A night of homage: the upcoming “Director’s Cut Film Festival

Tom Pilcher

If there was one fact I learned from introduction to film studies last term, it is that filmmakers love to borrow from and reference other films in their own work. Sometimes this can be a bad thing, especially when critics criticize them for being unoriginal. Usually, however, these references strengthen a film when done tastefully, connecting it to previous cinematic movements. Next Wednesday, the Lawrence University Film Club wants critics to forget about tasteful references and appreciate the group’s second film festival of the year: the Director’s Cut Film Festival.
As group leader Stephen Anunson described it, the Director’s Cut festival asked student filmmakers to create a short film of 30 seconds to 10 minutes that uses a specific film director’s techniques and style.
Filmmakers can also give a short presentation on the director that influenced their work, along with showing clips from the films that inspired their own work. Anunson said that the group’s goal for the festival was to “encourage filmmakers to study the works of other great filmmakers more carefully and to share a little bit about the process of film-making with those attending the festival.”
The film club had a festival last term as well, though it did not have a specific theme. The festival was extremely well attended, and its winner was “Gun,” a short action film by freshman Tom Coben. Coben utilized action movie special effects to portray a huge shoot-out scene between the members of the cross-country team, who held invisible weapons and threw invisible grenades.
Next week’s festival will feature another film by Coben, along with films by Molly Preston and Katie Langenfeld, Chris Conrad, Maggie Waz, Micah Paisner, Stephen Anunson and more.
The film club started unofficially in the spring of 2008, and since last fall has been officially recognized by LUCC. The group is still small with around seven regular members, but the success of last term’s film festival suggests that the group will soon grow.
Anunson said that the group is for both filmmakers and film lovers, but that they focus more on making films. Any interested film lovers should try to attend one of their meetings, which happen every Monday at 8 p.m. in Science Hall 128.
Looking farther ahead, Anunson said that their theme for the spring term festival will be a “48-Hour Film Festival.”
With so many filmmakers, next week’s Director’s Cut Festival is sure to be a hit. The festival happens Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. in the Wriston auditorium.