trinity College, I was ecstatic to discover the existence of Cinestudio, a 1930s-style movie theater in the heart of the campus. This charming theater was founded in the 1970s by a group of enthusiastic students and remains student-run to this day, with the help of founding members James Hanley and Peter Morris. Members of the Hartford community also come out to volunteer and enjoy the unique theater.

Among the hustle and bustle of classes and other extracurricular activities, students often look past the treasure that is Cinestudio as an option for their evening plans. This is truly a mistake on the part of the students, because movies have the potential to greatly enhance the lives of audiences. Movies can alter your worldview in the same way that a fantastic book might, and it only takes a commitment of around two hours. The purpose of film has long been explored and debated. Some wish to escape through film, some wish to illuminate truths and ed-ucate the public, and some wish to simply create art. Compared to other artforms, film is still relatively new. In the same way one might use books or paintings or music to understand the past, we can use film to understand the history and culture of the creators. In addition, film allows us to live our lives in dif-ferent and often better ways.

While absorbing a film, we are transported into another life and must work to empathize and understand the diegesis. These narrative elements allow us to empathize with a different world, but the unique appeal to film is in the visuals. After a truly moving film, I often find myself looking at my surroundings with a different eye, as if the filmmaker has climbed into my brain and is using my eyes as their camera. I evaluate my relationships in different ways; I interact with the world in more meaningful ways. This is true of any movie-going experience, but Cinestudio takes this a step further with the films it offers. Cinestudio has a truly stunning variety in its showings. From documentaries to live ballets to Oscar nominations, Cinestudio has something for everyone.

Last year alone, I was exposed to classics such as “Casablanca” (returning soon!) to enlightening documentaries such as “Whose Streets?”, a documentary of the emer-gence of the Black Lives Matter movement. “Casablanca” and similar films left me versed in classic movie quotes (“Here’s looking at you kid”), and films like “Whose Streets?” illuminated and further educated me on issues prevalent in our society today. Both experiences enhanced my everyday experience. Similarly thought-provoking films are always showing at Cinestudio. Upcoming showings are especially impressive.”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, which has been sweeping at awards shows this season, just finished showing and illuminated nuances in issues prevalent in today’s culture such as police corruption, homophobia, and racism. Upcoming showings of “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird” will leave audiences nostalgic for the uncertainty and intense emotions of their teen-age years. Fans of the cult classic “The Room” can enjoy a detailed look at Tommy Wiseau’s beginning years in “The Disaster Artist.” Regardless of what film you choose to enjoy, you will leave Cinestudio reminded of the power of film to provoke thought and change worldviews.

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