Absent for most of last semester, Flics made its return last week with its celebration of the Academy Awards. However, this group has been absent for quite a few months and having the first Flics of the year near the end of February seems much too late. Last semester, Flics was inactive with the exception of a movie around Thanksgiving time, despite it being an event that many students look forward to.
“Though Student Activities offered some support for this weekend and helps out generally, Flics is a student-run program,” said Cristra Reed, Assistant Director of Student Activities.
It is for this very reason that Flics can disappear at any time. Because it is a student-run organization, if there are no students willing to help out, there will be no weekly movie screenings. That is exactly what ended up occurring at the end of last semester. At the start of this year, however, Chibuzo Uwakaneme ’12 took responsibility for Flics and single-handedly planned the Academy Awards weekend.
“I enjoyed Flics so much that it was actually a goal of mine to attend all the movies offered in a semester. It never happened, but I would say that Flics was a consistent part of my weekend,” Uwakaneme commented about past years of Flics.
When Flics fell to the wayside, Uwakaneme stepped up to bring it back. She used the Academy Award-themed programming to essentially relaunch Flics and inform students that the programming was back. Posters were scattered across campus so that students would know about the three Oscar-nominated films that would be shown downstairs in Keefe, one each night from Thursday, Feb. 23 to Saturday, Feb. 25. As the only official member of Flics, Uwakaneme rallied to put the entire event together, determining the schedule, publicizing the entire event and taking care of all payments.
“[With Flics], students can watch pre-released films for free in a theatrical setting, with surround sound and all the fixings of a movie theater,” Uwakaneme said.
Students seemed to respond positively to Flics return.
“I’m a big believer that watching a movie on the big screen is the only way to get truly cinematic experience. I was excited to see Flics back showing movies — particularly some of the most acclaimed films of the year,” Tony Russo ’15 said.
Showing everything from comedies to documentaries and the much lauded to the ridiculous, Flics is the chance to see all the movies you wanted to watch but could not because of a tight budget or lack of transportation.
“It awesome to be able to see a relatively new movie without making the trek to Hadley,” CJ Bernstein ’15 said.
It’s a free movie in an actual theater, the possibility of food (food was provided at the 10 p.m. showings) and some fun all in one.
First-year Christina Won echoed this idea, saying, “It was a nice way to unwind on a Friday night.”
Flics also adds to the social options available to students, providing an alternative to the party scene on the weekends. Though earlier showings had the theater nearly empty, the 10 p.m. showings were packed with students. As Flics events become more heavily promoted, they expect the events to draw more and more students into Keefe.
With Flics hopefully becoming a regular part of Amherst weekends, some students have suggestions and expectations for future screenings.
“I’d like to see Flics come with a mix of independent and major motion picture showings. I learned that the cost of bringing a new movie to Amherst is almost $800. It would be nice to have an organization to work through to bring such requests to fruition, so that in the future, Amherst can experience classics and new releases through their intended medium, on a big screen,” Russo said.