Ten reasons why all PSU students should care about film

School is back in session. As the days get shorter, the nightsget colder and the homework piles up, the desperate mind inevitablyturns to thoughts of rest and relaxation. Movies are always a greatsolution. But besides the benefits of pure escapism, there areplenty of other valid reasons to care about film.

1. Everyone likes to save money,and your PSU photo-ID card will save you $1-3 off regular admissionat most theaters during evening hours. It works for museums andlots of other events, too.

2. Going to the movies is a cheapway to pass your time, especially if you go during economy ortwilight hours and remember to flash your student ID (see #1,above). Some venues even provide beer and wine, gourmet pizza orother goodies that can pass for a light meal. If you’re over 40 anddetermined to eat a tub of movie theater popcorn, don’t forget topop an aspirin before you go. It’ll keep those coronary arteriesopen and flowing.

3. From a student’s standpoint,film can often be used toward coursework. Need a commentary ongender/role reversals for a women’s studies class? Try “Fargo.”Societal ideologies? Watch “The Matrix.” Descent into madness? TryStanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” which, even though Stephen Kingdidn’t like it, is one the most skin-prickling films out there. Therealities of the Cold War era? Watch the 1964 black-and-white film”Fail-Safe” directed by Sidney Lumet.

4. PSU offers a wide array of filmclasses. Fall term’s choices include 1930’s Hollywood Film, BlackCinema in the 1970s, History of Cinema, and Film and SocialJustice. Many PSU classes show films during class or use homeviewing of films to supplement the curriculum.

5. PSU offers aninterdisciplinary minor in film studies presented through theDepartments of English, Communication and Theatre Arts. Completioninvolves a basic core of two film classes along with 20 othercredits of electives from the departments filling out therequirements. For more details visit one of the departmentsoffering the minor or consult your advisor.

6. PSU’s faculty includes a numberof professors with expertise and experience in filmmaking,screenwriting and film studies.

7. PSU students receive discountedadmission to the Northwest Film Center (NWFC) at 829 S.W. 9th Ave.Your PSU ID gets you into regular screenings for $2. See the NWFCweb site for a list of films now showing: http://www.nwfilm.org. Apartnership between PSU and the NWFC also allows students to takeclasses at the NWFC for PSU credit and vice versa.

8. Let’s face it: whether you’rejuggling a too-full schedule, sweating out final exam week ornegotiating the tricky waters of interpersonal relationships,college can be grueling at times. This leads me to another greatreason to embrace film: emotional catharsis. Theorist KajaSilverman says that when we sit in a darkened theater, we areeffectively isolated and enter the world of the screen. Once there,we hope to find whatever it is that we have lost. Film thus grantsaccess to emotions that we might otherwise leave at the bottom ofthe psychic hamper. What I’m trying to say is, sometimes droppinginto another world for a couple of hours provides an escape fromyour own. Whether you need to laugh, cry or yell, there’s a filmout there to help mine out those emotions.

9. Film can expose you to newplaces and situations. What better time to consider this then whilereceiving a liberal arts education? Don’t miss a chance to exposeyourself through film to ideas, settings or history you might nototherwise encounter. Examples: for someone (like me) who grew up ina waspy, rural setting, watching “Boyz N the Hood” was eye-opening.Or, consider a film like “Winged Migration,” which allows theobserver to fly along with birds – a startling experience.

10. Different film groups come andgo at PSU, many with regular film schedules. You’ll also findrandom screenings of different movies happening from time to time.Keep an eye out for these opportunities by reading the Vanguard,watching campus bulletin boards and checking on the PSU eventscalendar (http://www.pdx.edu/events).