10 Ways to Get Your Movie Fix (A Guide for the Cinema-Deprived College Student)

12 11 2007

Perhaps I’m the only one on this campus who is obsessed with movies. I crave the excitement, the suspense of the silver screen. A chill runs through me each time I insert a DVD into the Playstation I keep stealing from my suitemate. And don’t even get me started on aspect ratios.

But on the off chance that other people love movies too, I thought I’d put together this handy little guide.

1. Go to the movie theater. This one should be obvious. There is a theater in Central Park. Go there. Watch. If you lack transportation, there are still many choices. For example, you can trick a friend into driving you, or take the Fred. I recommend the former.

2. Cheap Seats. I know this is astonishing, but it turns out there is a student organization that shows recent releases each weekend in Dodd Auditorium. Not only that, but you can view these cinematic masterpieces for only one dollar! Try to contain your excitement.

3. Clubs. Sometimes students love movies a lot. Sometimes those students decide to start organizations. And sometimes these organizations show movies. There are three film clubs on campus. What does this mean for you? Three different opportunities to see films you may never have seen before. French Fliques shows foreign films, Frames Per Second shows independent, obscure, or otherwise marginalized film, and Classic Film Club shows old movies. But how do you access this goldmine of cinematic wonder and discovery? They all have Facebook groups, e-mail lists, and websites. New experiences are good. Be brave.

4. Class screenings. If you do a bit of investigation, it’s fairly easy to find movie screenings set up by professors in various departments. Many professors put up flyers in their respective building announcing such events. While you may not want to crash a documentary about rare insects of North America, there are plenty of other movies available throughout the semester, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and other delicious flicks.

5. The language lab. You know that room on the second floor of Combs that you really hate because your French professor makes you go there and complete pointless workbook exercises? Well, it also houses UMW’s movie collection. Trust me, it’s a lot of movies. The best part is, you can check out any of these DVDs, as long as they’re not on reserve for a class. Numb the pain of exams with endless blissful hours in front of your television.

6. The public library. Despite popular opinion, downtown Fredericksburg can be a wonderful place. After all, it does have a library. And this isn’t just my inner bookworm talking. The Rappahannock Regional Library on Caroline Street has a huge collection of DVDs available to borrow, as well as hosting movie screenings every once in a while. All you need is college student-friendly library card—in other words, free—and you’re good to go!

7. The big city. Mary Washington is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Washington D.C. If this hop, skip, and jump are into a car, bus, or train, that is. E Street Cinema is the best place to go for foreign and independent films, while downtown museums and cultural centers also show great movies. Perfect for Sunday procrastination.

8. American Film Institute. About 45 minutes north of D.C. by Metro, the American Film Institute (AFI) in Silver Spring, Maryland showcases hundreds of classic films each year as well as many current ones. The theater is beautiful, and the films shown are well worth the traveling time.

9. Culpeper. Yes, Culpeper. And what’s so special about Culpeper? One of the oldest movie theaters in Virginia, the State Theater, is being renovated and is set to open in 2008. It will become a cultural arts center, housing a wide variety of films and performances. A reason to be excited about Culpeper…who would have thought?

10. Movie marathons. It is an indisputable college fact that when in doubt, large dorm-room gatherings involving movies are the way to go. General enjoyment of these events increases exponentially with the number of fellow students crammed into the room. An endless supply of popcorn and pizza also helps. To maximize laziness, obtain all DVDs ahead of time and enough food to last the weekend. Then you’re all set to spend 48 hours sprawled on the couch, bed, floor, or fellow students, rapturous eyes glued to the television set. Movie marathons require a significant amount of stamina, but are ultimately much more rewarding that writing that 15-page history paper. You will be revered in social circles, provided that you ever emerge from your room.