The following post is from Robert Wyss, the faculty advisor for the OPIE Film club:
The following is a brief description of the OPIE Film Club.
Who We Are:
The OPIE Film Club is made up of OPIE students, OPIE faculty, OU Fulbrighters, and a few American students. A handful of the OPIE student members have taken on organizational responsibilities, such as managing our Facebook site, putting together graphics for posters of upcoming films, helping recruit new club members, etc.
What We Do:
Two or three times a month, we watch films with particular relevance to American culture and/or history. As OPIE Film Club Advisor, I prepare and distribute notes about the topics explored in the movies. We discuss the notes prior to film viewing so that attendees can access background and insight into the main themes addressed in each movie.
The film notes familiarize members, (ahead of time and for future reference), with the different themes explored in each film. Each film viewing is followed by small group discussions, which enable our OPIE students to interact with other OPIE learners, make new friends, reconnect with former classmates, chat with their OPIE instructors, and converse with the American students in attendance. The Help and The Great Debaters were among the club’s most popular films watched last semester.
Relevance to Learning:
In addition to providing a forum where members can meet and socialize, a main focus of the club is to increase our students’ broader understanding of American culture and history, and to provide them with ideas to use in their OPIE classes and current or future academic course work.
When and Where:
We usually view the films in Gordy 113, on Tuesday or Friday evenings. Heathy snacks are provided. Last semester, we had an average of 15-20 members, mainly OPIE students, in attendance at the film nights. Different members will attend a given film night, depending on their individual schedules and interest in the film selected for that specific evening. One evening, we attended a documentary film at the Athena on Court Street about the plight of migrant workers in Cambodia. We plan to replicate such outings from time to time this semester, too.
I plan to start the new film night cycle in a couple weeks. We’ll have a meeting with former and new members a week prior to the first film night. We will post announcements relative to Film Club meetings and movie nights in the OPIE Zone.
Facebook Page (Join us!):
Here’s a link to our Facebook page, if you’d like to have a look at what we’ve been up to. If you’d like to join us, and I hope you do, please click the Join option on the FB page. Either I or Catherine Pei will just need to confirm. Our Facebook page has served to keep members up-to-date on events, select films for upcoming film nights, and just chat away with each other in English.
Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas to share.
Hope to see you at the movies!