Hello and welcome
If you belong to u3a and love films, this page is for you.
Spring into Summer
The year is progressing, and every day brings reviews of new films just released.
The return of cinemas has made a fantastic difference for many of us. I am a fervent supporter of independent cinemas, and I hope you are lucky enough to have one where you live. That’s, of course, if you feel ready to return to the cinema – some do and some do not. Many new films are being released on streaming too. And then there is always the trusty DVD.
As you’ll know, there are many different kinds of u3a film group. Some meet up to talk about what they’ve been watching; some watch films in members’ homes; some have trips to cinemas; some screen films in a community hall. I have been really pleased to hear from quite a few members, and I reckon that’s just the tip of the iceberg of all your activities! Thank you to all those who have been in contact. Do keep the messages coming. And if you feel inspired to send in a mini-review of a film you’ve seen, that would be great too.
Some words from Falkirk u3a Film Group
John from Falkirk u3a Film Group writes: “I am in the fourth year as group leader, and am thoroughly enjoying the experience of watching a whole variety of films, then having a right good discussion with enthusiastic film lovers.
“I know there are different ways of operating a film group, but I decided that I would screen a film, mostly from my own DVD collection, via a projector. This proved very successful as I was able to use a community room for free at a local supermarket. I showed around 15 films up until lockdown, ranging from classics like Sunset Boulevard to the thought-provoking and prophetic film The Truman Show.
“Like all other groups I had to think up a new way of continuing to run the film group, and we now meet monthly via Zoom. Prior to the meeting I suggest three or four films to be shown on TV, and then we discuss as a group at our Zoom session. We have discussed around 60 films ... I have also started showing a short film during the Zoom session and so far I have shown around a dozen, lasting from six to fifteen minutes. This is maybe something that other film groups would like to try out, and for anyone who is interested, they could email me for the links.”
Thank you John, it was good to hear from you.
NB If any groups are interested in the short films that John mentions, let me know and I will forward your details on.
How does your u3a group enjoy film?
How do you watch movies, how do you decide on them, are there any challenges to running your sessions? How do you see 2022 rolling out? Are there things you think should be covered on this page? I look forward to hearing from you!
A gentle reminder about film licensing
If you screen films to your group outside the home, for instance in a community hall, all your film screenings must be licensed. The good news is that national u3a buys every year an ‘Umbrella Film Licence’ from the film licensing company MPLC. This means that all local u3a branches are licensed to show any film that is covered by MPLC. This company licenses a huge number of films, but it does not cover every film. In some cases a group would need to buy an additional licence. For more information and advice, please contact me.
In praise of streaming
I would like to put in a good word for catch-up TV, especially BBC iPlayer and All4, and also for Netflix. These are free or low cost, and provide us with an impressive array of films. When the choice seems too great, I often find that recommendations from friends … and from u3a fellow film fans … help me select what to watch.
As you’ll know, there are a lot of other film streaming services now … too many to mention.
Films from these kinds of sources can be great material for a film discussion group. Each member watches one or two pre-agreed films at home, and then all discuss the films at the meeting. You could of course hold your meetings on Zoom if preferred.
Something for everyone
From classic films on iPlayer, to any number of new releases and classics on Netflix, not to mention selections from your DVD libraries and new movies in cinemas … Films have something for everyone. Why not let me know about a film you or your group have especially enjoyed recently?