Fall Updates from Film/Book Club

Hello, hello, hello! Film and Book Club is the newest club at WSUM. We meet weekly on Tuesdays at 7pm and alternate weekly between being a movie-watching club and book club! We also talk about our favorite movies/books, hot takes, rank things on lists, and so much more. 

We don’t require or ask members to read/watch certain books/movies, just bring yourself and whatever you are reading and talk about whatever you like to watch. 

We cannot wait to see you next Tuesday, and here are some updates from us!

Our Current, Collective, Fall Reads: 

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Ham on Rye Bukowski by Charles Bukowski
  • I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jannette McCurdy
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover 
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman 
  • Bone Out of Boneville by Jeff Smith
  •  Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Charles John Klosterman
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • But What If You’re Wrong?  by Charles John Klosterman

A playlist for fall: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5TZYvmwvn0SYygrRfeHxPa?si=fd19783e26f2485a

Let’s Talk about The VelociPastor: 

Last week, we talked about our guilty pleasure movies and voted on watching The VelociPastor, a 2017 action comedy following a priest that turns into a dinosaur and then uses his powers to fight crime…

Going into The VelociPastor, I was half expecting Jurassic Park meets Fleabag. After watching, I can firmly say that it could not be farther from my assumptions. I don’t even know what to think honestly, but to start I will hit a few points: Frankie Mermaid is my new idol. I have never experienced anything like him and I don’t think I will again. My favorite scene was the confessional with Frankie Mermaid because “I stole candy from this baby, then I threw the baby in the river – so it couldn’t snitch, obviously – then, ah, well, I pimp b*tches, do drugs, sell drugs, murder people – really, you name it, I’ve done it, padre.” Also, I was confused on where the movie setting was for the entirety of the film, except for the one scene where the screen flashes “CHINA” for a second, in case there was any confusion. Overall score 9/10! Minus a point because I needed more Frankie Mermaid content.       — Jillian Turner

“A priest, no, a dinosaur…meets this prostitute…fights crime..” — Emma Rose (stay tuned for Emma Rose’s full movie review!) 

I enjoy a scrappy movie… but not this one. Just kidding! The movie was made with a 36k budget and I guess a lot of it was spent on shitty effects and make-up effects. It is definitely signature to the movie and made me want to watch to see how much worse it could get. It stuck to its style but for sure at one point I just pulled out my phone because it was gimmicky and had no deep character development. It’s silly. I would not watch it again. The editing felt like the editor went through Pinterest, took one artsy idea, and ran with it on iMovie… so they did something.  I wouldn’t do it but I guess they went off. Also, it doesn’t feel like a 2017 movie it feels more like late 70s martial arts comedies. It is a piece of art, that I would find at Target, some people like it, it’s very niche. I thought it was mid.  – Karla Ponce

The Velocipastor by Brendan Steere is a celebration of the low-budget comedy action genre, featuring Alyssa Kempinski and Greg Cohan. With plenty of quirky close-up shots, overdone laughing sequences, and just the right amount of poorly executed gore scenes, it’s sure to unleash awkward forced laughter among its viewers. This movie has it all: unexplainable ninja-fighting, a people-eating dinosaur, an exorcism conducted by a cloaked man with a mullet and thick eyeliner, and a love story. A few of the color-blocked editing sequences are even avant-garde enough to pass as arthouse, generously. Self-awareness is key to making this film uniquely enjoyable, successfully achieving the feeling that we, as the audience, are laughing right alongside the cast members on screen.  — Evie Erickson 

Some Hot Film Takes: 

  • Elvis was bad. That movie needs an epilepsy warning.
  • Seven is a really boring movie 
  • The Devil Wears Prada is annoying 
  • The new Top Gun is better than the old one
  • Lala Land was too real. It sucked. 
  • Cars 2 is the best Cars movie
  • Fargo and Inception are not overrated. Best movies of all time. 

Let’s Talk About Guilty Pleasure Movies: 

“WHO SAYS WE NEED A GUILTY PLEASURE MOVIE!!! GUILTY PLEASURE AS A CONCEPT IS PROBABLY ROOTED PROBABLY IN MISOGYNY. But if I’m CONFORMING.. It’s Twilight…” –Jillian Turner

On the first day of film and book club, I decided that our icebreaker would be sharing our favorite guilty pleasure books and movies. As we went around the table and shared our choices—chuckles, slight judgment, and hot takes were shared. By the end of the hour, I felt closer to everyone, like I knew a secret that only those of us who attended would know. Yet, the types of movies shared were oddly similar: rom-coms and low budget comedies. The “secret” that brought us all together was simply that despite our outward personality and constructed maturity, we were romantics, we liked to laugh and we hoped for and believed in happily-ever-afters. Our confessions revealed a shared sense of humanity, and it was strange that this was something we initially felt ashamed of. 

There’s an odd, unspoken, ritual of judgment that takes place when someone loves a book not listed on a bestseller list or a movie not lauded by critics. There is self-imposed shame when we find ourselves smiling at airport chase scenes and other cliches. Why?

Movies, music and literature have a lot of purposes. Academia may tell you that the primary one is social commentary and that we should value artistic articulation based on criteria such as syntax, metaphor, production quality, and lighting. Academia isn’t wrong…But it is limiting—not inclusive or intuitive to the fact that these mediums are made primarily to entertain. 

We shouldn’t have to justify what we love based on some forced analysis. Watch what you want to watch. Read what you like to read. At the end of the day, romance novels are still the most popular read genre of book and action movies are the films most watched. At the end of the day, we at film and book club spent thirty minutes analyzing Twilight. What made our conversation so engaging was that we applied analysis onto our “guilty pleasures,” that we expressed our sentimentality through our choices. At the end of the day, we had nothing to feel guilty about. 

-Ria Dhingra

A list of our “guilty pleasures”:

  • Repo The Genetic Opera 
  • Curious George: The Movie
  • Twilight Saga
  • Hot Rod 
  • Pineapple Express
  • VelosiPastor
  • Mama Mia
  • How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days 

A Farewell: 

We hope you enjoyed hearing from us. Watch a fun movie, read a cool book and maybe lose the label of feeling guilty about it. Happy Fall! 

Xoxo

Film/Book Club