Bo Burnham movie “Eighth Grade” kicks off CMS department’s film series

By Faith Jarrell

Student Life Editor

On Thursday, Sept. 7, the Communications and Media Studies department hosted its first movie screening of the year.

Last school year, the CMS department hosted a Washington College film series, showing movies on various Thursdays each month. These movies were picked in collaboration between the CMS department and other departments at the school. This year, the movies were all picked by Dr. Meghan Grosse, the chair of the CMS department, under the theme of “self-discovery.”

“I think it’s really appealing, I hope, to a lot of different groups of students across campus. Hopefully to faculty, staff, administrators, and also community members. We want them to come to campus, feel welcome [and] feel comfortable,” Dr. Grosse said.

Sophomore Roselyn Garcia enjoyed this year’s theme.

“I liked the theme of self-discovery because I feel like most of us are still trying to figure out who we are and who we want to be,” Garcia said.

The theme, however, will not affect collaborations with other departments on campus, according to Grosse.

“We still are doing some collaborations,” Dr. Grosse said. “We have one in November that we’re doing with Dr. Kyle Wilson, who is the professor of data ethics, and Cori Lynn Arnold, who is the digital collections librarian.”

The film series introduced last year was the first in almost a decade, bringing back a former school tradition. On the first Thursday of every month, these films will be shown in Norman James Theatre in William Smith Hall. Each film starts at 7 p.m.

The film series is not only a WC tradition, but it also provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the CMS department.

“As a CMS major, I find the film series to be extremely helpful when learning about media and culture. Everyone can stand to learn from the film series, students and faculty alike, as it can give us all insight into our culture and the minds and messages of the creators behind them,” sophomore Cyn Covington said.

According to Grosse, the events also introduce an opportunity for the overall WC community.

“I think film screenings are such a good way to have a sense of community amongst peers who maybe don’t interact with each other very much,” Dr. Grosse said.

The first movie screening this year was “Eighth Grade,” a film written and directed by comedian Bo Burnham. The movie tells the tale of a young girl in her last week of eighth grade, trying to figure out who she is.

Other films being shown throughout the year include “The Motorcycle Diaries,” “The Fits,” “Past Lives,” “Boyz N the Hood,” “Sound of Metal,” “Moonlight,” and “Barbie.” Dr. Grosse chose to put the two most well-known movies, “Eighth Grade” and “Barbie,” at the beginning and end of the series.

“I kind of bookended it with what I thought were probably the most familiar movies, to get it started and then to round it out, with some of these other kind of movies in the middle that I’m hoping are future favorites for people, or at least movies that speak to them in some kind of way,” Dr. Grosse said.

The next film in the series is “The Motorcycle Diaries,” a biopic about two young men on a road trip through South America. The next movie screening is on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in Norman James Theatre.

Photo Caption: The first film in the CMS department’s film series was “Eighth Grade,” which was written and produced by comedian Bo Burnham.

Photo courtesy of Faith Jarrell

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