Film Club features originals of well-known movie remakes as this year’s theme


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This year’s Film Club movie series will showcase several originals of movies that have been remade. “We have a great lineup of movies,” co-president of Film Club senior Christian Koch said.

What do a disfigured and murderous Tom Cruise, a Beyonce Knowles that flirts with Steve Martin, and an gigantic mutant dinosaur that has been reincarnated an innumerable amount of times all have in common? They all belong in movie remakes! But the suave antics of George Clooney, Matt Damon, or Brad Pitt in Ocean’s 11 (2001) won’t swagger across the screen at Film Club this year; instead, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. trade quips in Ocean’s Eleven (1960). Want a wackier Willy Wonka than Depp? Gene Wilder is wilder in the same film, 34 years earlier.

St. Paul Academy & Summit School’s very own Film Club chooses a theme that will encompass the eight to ten movies to be shown, each at 6:00 pm on a Wednesday. After painstaking discussion and consensus amongst Film-Clubbers, they revealed this year’s theme: Originals.

“An original is any film that’s been remade,” senior Michael Wilkens said. Wilkens is co-president of Film Club with fellow senior Christian Koch.

A fairly well-known example of an original film would be the first Karate Kid (1984)—the one with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, instead of the 2010 remake with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. A lesser known original might be Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954), remade into Disturbia (2007), which stars Shia Labeouf.

The Film Club administration expressed high hopes for the new theme: “We have a great lineup of movies,” Koch said.

“Originals are super fun because a ton of people have seen the remakes of these movies, whether they know it or not.”
Wilkens put forth a similar sentiment. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do originals—the people [at school] have seen the remake. It’s interesting to see how movies have changed.”

Film Club advisor Randall Findlay agrees. “So often we see movies, but we lack the perspective to compare them [to how the have been produced before]. But this [film selection] brings in an automatic comparison. Anyone who has seen the remake can say ‘I like the remake better’—or ‘I like the original better.’”

Film Club chose many contemporary favorites for showing, like Ocean’s Eleven (1960), The Pink Panther (1963), and True Grit (1969). But the lineup also includes more obscure movies, like Bedazzled, a 1967 British comedy about what happens when a dissatisfied and introverted young man receives seven wishes in return for his soul, in a deal with the devil. 20th Century Fox remade Bedazzled 33 years later, to significantly poorer reviews (a drop of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes). Accompanying the eight originals this year are four foreign films, which include other three originals—one Spanish, Abre Los Ojos (1997), remade into Vanilla Sky (2001), and two Japanese movies—Gojira (1954) and Ringu (1998), remade into Godzilla (1998) and The Ring (2002), respectively. Another standalone French film, La Cage aux Folles, is also scheduled. All foreign films are shown in their native language with subtitles.

Film Club evenings begin with a short film before the feature.

Opening for each film this year is Zorro Rides Again (1937), a 210 minute serial split into twelve different parts, each with a climactic cliffhanger. The story follows the great grandson of the original Zorro, as he battles railroad-taker-overers with his twin pistols and whip.

“I’m excited for Film Club,” sophomore Miriam Tibbetts said, who holds the club member title “Resident Anarchist.” “I’m a fan of the lineup, and I’m a fan of originals.”

Wilkens and Koch encourage students to attend Film Club nights whenever they can. “You can come to Film Club meetings and movie night independently of one another,” said Koch. “Some people go to the meetings, but don’t go to the movie nights. Some people come to the meetings, but aren’t seen on movie nights.”

“Feel free to come,” added Wilkens. “If you’ve seen the movie and don’t want to go to movie night, but you still want to discuss it, go ahead and come [to room 207 on Thursday, during X-Period]. Even if you’ve just seen the remake—we’re open. we like people.”

Film Club kicked off Originals with the 1971 classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The next show is The Producers (1968) , a Gene Wilder comedy flick about two misfits who try to get rich by directing a deliberately awful play. It is scheduled to air on Wednesday, October 2nd in the Lecture Room at 6:00 PM. Free food accompanies almost all movie showings. “You gotta see the movies,” Wilkens said. “The movies are fun.”

 This year’s film club schedule:

September 18 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

October 2 – The Producers

October 16 – The Prestige

October 30 – Ringu

November 13 – The Pink Panther

December 4 – Abre los Ojos

January 8 – The Karate Kid

January 22 – Rear Window

February 5 – Bedazzled

February 19 – La Cage aux Folles

March 5 – Pi

April 9 – It Happened One Night

April 16 – Student Film Night

April 23 – True Grit

May 7 – Gojira

May 21 – Oceans 11