Film Culture

Overview

The Film Culture Program at Gregory College House devotes itself to film-lovers of all sorts. Our posh cinema lounge hosts a regular schedule of screenings, often more than 150 per year, that covers the history of the medium and the scope of world cinema today. The program hosts faculty discussions on a variety of cinematic subjects, makes numerous excursions to Philadelphia film venues, and provides endless opportunity for participants to analyze, appraise and argue about film... whether The Seventh Seal or Star Wars, La Grand Illusion or Gladiator, L'Avventura or The Lord of the Rings. The program is located in Van Pelt Manor, 3909 Spruce Street.  Check out our facebook page!

All Gregorians (only!) are welcome to participate in the program for academic credit  (CIMS 180.301).  The extremely manageable credit option lends substance to the conversations while still maintaining the low-key fun characteristic of Gregory.

Goals and Expectations

FCP provides an immersive yet flexible cinema studies experience, intended to introduce students to a wide range of films and to provide considerable practice both speaking and writing about the art form. Each semester features 3-6 screening series, reflecting numerous genres and time periods and totaling 50-75 films, almost all followed by moderated discussion.  To fully engage with contemporary cinema, the program also offers a minimum of six excursions per semester to area theatres to view and analyze new and significant releases. In the past decade these trips, often advance screenings, have included The Social Network, Moonlight, Gravity, The Master, Gone Girl, Lady Bird, Black Swan, 12 Years a Slave, Spotlight, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Manchester By the Sea, Blade Runner 2049, Jackie, Moneyball, A Separation, Whiplash, Anomalisa, The Artist, Everybody Wants Some!, HerThe Hurt Locker, The Arrival, The Skin I Live In, The Martian, The Florida Project, Argo, Hugo, Hidden Figures, Drive, Inside Llewyn Davis, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Interstellar, Holy Motors, Nebraska, Room, A Serious Man, Slumdog Millionaire, Zero Dark Thirty, Sully, Hail Caesar!, Blue is the Warmest Color, The Descendants, Inherent Vice, Beauty and the Beast, Avatar, Steve Jobs, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The White Ribbon, The Fighter, Amour, The Dallas Buyers Club, The King's Speech, The Wrestler, Certified Copy, A Dangerous Method, Lincoln, Milk, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Winter Sleep, The Past, It Follows, Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall Past Lives, 127 Hours, Silver Linings Playbook, Precious, Star Trek, Life of Pi, Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night, Of Gods and Men, Only Lovers Left Alive, Lost City of Z and many more.

The program is run by Dr. Christopher Donovan, our House Dean, with frequent contributions from Gregory Fellows Professor Philippe Met and Professor Lance Wahlert, but student leadership is also prominent. Undergraduate managers, former credit participants, contribute to the planning of the semester and the running of events, and even currently enrolled students can take part in selecting films and running discussions.  FCP is equally attractive to students studying cinema and those who do not have the time or credits available to take regular film classes at Penn.   The program schedule often incorporates relevant campus or Philadelphia events, including the Penn Student Film Festival, which was started by FCP and for which our students serve on the selection jury.

We expect that all of our participants will participate in screenings and discussions from time to time, but there is no formal expectation; the program is casual to the core.  Students who do wish to fully commit to the program should consider the academic credit option; the enrollment is a half credit per semester for a maximum of two semesters.  Grade requirements include attendance at 10 in-House screenings and 3 excursions, including active participation in the discussions, along with a final project that could consist of leading your own film discussion, presenting an “Anatomy of a Scene” oral presentation or even creating your own short film related to a work or works on our semester schedule.

Application Process for the 2018-2019 Year

Freshmen
Be sure to fill out your room preference form by the Deadline (see info at the Residential Services webpage) requesting the Film Culture Program directly.  There is no essay.  Freshmen applicants will be assigned together in quad rooms (four bedrooms and a bath) on the fourth floor (an entirely freshman hall) of Van Pelt Manor.

Returning Gregorians
Apply during the residential program process like all returning Gregorians, as per the instructions on our Room Selection page.  Be sure to fill the online application between 1/17-1/22, and the Returner Room Preference Form for our use during room assignments between 1/23 and 1/25.

New Upperclassmen 
Upperclassmen who do not currently live in Gregory apply during the residential program process as per the instructions on our Room Selection page.  In addition to the online application you must fill out between 1/17-1/22, please submit a New to Gregory Room Preference Form for our use during room assignments.  There are no designated apartments for Film Culture upperclassmen in Gregory; they will likely be placed anywhere on the first or second floors of Van Pelt Manor.  You should receive your offer between 1/23 and 1/26.  There is no essay.