Armer Theater looks to deviate students from the normal blockbuster films

Marlene Pantaleon

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Every now and then, an event comes around that takes students away from their usual habits. Luckily, an event of this type is being presented at the Armer Theater in the form of exposing students to rarely seen movies that drift students away from the typical blockbuster films.

“Most of the screenings are motivated by the classes that we teach,” said John Schultheiss, the director of the CSUN Cinematheque. “The main motivation I have is that we try to show things that the students wouldn’t ordinarily see.”

The Cinematheque is located in the Armer Theater inside of Manzanita Hall. It is equipped with 35mm film projectors, a theatrical digital projection system, and has a seating capacity of 130. It first opened in 1991. It strives to support the Cinema and Television Arts Department (CTVA) and their academic mission.

The Cinematheque tries to stay away from films that are released at nearby theaters. If they do have major releases they try to associate them with a guest lecturer who will explain the movies in depth. Some big names that have lectured at the theater include Andy Garcia, Mel Gibson, Norman Lloyd, and Nicholas Meyer to name a few.

“We’ve had this film department all these years and we’ve never had a proper theater really, to show films for our critical studies,” said Schultheiss.

Having a place like the Armer Theater brings many open-ended opportunities to the department and to the school itself. The theater is not just for the CTVA department. If others wish to show films, there is a process they can go through to get access to the theater.

“CTVA senior projects get to show their films in here too,” said Mark Schaubert, the Armer Theater director.

For students, the Armer Theater brings more opportunities. It allows them to show the work they have put together and screen it to an audience with the full experience.

Dawn Krapfel, a senior in the CTVA department, has had the pleasure to show her work in the CTVA 250 showcase, which is held by the CTVA department at the end of each semester.

“It’s really cool to see your name come up. It’s really interesting to see what other students are doing,” said Krapfel. “Having it (the showcase) here makes student-work really accessible for others to see.”

Aside from also showing student projects, Tim Halloran, a professor in the CTVA department is bringing Jean-Luc Godard and the French New Wave into the Cinematheque. The French New Wave is a 15-week series of films all created by Jean-Luc Godard that will be shown Thursday nights throughout the semester.

The first film shown from the French New Wave was “Breathless,” which was shown last Thursday. “Breathless” is a classic must-see movie where Godard first introduces the French New Wave. It focuses on a young criminal that is being sough after by the police. He meets a reporter in Paris and she is eventually pressured by the police to admit his whereabouts.

By showing films from Godard, students are able to explore different films that might be outdated for many, but nevertheless are great classic films that most students are not exposed to.

“I want to expand the horizons of some of my students and hopefully energize some of them to take some of these ideas,” said Halloran. “They can expand their ideas with what they can do with film.”

Some of the other films that will be shown as part of the French New Wave will include: “A Woman is a Woman”, “My Life to Live”, “Contempt”, “A Married Woman”, and “Week End”, which will end the series.

Halloran hopes to bring in not only CTVA students to watch the films, but he also wants to invite students from every department to experience different films on the big screen and be introduced to film makers such as Godard.

Halloran said students should try to come every week to see the historical progression of the films, which will help them analyze Godard as a filmmaker.

For a complete list of Jean-Luc Godard’s French New Wave and other films being shown at the Cinematheque, go to movies.csun.edu