By Mike Keenan
Toronto may have TIFF with all of its fanfare, media hype and movie stars who parade about red carpets, flashing their ten-carat smiles, but in St. Catharines, we have BUFS!
And good news for film viewers: the Brock University Film Society (BUFS) is launching its new season in collaboration with The Film House at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC). Screenings will take place at the downtown St. Catharines theatre over the course of 11 weeks — and cinema buffs will not want to miss a scene.
With the advent of streaming sites and changes to the way films are distributed, people are tempted to watch movies at home. But Scott Henderson, a professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, and one of the people behind BUFS, wants to challenge that idea. According to Henderson, there’s more to watching a movie than just hitting play.
“Many smaller films don’t make it to the big screens of the multiplex. These are often the ‘buzz’ films from festivals that show up on ‘best of’ lists compiled by critics at the end of the year, and become part of the Oscar discussion,” Henderson says. “The BUFS lineup is an opportunity for Niagara film lovers to see these hotly tipped films on a big screen, and also glean insight from Brock’s Film Studies professors.”
The Thursday, Sept. 20 season opener, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed, even has a small Brock connection. Schrader’s piece on film noir was a staple in all four editions of retired Brock Professor Barry Grant’s book Film Genre Reader. Grant, of course, has had a long connection to BUFS and his contributions to film culture in Niagara are well known. Many film lovers in the community first encountered the study of film in his first-year course.
The lineup continues with such titles as Let the Sunshine In, Sorry to Bother You, Papillon, and others. Check out the BUFS page (https://brocku.ca/social-sciences/cpcf/brock-university-film-series/) for a full list of this season’s selections. A calendar of films coming to PAC over the next couple of months is posted on The Film House website: https://firstontariopac.ca/ArticleMedia/Files/Docs/Sept_Oct_Calendar.pdf
On Feb. 28, 2018: BUFS offer us “Oscar Shorts.” This is an exclusive St. Catharines screening of the Academy Award® nominees for Best Live Action on the big screen. I was fortunate to see this selection last year, and the film choices were terrific.
Bravo to Brock. For more than 40 years, the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film has hosted the film society (also previously known as a series) to bring some of the best in independent, international and Canadian cinema to St. Catharines.
Tickets are available at the Film House on the evening of screenings. General admission is $9 or $7 for members, plus tax. Memberships are available through the Film House website.
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