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Preview: Literary Movie Night

April 19, 2016

written by Brian Shesko

Student Activities wants you to read more. We also want you to watch movies, so what better way is there to sort of combine those two things than by coming to our Literary Movie Night. Join us on Friday, April 22 on the lawn outside the Vines Center starting at 9 p.m./darkness for In the Heart of the Sea and Macbeth (2015).

First up is In the Heart of the Sea, the Ron Howard-directed, sort-of disappointment from last year. However, consider two things:

  • For what it’s worth, there is a sizeable gap between the critical reception of the movie and the overall IMDB user rating of the movie.
  • For what it’s actually worth (in dollars), In the Heart of the Sea didn’t have any help by being released the week prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Adapted from the non-fiction work of the same name by author Nathaniel Philbrick, it is the story of a whaling ship, the Essex, sailing in the early 1800’s which was attacked by a sperm whale and (no spoilers here!) may or may not have sunk. Unlike the real story, the movie version has an outstanding cast, anchored(!) by the Moby Dick of hunks, Chris Hemsworth, the always outstanding Brendan Gleeson, and the quite good Cillian Murphy. With tons of mega-budget effects and the always compelling storylines of man vs. nature and man’s will to survive, we say In the Heart of the Sea was sort-of disappointing not because it isn’t good, but because it failed to live up to its mega-budget expectations. Still, it is a spectacle and a very intense movie experience.

The only way to follow up the story that inspired Moby Dick is with Shakespeare, and last year’s Macbeth is as good a movie as there is to fit the bill. Michael Fassbender adds his name to the list of excellent actors who have recently portrayed Macbeth, a list that includes Patrick Stewart, Kenneth Branagh, Sam Worthington, and James McAvoy. His performance is outstanding and leads the way for all of the outstanding actors in the film. Certainly, the cast is one of its strengths, with Marion Cotillard (Lady Macbeth), Sean Harris (Macduff), Paddy Considine (Banquo), and Jack Reynor (Malcolm) giving excellent supporting performances. The other obvious strength of the movie is the cinematography, carried by the natural beauty of the English and Scottish countryside in which the movie was filmed. It is mostly true to the original material, though there are several moments that diverge from Shakespeare’s text. Additionally, we should mention that this movie is rated R so it is a more mature viewing experience than other movie versions of Macbeth. But this film is outstanding overall in its portrayal of one of the greatest stories ever told, and so we are confident in our presentation of it.

As usual, our Movie Night is free to attend, we provide free popcorn, and other concessions are available for purchase. Please contact us with any questions or concerns, and be sure to check out our website for more information about our upcoming Movie Nights and other events.