by Helen Grant
We met members of the OKC Film Club at this year’s deadCENTER Film Festival and discovered that there is a new film club in Oklahoma City that is meeting regularly at The Parish, 1757 NW 16th St. They’re meeting again this Tuesday July 2 at 7 p.m. so here’s a little Q/A we did with one of the founders.
okc.net: Who started the OKC Film Club?
Palmer: It was started by myself and Nick Poss. Mitch Leasure has been brought on recently to help out with the club as well.
okc.net: Who is welcome at the meetings?
Palmer: Everyone over 17 is welcome at our meetings. There are meetings open to all ages when we show a family film, which we announce beforehand.
okc.net: Explain the format of the club’s meetings, how do you choose movies?
Palmer: Our meetings consist of a film screening and a discussion afterwards, sometimes we all head down to the street to Saints Pub afterwards. We put no constraints on what we show, except we try to keep the movies under 2 hours for time reasons. We do not announce the films we show beforehand. We do this because it allows our attendees to watch the film with as few preconceived notions as possible and it just might get you to watch a film you would have never watched otherwise. Some of the best movies I have ever seen were films I saw at a festival that I knew nothing about beforehand or was forced to watch by a friend. Our selection process is fairly informal, typically Nick, Mitch and myself talk and message each other over a few days until we can find a film that we all agree on. We do our best not to be predictable and to follow our mantra of “trying to show significant films you hopefully haven’t seen before, and if you have seen it, you want to see it again”.
okc.net: What do you all aim to accomplish by hosting this event?
Palmer: We want to create a place that facilitates a film community in Oklahoma City, a place where film lovers, film critics, and people who work in film in various capacities can gather, meet people with the same interest, and talk about film. We also want to create a place where people can come and watch a great film on a big screen from start to finish. With the rise of streaming video, people today have access to more films than ever before, but these films are usually watched on a small screens in multiple sittings. The OKC Film Club allows people to shut out all the distractions and immerse themselves in a film for 90 minutes.
okc.net: I noticed you meet at the Parish, can you speak to the kind of atmosphere around the Parish, is it a pretty inclusive place?
Palmer: The Parish is a fantastic place and is very inclusive. Depending on what time you come to The Parish you could see a church service, a punk rock show, an art gallery, or a coffee shop. It is a place that really care about its surrounding community and local art. A venue with such diverse capabilities located in the Plaza District is the perfect place for the OKC Film Club.
okc.net: What are your favorite films?
Palmer: I get asked that question a lot and I am never able to answer it. There are so many films that I love, I am not even sure where to start. I can say the movie I have seen the most times is The Nightmare Before Christmas, I watch it several times a year and always at midnight on Christmas with my brother. I also rewatch Mulholland Dr, Robocop, The General, and Persona a couple times a year.
okc.net: Do you have any local or regional filmmakers that you work with, i.e. get copies of their movies to show and discuss?
Palmer: We have not shown any local films yet, that will change in the very near future as we have been talking to some local filmmakers. Nick, Mitch and myself want local film to be a part of the OKC Film Club as it moves forward.
okc.net: What is a long term goal for this group that you hope to some day realize?
Palmer: Right now we are working on getting together our first special event where we will have several different musical acts come in and play a live score to a silent film, and hopefully do some more special events in the future. We would also like to do a podcast of our film discussions, but that’s down the road.
okc.net: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you feel is important that people know?
Palmer: I just like to make sure that everyone knows that it does not matter how much or how little you know about film, all movie lovers are welcome at the OKC Film Club. Also, our meetings are always on the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm at The Parish. We sometimes schedule additional meetings, but that first Tuesday spot never changes.