Reel History is off to an explosive start

By Andrew Beers

Staff Writer

As students entered the Air Products Room in Trexler Library, they are greeted by the smiling faces of history and TV/film professors. Popcorn, candies and drinks are complimentary for the enjoyment of the film. Fireball candies are displayed to compliment the theme of the night’s event, “Reel History: Going Nuclear.” This was the second year that the history and TV/film departments put together the movie showing. Each semester the department heads choose a film that suits the theme they have chosen for the year.

The first semester film choice was Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satire, Dr. Strangelove: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. This movie features Peter Sellers, who plays three roles in the film’s entirety. As a crazed general grants permission to bomb Soviet Russia, the United State’s top men work together in an attempt to stop the nuclear attack. The president is surrounded by his advisors in the war room to discuss the issue. Although they successfully put a stop to the majority of the bombers’ pursuits, one bomber manages to continue their motive and attack the Soviets.

“It was really nice to see the Air Products room be pretty much full,” said Professor Sarah Nytroe, one of the key speakers at the event. The event was open to students, faculty and the community. These members were able to not only enjoy the film, but afterwards learn the history behind the film.

Before the showing of the film Jared Gordon, professor of TV/film, gave a brief introduction to what the audience would expect. The film was played and laughs were heard by the audience all throughout the film. After the film Mike Wagner, Department Chair of TV/film, gave a brief overview of what the viewers just saw.

Two key speakers began to speak after the film presentation. Nytroe, professor of history, spoke to the audience about the history of nuclear warfare and how the film relates to it. The second speaker, Mr. Joe Frenzi, was a Stanley Kubrick enthusiast. He gave an informative lecture on the details from Dr. Strangelove and explained the methods Kubrick used to make the film and his various other works.

“The history students who were in attendance have all learned about this time period in history, so to kind of have them think through this kind of interpretation of that past I think was very valuable,” explained Nytroe.

This event was a learning experience for the students in which they got to analyze the film and ask questions. The TV/film students also got to learn about the mindset Kubrick had when filming. The idea of the event is to entertain students as they learn new knowledge and use the film to understand their studies further. At the end of the night, prizes were given out for the raffle. Lucky students went home with prizes that coincided with the film, including the film itself. The film chosen for the second semester is Barefoot Gen, and it will continue the “Going Nuclear” theme.

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