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I’ve always found appreciation societies a little bit odd in principle, or at least slightly futile. In comparison to University societies that, say, encourage people to train for the marathon or get together groups of musicians to hone their art, it’s always seemed that societies that instead devote time to watching films or playing games are somewhat trying to attach an air of importance to something that most ordinary people do anyway. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting together a bunch of people who, say, really like Japanese Horror to watch all of Shinya Tsukamoto’s films in one marathon session, but as a student it’s more interesting to hear about societies that have something to offer. Also, as a writer it’s always much more interesting (and easier) to cover a society that has something to present to students other than its own existence.
So with a suitably vague name like the Film Society could really go either way. What’s good news for Lancaster students is that, aside from being an appreciation society for like-minded film buffs, the Film Society is also actively involved in fostering and promoting the creative talents of its members, as anyone able to get down the The Dukes Theatre on June 2nd is sure to find out. That night, the Film Society will be showing five student-produced films; ranging from President James Harvey’s semi-autobiographical, documentary-style Young Man, to Cameron King’s macabre homage to Britain’s favourite hot drink, Tea.
The film society is relatively new, being formed just a couple of years ago and having to undergo a name change from the Independent Film Society to the somewhat more welcoming and inclusive Film Society. Its goal is, aside from mere appreciation of cinematic art, to encourage students to develop their ideas free from the constrictive influences of powers that be producers and to develop genuinely original pieces of work. The Film Society can be seen as part of a larger narrative of an increased amount of opportunities available to Lancaster students, from the ongoing expansion of the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts to the foundation of LUTube several years ago. Other films being screened are film student Emma Ashley’s The Elated Kaleidoscope Girl (filmed at Lancaster ‘Music Rooms’ Hotel), Effectus by Literature student Amy Charles, and Egyptian exchange student Amal-Abou Setta’s poliitcal satire You’re Free. In this writer’s opinion, it looks set to be an interesting and varied night, so if you fancy a break from revision on June 2nd, Dukes Theatre seems like the place to be.