From Feb. 18 to 24, UR Cinema Group is sponsoring a ’90s film festival in Hoyt Auditorium. The film festival acts as a study break during the second week of midterms and a lead-up to the Academy Awards this Sunday; it has, thus far, succeeded in both regards.
For the event, two “classic” films from the 1990s are being shown each night. Beginning Monday, the themes for each day of the week until Saturday are: action, comedy, crime, Tom Hanks, kids movies, and horror.
The film selection for the festival is very respectable, though the lack of Oscar-winning films is rather odd being that the festival is occurring in the week leading up to this year’s Academy Awards. The exception, 1994 best-picture winner “Forrest Gump,” is being shown Thursday night and is arguably the best film shown this week. The Saturday films – “The Sixth Sense” and “Scream” – are two films every college student should see at least once in their lifetime; both will probably play to a packed Hoyt.
The event deviates from the usual activity of URCG, which mostly consists of weekly Friday and Saturday night film showings in Hoyt.
“We wanted to do more, bring more movies to students, and make [URCG] a household name on campus,” said URCG Chairperson Cody Drissel. “We feel that a big event like the ’90s Film Fest is a good way to do that.”
It has been some time since the last on-campus film festival; URCG is enthusiastic that this one will be a success due to the lack of film opportunities provided to students outside of the usual weekend presentations at Hoyt.
Unfortunately, the pressure of midterms affected the turnout for the Monday night showing of “The Matrix,” which was lower than the attendance of past Saturday night films. With a broad range of 13 films set to show this week, URCG seems to be banking on the diversity of its selections to bring in students.
The one drawback of the festival is the choice of cult films, “Resevoir Dogs,” “Big Lebowski,” “Good Burger,” and “Clueless.” None were box-office successes, and some were critically panned. Some, including the latter two, don’t seem to fit in with the other films being shown and could have been easily replaced by better known films that still fit the themes.
Though a film festival this short is sure to be deficient of potential showings, the lack of Oscar-winners, action, and Disney films from one of the golden ages of animation could all negatively affect attendance. Conceiving a ’90s film festival without such classics as “Goodfellas,” “the Shawshank Redemption,” and “The Lion King” may be a bit difficult, but the film festival nevertheless has the potential to be a success for URCG.
Pascutoi is a member of the class of 2015.