Many of us may be hesitant to travel at the moment, or even to go to the movies. But we can gather together at this free film discussion series to explore great films that are set on the highways and byways.
As the recent theatrical release of Nomadland testifies, the American road movie has enduring appeal and seems almost endlessly adaptable to different cultural circumstances. In this series, we take a quick survey of the genre. We start with a Hollywood studio classic that establishes the heterosexual couple as the central protagonist and self-determination as a defining force. It concludes with contemporary entry that confronts us with an urgent new perspective on the forces and forms of travel and escape.
This series is designed to offer an interwoven vantage point from which to analyze “on the road” films. While we encourage participants to join us for each meeting, our discussions will focus on individual movies. Participants are welcome to join us for all or any of the sessions.
This series if free and open to the public. You will need to watch the films on your own, which may require some payment. But there is no cost to enroll and participate in our discussions.
The only requirements for attendance are good will, curiosity, an interest in sharing your ideas, and a hunger to learn from others. We hope that seasoned movie buffs will join our conversations, as well as individuals for whom watching a feature length film is an occasional or even rare event. In short: all are welcome!
Eva Fernandez, who has taught in the Graham School’s Basic Program since 1999, will lead our discussions. Ms. Fernandez is the 2011 recipient of the Graham School’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Her interests and enthusiasms span from classical to late medieval literature and philosophy, American literature, contemporary poetry, and film, especially horror and science fiction. Ms. Fernandez thinks that the pandemic offers an interesting perspective from which to contemplate what’s at stake in movies set on the road.
Participants are asked to watch the assigned film in advance, using the guiding questions to help prepare for the conversation. At the start of each session, which will meet remotely via Zoom, Ms. Fernandez will explain the format for the evening, provide some additional context, and offer a brief introduction of the film. Participants will then be broken out into smaller breakout groups, and Ms. Fernandez will rotate through those rooms. The entire group will then reconvene for a final discussion. Ms. Fernandez will conclude the evening with the entire group and provide some final commentary and points of reflection.