FLM 200: The MSU Film Collective

We are the professors, students, filmmakers, screenwriters, and cinéphiles at MSU who gather weekly in the course FLM 200 to watch and discuss good films. In the spirit of the Cinémathèque française and the generation of film critics and French New Wave directors it inspired, our collective abides by the principle that good film writing and good filmmaking (and just plain good living) begin with serious film watching.

Supported by the Mechanic Family Film Studies Endowment Fund

Spring 2022: CINEMA AND THE DIGITAL CITY

The history of cinema in the west is deeply intertwined with the spaces, movement, and rhythms of the city. From the city symphony films of the 1920s, to the shadows of film noir, from the aimless strut of the flaneur, to the high-speed chase of thrillers, from the nickelodeons of the early 20th century, to the multi-screened luxury movie theaters today, the city has served as inspiration, subject, backdrop, and the site of film exhibition, as much as it determined the politics, morality and aesthetic of cinema.

The makeup of the city today has changed such that the emphasis is no longer on the streets and the brick-and-mortar buildings, but on the flow of information. And yet, the relationship between cinema and the city persists. If the streetwalker, the panhandler and the factory-worker were staples of the old city, what characters stand-out in the digital city? How are the tendencies and politics of globalization and neoliberalism marked in this city?

Note: during MSU’s virtual instruction period, no in-person screenings are taking place. If and when face-to-face classes resume, all screenings will take place in B122 Wells Hall at 7pm. The series is free and open to all.


1/20 – Jumpin’ Jack Flash (dir. Penny Marshall, 1986)

Film is accessible via MSU Library DVD, or for rental through Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube. No in person screening will take place—the Thursday discussion will take place virtually.

Presented by Ellen McCallum

An American computer wiz who works at a New York bank is suddenly thrust into the world of international espionage after she inadvertently receives a coded message from a British spy.

1/27 – Ready Player One (dir. Stephen Spielberg, 2018)

Film is accessible via HBO Max (subscription required) or for rental through Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube. No in person screening will take place—the Thursday discussion will take place virtually.

Presented by Adam Liszkiewicz

When the creator of a virtual reality called the OASIS dies, he makes a posthumous challenge to all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune and control of his world.

2/3 – Nightcrawler (dir. Dan Gilroy, 2014)

Presented by Cristóbal Martínez

When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

2/10 – LSD: Love, Sex, Deception (dir. Dibakar Banerjee, 2010)

Presented by Swarnavel Pillai

A video camcorder, a store security camera, and concealed cameras candidly expose lives in three loosely-linked tales.

2/17– Blade Runner 2049 (dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

Presented by Charlie Meyers

Young Blade Runner K’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former Blade Runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.

2/24 – Black Panther (dir. Ryan Coogler, 2018)

Presented by Julian Chambliss

T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past.

3/3 – Candyman (dir. Nia Da Costa, 2021)

Presented by Lyn Goeringer

A sequel to the horror film Candyman (1992) that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.

3/17 – Children of Men (dir. Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)

Presented by Bill Vincent

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

3/24 – What Time is it There? (dir. Tsai Ming-Liang, 2002)

Presented by Kaveh Askari

A watch salesman meets a young woman soon leaving for Paris and becomes infatuated, so he begins to change all the clocks in Taipei to Paris time.

4/7 – Still Life (dir. Jia Zhangke, 2006)

Presented by Justus Nieland

A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes.

4/14 – José (dir. Li Cheng, 2018)

Presented by Sheila Contreras

José lives with his mother in Guatemala. It’s a tough life in one of the most violent and religious countries. When he meets Luis, he’s thrust into new-found passion and pain.

4/21 – Air Conditioner (dir. Fradique, 2020)

Presented by Ken Harrow

When the air-conditioners mysteriously start to fall in city of Luanda, Matacedo and Zezinha have the mission of retrieving their boss’s AC.


4/28 – TBA