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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June 16 - 30, 2019

Network (1976)

Directed by Sidney Lumet

Film #84

In addition to introducing the world to the iconic line “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”, this dark satire would go on to win four Academy Awards, including the award for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, and would be listed among the 100 greatest American films by the AFI. Network follows longtime anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) who, after being told he will soon be fired from his news station, gets drunk and has a mental breakdown live on television. This begins a spiral of exploitation and rising ratings that will take Beale, and everyone around him, to the brink of sanity.

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July 1 - 15, 2019

An American Tail (1986)

Directed by Don Bluth

Film #85

Set in 1885, this animated musical adventure follows a Russian-Jewish family of mice as they prepare to escape persecution by antisemitic cats through a relocation to America. En route to their new lives, Fievel Mousekewitze, the youngest member of the family, becomes separated from his parents and sister and winds up in America on his own. Lost and adrift in a strange new country, Fievel embarks on a journey to reunite with his family while trying to navigate the dangers that await him in America. Praised for its animation, mature subject matter and music – the track “Somewhere Out There” was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards and won Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards – An American Tail became the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film ever made at the time of its release and its success spawned a franchise which continues to grow to this day.

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July 16 - 31, 2019

A Room with a View (1985)

Directed by James Ivory

Film #86

Set in 1907 and showcasing performances by Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Daniel Day-Lews and Judi Dench, A Room with a View follows the young Lucy Honeychurch (Bonham Carter) and her spinster chaperone Charlotte (Smith) as they travel from Surrey, England to Florence, Italy for vacation. While in Florence Lucy finds herself drawn into a love affair that has ramifications which follow her all the way back to Surrey. Praised for the performances of its cast, its lavish sets and costumes as well as the intelligence of its script and its gentle handling of Lucy’s emotional journey, A Room with a View won three Academy Awards and continues to be an evergreen favorite for fans of period pieces and romance films.