Film Club Closing

A film viewing and discussion club for Criterion Collection releases.
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Mr Sausage
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Film Club Closing

#1 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jun 12, 2023 8:27 pm

Due to low participation, I'm planning to suspend the Film Club in August, the ten year anniversary of when we started it. If participation picks up between now and then I'll reconsider, but at the moment there's no point keeping this going just to get a stray post or two.

This doesn't apply to the Anime Watchalong, which will continue for the foreseeable future.

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Drucker
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Re: Film Club Closing

#2 Post by Drucker » Mon Jun 12, 2023 8:41 pm

This seems like the right call. I had a lot of fun participating early on (first two or three years? I made an effort to consistently participate) but the forum offers lots of opportunities like the lists project to watch a film alongside other people watching at the same time.

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domino harvey
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Re: Film Club Closing

#3 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 12, 2023 8:45 pm

I admire your perseverance M Sausage, but I agree that it’s time to say goodnight and put it to bed

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Film Club Closing

#4 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jun 12, 2023 9:48 pm

I really appreciate your service running this for so long, Mr Sausage, and I agree that it’s frustrating when a bunch of people vote for a movie to get discussed and one person chimes in with thoughts/questions for the crickets. The end of an era

Member of the year selections have led to fruitful discussions for at least the handful of years I’ve been an active member and I hope we can keep that annual ritual if at all possible

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Film Club Closing

#5 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jun 12, 2023 9:52 pm

Certainly time to give it a vacation. Maybe doing one occasionally -- if a critical mass of people indicate they are willing to participate -- could be an option (down the road)....

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Film Club Closing

#6 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Jun 12, 2023 10:46 pm

I've never participated much in the film club per se but I very much appreciate your efforts through the years, Mr. Sausage, and all of the participants' contributions.

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soundchaser
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Re: Film Club Closing

#7 Post by soundchaser » Mon Jun 12, 2023 10:55 pm

I also haven't participated much -- maybe once or twice? -- but it's sad to see a forum institution like this shut down. I've always enjoyed reading the contributions, and I hope the more eloquent members will continue to post in dedicated release threads.

ballmouse
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Re: Film Club Closing

#8 Post by ballmouse » Mon Jun 12, 2023 11:31 pm

I'm a relatively new member. I've only participated in 1 discussion and that was because that was because it was the only one where I wanted to watch the film regardless. I usually find the five random selections not to my taste. I wonder if that same sentiment had any appreciable impact on the decline of the discussions. I would hypothesize that as the CC grew in titles, there would be a greater percentage of fringe titles in the population meaning higher proportion of random films not interesting to those who would participate.

Regardless, it is sad when something that was once popular dies due to disinterest. One always wonders if such is the nature of things or if there was some other turning point that could have changed its course.

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Film Club Closing

#9 Post by Matt » Tue Jun 13, 2023 11:23 pm

I think I was originally skeptical of the idea, but I’m very happy to have been proven wrong. Congratulations, Mr. Sausage, on such a successfully long-running project that provided opportunities and space for thoughtful and informed comment on so many different films.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Film Club Closing

#10 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jun 14, 2023 8:15 am

Thanks everyone. But I can’t take full credit. Swo17 did essential behind the scenes work and really helped co-run this with me.

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Sloper
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Re: Film Club Closing

#11 Post by Sloper » Sun Jun 18, 2023 7:28 am

Huge thanks to Mr S and swo for keeping the film club going all this time - you've done an amazing job. I agree this is the right call, and I won't even say it's sad that the film club is closing, because I think it's alive and well in other types of discussion that are initiated more organically (the anime watchalongs, list projects, etc.).

I haven't participated or voted as much in the last few years, mainly due to lack of time. I have seen fewer films I like in the voting options lately, but this wouldn't have been a barrier in the old days. One of the best things about the film club has been having an excuse to address blind spots, or re-visit films I didn't 'get' the first time. Marketa Lazarova went from being a film I found baffling and repellent to being one of my favourites, I've just realised how wonderful A Canterbury Tale is, and many other times the experience of watching, re-watching, and discussing a film has made me see it in a new light.

