Calvin Combines Technology Fun

January 6, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — How about a little fun to go along with that new technology?

That’s the aim of a program at Calvin College beginning in February whereby the school’s faculty will make use of the campus’ newest technology, the 150-seat Bytwerk Video Theatre.

Several Calvin College instructors have created a new group at the college which will offer regular screenings of movies followed by a faculty-led discussion.

As a bonus the Calvin Film Forum will show all of its offerings in the Bytwerk Theatre, located in the new DeVos Communication Center.

“The (Bytwerk) Theatre is an amazing place to see a movie,” said Calvin film professor Carl Plantinga, one of the prime movers behind the new Film Forum.

“It’s got custom-made seats from American Seating, theater-style lighting, complete surround-sound. It’s a perfect venue for this new film forum.”

Each month this spring will see some sort of focus on movies followed by a discussion. For example, February will feature a series on an icon of American movie making: the Western. Plantinga said the topic of “Myth and History in the Western” was a natural first choice for Calvin.

“It’s a classic kind of American film,” he said, “but beyond that we have a western studies program at Calvin, so there’s a natural point of connection between what we’re doing in western studies and what we’re doing in film studies. We really want this project (the Film Forum) to bring together academic departments at Calvin. There is incredible expertise at Calvin. The Film Forum will give people a chance to benefit from it.”

The series is free of charge. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. followed by a discussion. February’s slate is as follows:

  • Feb. 7 — “Stagecoach.” Introduction and discussion led by James Bratt, professor of history at Calvin.
  • Feb. 14 — “High Noon.” Introduction and discussion lead by Will Katerberg, professor of history at Calvin.
  • Feb. 21 — “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” Introduction and discussion led by Carl Plantinga, professor of communication arts and sciences at Calvin.
  • Feb. 28 — “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.” Introduction and discussion led by Peggy Goetz, professor of communication arts and sciences at Calvin.

Plans for the rest of the spring include “Films We Love” and screenings led by visiting filmmakers and scholars.           

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