Watching Movies Together: It's Not Just Fun, It's Essential



Tonight we're showing Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) at the Severna Park Library where I work. A movie at the library... No big deal, right?


Wrong.


 

This isn't just a fun time watching an '80s classic at the library. It's building community. Tonight we're going to laugh, be thrilled, and filled with wonder at an amazing film that was created without CGI technology. It's a movie that adults and kids can enjoy on different levels. But the important thing about this event isn't the movie itself. It's the discussion afterward. As Roger Ebert called his Ebert Interruptus events, it's democracy in the dark.


People will be able to share their opinions on the movie, and every voice is welcome. It gives the audience the opportunity to hear others' opinions as well, to perhaps think about something they hadn't considered before. There's always plenty to talk about at these events, and the movies don't have to be high-brow or art house, but it's fine if they are.


We are all still trying to navigate our way back to pre-Covid experiences. We've been isolated for too long, and many have forgotten how to connect and interact with others. Events like this bring people together. It's really more about building community than it is about watching a movie (although that's lots of fun!). I talk about this in my book Men Don't Read, but it applies to many types of library programs. If your library isn't having movie events, I urge you to consider starting some. You don't have to be a movie expert. Just show a movie (Check your licensing requirements first!), let the audience discuss it afterward, and you'll begin to see magic happen.


Thanks for reading.

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