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By Carlen Hultgren
For those who enjoy exceptional films, genial company and of course good food, there is place for you in the Southeast side of Atlanta, one Saturday a month. It is the delightful film group Life is Too Short to Watch Lousy Movies, which is now looking for some new members for its eleventh year schedule.
Each second Saturday of the month, a small collection of people gather to watch and discuss a unique movie in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. While focusing more on the classics, modern films are viewed as well. So far this year the group has laughed at Buster Keaton scrambling to get married in Seven Chances (1925), sympathized with aging rodeo rider Steve McQueen in Junior Bonner (1972), and marveled at James Cagney as a psychopathic killer in White Heat (1949), among others.
Looking ahead to celebrate Labor Day on Saturday, September 10, the captivating Ninotchka (1939) will be screened and all present will enjoy watching capitalist Melvyn Douglas thaw icy communist Greta Garbo. Originally promoted with the slogan “Garbo laughs!” as the first comedy in which the Swede starred, you too will laugh at this charming film. For the holidays, the group will view a spiritually-themed 1990s film from Japan. From comedy to drama, foreign to domestic, classic to modern, this group has seen it all.
This entertaining group meets in the private Woodland Hills home of longtime neighborhood resident, film buff, and founder of the group, Steve Whiteman. The night begins around 6:00pm with a pot luck style snack, each participant bringing food or drink. This gives everyone time to catch up and socialize. Next on the agenda is a game, complete with prizes. (What would a game be without prizes?) It might be movie trivia, maybe a movie themed crossword puzzle; it always ends with a final Jeopardy-style question usually involving a film clip. Either way it will test your movie knowledge in a very lighthearted atmosphere.
The movie begins at 7:00pm, and usually includes coming attractions, a cartoon, and clips from other films or documentaries. When the film is over, a discussion follows, led by Steve and members; all participants are encouraged to do their own research and enthusiastic discourse follows.
When the movie is viewed, food eaten and wine drunk, discussion ended, game scored and prize awarded, preview for the following month seen, you will hear Ray Charles singing “Georgia on My Mind”, indicating the evening has ended, usually around 10:30pm.
There are a few openings for the 2017 season. Regular participation with garanteed seating and space-available participation are both available. There is no charge for the movies or the programs. And as one of the regulars said, “There IS no better way to spend a Saturday evening in Atlanta.”
Because the evening is more than just a “movie night,” new people should have a look at the group’s website, ClassicFilmAppreciation.webs.com, which explains how things work and includes detailed program examples, photos from meetings, and testimonials. Anyone wanting to be notified of future films can sign up for the mailing list as a space-available Drop-In participant on the Contact Us page of the site. After attending a couple of screenings, signing up as a Regular will guarantee you a seat and additional benefits.
Please contact Steve at ClassicFilmAppreciation@gmail.com with any questions.