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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January 16 - 31, 2019

Schindler’s List (1993)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Film #74

Based on a true story, this epic period drama follows Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German business and member of the Nazi party. As he becomes aware of the horrors being committed by his party, Schindler and Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), his Jewish accountant, attempt to save as many Jewish people as he can from the Holocaust by employing them in factories while avoiding the wrath of SS officer Amon Göth (Ralph Fiennes). Praised for Steven Spielberg’s ability to depict the abject horror of the Holocaust while blending in his signature tender humanism as well as the performances from Neeson, Kingsley and Fiennes, Schindler’s List has been listed as one of the greatest films ever made, the best historical drama centered around the Holocaust and went onto win seven Academy Awards following its debut in 1993.

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February 1 - 15, 2019

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Film #75

This controversial war drama written, co-produced and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga garnered universal acclaim upon its release in 2015. Beasts of No Nation follows Agu (Abraham Attah) as he is caught up in a devastating civil war. Taken in by the brutal Commandant (Idris Elba) and his battalion, Agu is subjected to the horrors of war as he is gradually transformed into a child soldier. Praised for its uncompromising depiction of war, Beasts of No Nation was also lauded for its performances and Fukunaga’s ability to balance sobering violence with a sense of hopefulness.

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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.