Despite technical problems and forced room changes, the Press Club’s first movie night of the fall semester drew 15 people together Wednesday to watch and discuss a film centered on journalism in the Vietnam era.
Press Club President Alexandra Hedrick said she was pleased with the good response and turnout to the event, even in the face of malfunctioning sympodiums and audio equipment and room confusion.
“I think we did pretty well considering that leading up to it I didn’t know how many people were going to be coming or how many people were going to be interested in doing it,” she said.
Carrying over a tradition begun last semester, the Press Club decided to show a journalism film and offer food as a fundraiser rather than relying on the more conventional bake sale or car wash. Students attending the movie night enjoyed all-you-can-eat pizza, popcorn and soft drinks. The featured film was the recent documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” which chronicles the events of Ellsberg’s life leading up to his theft and release of the 7,000 page document recording the beginnings of the Vietnam War.
Dr. Joe Mirando, a communication professor who offered bonus points for attending the film and who facilitated the discussion, said he feels students in attendance came away from the film educated.
“Students will get a better lesson out of watching that than sitting through a couple classes on the Vietnam War,” he said, referring to the documentary.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Daniel Maklary, a senior in general studies, said of the movie night.
Maklary said he especially liked that the film was paused every so often to allow discussion on important topics in the movie. You were able to talk about it before it got to the end, and it allowed you to discuss key points in the middle of it, he said.
Hedrick said she also enjoyed the film and the opportunity to discuss it with those in attendance.
“I did enjoy getting to talk to Dr. Mirando and other students, not only about the movie but also about the time period the events went on in,” she said.
Mirando said he had heard a lot of people talk about how good the documentary is and, now that he has seen it, he understands why it was nominated for an Oscar and why it has won numerous awards at film festivals.
“You watch this documentary and you will learn something,” he said.
The Press Club plans to repeat the movie night twice more before the end of the semester. On October 20, Press Club students will be showing the 2003 film “Shattered Glass,” and on November 17, they will be showing “Deadline U.S.A.,” a 1952 film starring Humphrey Bogart.
Tickets for upcoming events are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Pizza is served beginning at 6 p.m. and the movie will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. Students interested in attending the movie nights can visit the SLU Press Club Facebook page or contact Alexandra Hedrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hedrick said she hopes to see more students attending the upcoming movie nights. She stated there are numerous reasons for students to attend, including the food, the discussions and the interesting movies.
“You get to see some movies that you probably wouldn’t get to pick up from the Blockbuster on a daily basis,” she said. “You may get to see some interesting movies and some really cool things and learn some really cool things that you wouldn’t have done on just any other day.”