I was so happy to see the film club start up 10 years ago, and the subsequent discussions have definitely been the highlight of my participation in this forum (so far). It makes me sad that I can't find as much time for it now, but as I said above, it looks to me like the desire for discussion is alive and well here, which is why this is still a rewarding place to lurk in.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Film Club Closing

#12 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jun 21, 2023 9:25 pm

I was originally going to end this in August, but why let it limp along for a few months when we could go out on a high note with the terrific A Canterbury Tale discussion?

The Film Club will end on Monday. Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful posts you've made over the years. This was fun!

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Black Hat
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Re: Film Club Closing

#13 Post by Black Hat » Thu Jun 22, 2023 11:25 am

Man, it's been 10 years? That is crazy. I was one of the loudest advocates for the Film Club idea, I do have a talent for provoking a few of you and have barely participated. My apologies to Mr. S and Swo and a big thank you for keeping this going for as long as you have.

Boy did I severely underestimate how fast two weeks can fly by.

Also, the New York Repertory scene has grown exponentially over these years with the New York contingent, I'm sure, seeing more films in theaters than we used to. For me, it's probably around 90% of my viewings vs about 50 back then. Has there been an overlap with Film Club even once?

Anyways, I do have an idea for something similar if people are up for it. How about we do a sort of film club on movies we're all seeing around town? We veer off a lot in the NYC thread, and many times I've sent members I'm fond of, or who I feel have the expertise, private messages about something I've seen (Michael, I owe you a message about last year's Shochiku series at MoMA). I'm also sure the non-New Yorkers have either seen the films previously or have access to backchannels to find the films if they wish to participate. So, I dunno, think about it and get back to me. I'd be happy to manage it or whatever you call it. I think it could be good and a bit more lively.

edit: I'm thinking one film a month.

edit 2: it'll probably even draw in a few NYC lurkers of this place too, or I could just smack'em on the head and tell them to participate, they're all socially awkward nerds so they'll fit right in with the ambiance of the place

ballmouse
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Re: Film Club Closing

#14 Post by ballmouse » Thu Jun 22, 2023 11:55 am

Black Hat wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2023 11:25 am
Anyways, I do have an idea for something similar if people are up for it. How about we do a sort of film club on movies we're all seeing around town? We veer off a lot in the NYC thread, and many times I've sent members I'm fond of, or who I feel have the expertise, private messages about something I've seen (Michael, I owe you a message about last year's Shochiku series at MoMA). I'm also sure the non-New Yorkers have either seen the films previously or have access to backchannels to find the films if they wish to participate. So, I dunno, think about it and get back to me. I'd be happy to manage it or whatever you call it. I think it could be good and a bit more lively.

edit: I'm thinking one film a month.

edit 2: it'll probably even draw in a few NYC lurkers of this place too, or I could just smack'em on the head and tell them to participate, they're all socially awkward nerds so they'll fit right in with the ambiance of the place
Yes! It'd be nice to meet up to watch some films. It's one thing I've been meaning to do in NYC, but I really haven't bothered because half the fun of watching films is talking about them afterwards.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Film Club Closing

#15 Post by Rayon Vert » Thu Jun 22, 2023 12:07 pm

Thank you once again Mr. Sausage and swo.

Another possibility, which wouldn't need an official, regular forum structure like this one. And I'm saying this, concerning myself, for a more distant feature, because I both currently have less time to watch movies and the time that I have I am devoting myself to watching my blu-ray upgrades of films already seen, often focusing on the supplements.

But let's say the time comes when I'm going to watch a "new" film again (or even revisit one), I could say in a film's thread: "I am going to be watching this movie and would anybody want to watch it at the same time and we can discuss it afterwards"? Because what usually happens (or rather almost always) with the Film Club is I'm already too busy watching other stuff, locked into list projects or going through my kevyip. And I'm not the type of person that has that good a memory of a film (like I feel someone like TWBB does) to say "Oh yeah, A Canterbury Tale, I've got this and this and this to say about it", going on the 1 or 2 or even 3 times I've seen but that was a year ago or more, and that I need to be watching a film with a view to discussing it as I'm watching it in order to generate sufficient thoughts for participation in a discussion.

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swo17
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Re: Film Club Closing

#16 Post by swo17 » Thu Jun 22, 2023 12:39 pm

I think it's generally a good idea, if an opportunity is going to present itself for several forum members to see the same film at the same time, and one of them wants to parlay this into a group discussion, for this to be brought up in the relevant discussion thread

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Black Hat
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Re: Film Club Closing

#17 Post by Black Hat » Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:10 pm

Not sure if that was in response to me or whatever RV was banging on about, did anyone get that?

