All Cinema Club sheds light on lesser-known films

Benjamin VanHoose

On Friday nights when most Kent State students on campus are flocking to the KIVA to watch an exciting blockbuster or popular comedy, a select few choose to make their way to Bowman Hall. It’s there in a first floor classroom where these students will screen a classic film that those in the KIVA have likely never heard of before.

All Cinema Club meets Fridays at 8 p.m. in room 110 of Bowman Hall to view, analyze and discuss movies that are overlooked by mainstream audiences. From black-and-white silent pictures to subtitled foreign flicks, no genre or era is a deterrent to members of the club eager to share their passion for cinema.

“We watch a plethora of films, each very different from the last, so our meetings never really seem to have a distinct path,” said Cameron Croston, a sophomore digital media production major and president of All Cinema Club.

During meetings, attendees engage in conversations about all aspects of moviemaking, including acting, cinematography, writing and directing. The club also explores a film’s place in history and how it impacts the viewer. 

“The aspect of film that most interests me is how we connect to it,” said Erich Girard, a sophomore digital media production major and member of All Cinema Club. “Whether it’s set in a realistic world or an extremely unreal fantasy, we find ways to relate to it.”

Members revel in sharing opinions on the films with each other. Each member brings a different perspective and background to the table.

“The best aspect of the club is meeting people who share similar taste in film,” said Tyler Haughn, a sophomore journalism major. “Film can relay a specific message while simultaneously being open to interpretation.”

Croston said he founded the club to fill a gap in his appreciation for cinema that wasn’t being satisfied by Kent State University Independent Films or the mainstream lineup at Real Late Reels in the KIVA.

“The films they show are extremely populist and safe,” Croston said. “Those films are just notably un-notable.”

The club was ultimately designed to shine a light on the hidden gems that generally go under the average moviegoer’s radar.

“It’s a shame many great films are never given the attention they deserve,” Girard said. “This club gives them that recognition.”

All Cinema Club’s attention to obscure titles may also be to its disadvantage; Attendance at the weekly meetings aren’t reaching the numbers Croston hoped for. Members assure that the club isn’t exclusively aimed at a niche audience and is open to anyone looking to expand their movie knowledge. 

“People should join to gain immense insight and appreciation for film,” Croston said. “They will see things they’ve never seen before and maybe even discover their new favorite movie.”

Benjamin VanHoose is an entertainment reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].