Act One Film Society

The Act One Film Society launched in January 2016 as a spin-off subgroup of Chapter One, in order to allow interested group members to enjoy and discuss great cinema.  The group focuses primarily on classic or influential films, or movies with a cult following. 

Each month, Act One watches two films selected by group members, and discussion takes place online.  The films currently scheduled are noted below.


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February 16 - 28, 2019

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Directed by Spike Lee

Film #76

Listed by numerous critics as one of the greatest films of all time, Do the Right Thing follows the escalating racial tensions within a Brooklyn neighborhood and the tragedies that occur as a result. Praised for Lee’s direction and writing, Do the Right Thing garnered acclaim for its ensemble casts which includes performances by Danny Aiello, Giancarlo Esposito, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence and Spike Lee himself.

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March 1 - 15, 2019

Willow (1988)

Directed by Ron Howard

Film #77

A high fantasy epic that earned two Academy Award nominations and revolutionized the field of digital morphing technology, Willow weaves the tale of a little hero with a big heart. Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), a dwarf-like Nelwyn famer and part time conjurer, has grand aspirations of becoming a great sorcerer. His dreams soon seem within his grasp when he and his family unexpectedly come to care for a baby who’s stuck at the heart of a prophecy and is being relentlessly pursued by the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). In order to keep his baby buddy safe, Willow sets off on a grand adventure that leads him to encounter a boastful mercenary (Val Kilmer), a warrior princess (Joanne Whalley) and more magical hijinks than you can shake a wand at. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics upon its release, Willow has been embraced by a devoted cult following of fantasy lovers and has endured as one of the most well-known fantasy movies to emerge from the 1980’s.

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March 16 - 31, 2019

Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Directed by Stephen Frears

Film #78

Based on the life of a woman who has been dubbed by historians as the world’s worst opera singer, this biographical film centers on the wealthy heiress and socialite Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep). Despite her lack of singing ability, Jenkins harbors a deep love of music and performing and decides it’s her destiny to sing onstage at Carngie Hall. She’s aided in her efforts by her husband and manager St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) and reluctant-yet-loyal accompanist Cosmé McMoon (Simon Helberg). Despite her lack of talent, Florence earns the affection and respect of many prominent figures in the music world due to her relentless enthusiasm and joyous approach to singing. Acclaimed for its mix of poignancy and comedy and Meryl Streep’s embodiment of her character, Florence Foster Jenkins was nominated for and won multiple awards (including Meryl Streep’s unprecedented 20th Academy Award nomination) and became a crowd favorite of 2016.