FWIW my suggestion was for screenings of lesser-seen films that mostly don't have existing threads but, a lot of us here catch. That said, the last thing I want to do is stump for an idea and flake out again so, maybe it's better to forget I ever said anything and stick to the NYC thread/private messages.

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Black Hat
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Re: Film Club Closing

#18 Post by Black Hat » Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:16 pm

ballmouse wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2023 11:55 am
Black Hat wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2023 11:25 am
Anyways, I do have an idea for something similar if people are up for it. How about we do a sort of film club on movies we're all seeing around town? We veer off a lot in the NYC thread, and many times I've sent members I'm fond of, or who I feel have the expertise, private messages about something I've seen (Michael, I owe you a message about last year's Shochiku series at MoMA). I'm also sure the non-New Yorkers have either seen the films previously or have access to backchannels to find the films if they wish to participate. So, I dunno, think about it and get back to me. I'd be happy to manage it or whatever you call it. I think it could be good and a bit more lively.

edit: I'm thinking one film a month.

edit 2: it'll probably even draw in a few NYC lurkers of this place too, or I could just smack'em on the head and tell them to participate, they're all socially awkward nerds so they'll fit right in with the ambiance of the place
Yes! It'd be nice to meet up to watch some films. It's one thing I've been meaning to do in NYC, but I really haven't bothered because half the fun of watching films is talking about them afterwards.
Yeah, that's not going to happen. The last thing I want is to acknowledge even more awkward people who are a part of the rep scene. Not saying you're awkward but, it's not a risk I'm going to take. I like to keep it moving. It's a big community here tho so, if you start going you will see many of the same faces and sooner or later will have the opportunity to make friends I'm sure.
Last edited by Black Hat on Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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swo17
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Re: Film Club Closing

#19 Post by swo17 » Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:20 pm

Black Hat wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:10 pm
Not sure if that was in response to me
I was generally responding to both of you. But by all means, if the mood strikes you, post in an appropriate thread that you plan to watch something and you can gauge interest in others joining you. That's how the anime watchalongs came about, just sort of spontaneously like that

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Black Hat
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Re: Film Club Closing

#20 Post by Black Hat » Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:24 pm

Yeah, we both know, or I've proven, that's not going to happen. I'm the only commit to things when I feel responsible for it type.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Film Club Closing

#21 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jun 23, 2023 6:55 pm

I feel like this has already happened a bit in the New York Film Scene thread (or whatever it's called), with members providing thoughts on films they've seen and others following suit, since they were at screenings together without realizing. Kinda hard to organize, but I've seen it organically occur lately and that's been pretty cool. I wish more members who are Boston locals attended the IFF Boston screenings!

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ando
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Re: Film Club Closing

#22 Post by ando » Sun Jun 25, 2023 7:49 pm

Sad to see this go though I have to admit that I've been guilty of voting for a selected film and failing to contribute. Didn't happen often as my picks were almost always among the lowest ranked. I will say that not having immediate access to the film selection has sometimes been a deterrent though, in truth, you can find darned near any title on the web today.

The point, of course, is to view a Criterion selection in all its glory (not some shoddy copy). Perhaps if ALL the proposed titles were streaming on The Criterion Channel for (at least) the period of the discussion there would be an incentive not only to keep the service but to actively engage with the content. The club was actually one of the reasons why I kept up my subscription (despite owning about a hundred titles on disc). I say give it another shot for the remainder of the summer (with the above provision) and if participation remains poor call it quits. I believe there's still value in keeping it around a bit longer, MS (esp. considering the responses).

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ando
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Re: Film Club Closing

#23 Post by ando » Fri Jun 30, 2023 2:26 pm

Will we get one last hurrah before August, MS (made a stab at Bakemonogatari :shock: , not my thing :) ). Still a whole month to go.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Film Club Closing

#24 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri Jun 30, 2023 3:25 pm

Afraid not, Ando. Canterbury Tale was a great way to go out.

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ando
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Re: Film Club Closing

#25 Post by ando » Fri Jun 30, 2023 6:15 pm

capiche.

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