Reel To Real Classics facilitators are Lilly Ramin & Steven Guerrero (About)

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Meeting 4 The Immigrant

Reel to Real Classics is back! Our next screening & meetings will be:

April 26 at 5:00pm-6:00pm at Willis Library, room 340.
Topic: Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant (1917 silent, 26 minutes)


In April at UNT, a committee I am part of is planning several events for Global Citizens Month. This year, I volunteered for a library display post and a film event.  When I came across Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 silent film The Immigrant, I thought it might be a fitting selection. Steven agreed!  It’s interesting to consider the title and the meaning, then and now in 2017. Seriously, close your eyes and think of that word: immigrant. What does it make you think of? (Hey, hold that thought for the meeting!)

In this film Chaplin’s famous character, “The Tramp,”is an immigrant on a ship to the United States.  There are some intriguing themes that popped up when I was viewing this short film: class, charity and comedy. I mention these in the podcast as well. Even if you don’t agree these themes are significant, I hope you appreciate the alliteration 🙂

Regarding class, notice the scene where the immigrants on the boat, and Charlie gives the immigration officer a significant little kick (something which would get him in trouble later in light of views  about his personal politics). For charity, think of all the times money is used and donated to the characters. For the theme of comedy, notice how laughter and the physical comedy Chaplin uses makes “The Tramp” endearing,  and does not prevent the ability to deliver a message.  It is action, not voice (or words), that moves the story along.  Since viewers can only imagine “The Tramp’s” voice, this can increase identification for the viewers, including but not limited to, recent immigrants. The power of comedy made me think of a much later film, available at the Chilton Media library, DVD 6867), Sullivan’s Travels from Preston Sturges. There may be escapism in comedy, but “The Tramp” shows there is the potential for social commentary and a call for change.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts, or viewing them if you wish to express your thoughts through physical comedy, at our meeting!

Our first ever podcast:

Select resources consulted for discussion:

Benshoff, Harry M, and Sean Griffin. America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies. , 2004. Print.( PN1995.9.M56 B46 2004 c.2  Willis Library
Kamin, Dan. Charlie Chaplin’s One-Man Show. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991. Print. ( PN2287.C5 K34 1991,  Willis Library)
Robinson, David. Charlie Chaplin: The Art of Comedy. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996. Print.(personal copy)

Thanks for reading!
~ Lilly

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Meeting 3: Foreign Correspondent

For meeting 3,  we will be watching and discussing Foreign Correspondent directed by British director Alfred Hitchcock. Note themes such as the “American” abroad, the role of media in understanding  and shaping international relations,  and share any other thoughts on the film. We hope you enjoy it!

Join us in Willis 340 on Wednesday, November 16th  5pm – 7pm.

Turner Classic Movies – TCMDb entry for Foreign Correspondent (1940)
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Meeting 2: Nosferatu


This meeting we will be watching and discussing F. W. Murnau’s German Expressionist classic, Nosferatu. The film is based on Bram Stoker’s epistolary novel, Dracula. Both the novel and this film are deemed classics in their respective fields, but have also come under fire in readings that suggest the film and novel’s portrayal of foreigners is viewed through a xenophobic lens. Scary stuff!!

Join us in Willis 340 on Wednesday, October 26th 5pm – 7pm.

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Meeting 1: Rita and Gilda

Our first meeting will highlight Rita Hayworth, most notably of the film noir, Gilda. Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino,*is a good person to discuss during “Hispanic Heritage Month” (Sept 15-Oct 15). Her name and look was altered to make her an ideal of the time –which often did not include embracing one’s heritage or expressing it within the medium of film. Join us as we discuss Rita, Gilda, and the cross-section between cultural identity and media image.It is recommended you watch the highlighted film Gilda, either in the library or at home,  but it is not required. The 45 minute screening will give us plenty to talk about!If you have questions about the group, I will also have a library table at the UNT Carnaval event (sponsored by The UNT Multicultural Center & UPC)  on September 20th, 11-1 in the Library Mall/Onstead Promenade.

Meeting 1 details:
Location: Room: 111C, Chilton Media Library
Time and date: 4:00pm | September 28, 2016
We will show: “Discovering Rita Hayworth” (45 minutes) then discuss
Featured film for recommended for discussion = Gilda (DVD 239 + 1 copy
Reserves page: RTRC 2016  at  Chilton Media LibraryOptional/also on reserves:100 years of the Latino image in Hollywood cinema : the bronze screen DVD 1445
Gilda (re-issue trailer) from TCM.com
*Turner Classic Movies Bio of Rita Hayworth
~ includes images, film clips and trailers
OTHER SOURCES (If you want to learn more)

Hispanic Heritage Month Display: www.library.unt.edu/monthly-books
~ I collaborated with  User Interfaces and Access Services on this display which will be in Willis Sept 16-Oct 15th.
-The Media Library will also have a Hispanic Heritage Month display in their display case

  • ARTICLE: McLean, A. (1992). ‘I’m a Cansino’: Transformation, Ethnicity, AND Authenticity in the Construction of Rita Hayworth, American Love Goddess. Journal of Film and Video, 44(3/4), 8-26. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2068798
    ~ Accessible to all UNT students & staff with EUID & Password. It is a good overview of her transformation and career
  • PODCAST: You Must Remember This: Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles
    The podcast was created and is written, produced and narrated by Karina Longworth, and is currently edited by Henry Molofsky.  Part of the Panoply Network.
    ~ Includes the discrepancy between Rita and the image of “Gilda” or Rita as “Love Goddess.”
  • Please note ground rules for respectful discussion.
    Thanks for your interest! 🙂
    ~ Lilly (@lillylibrarian)
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