[by Ashley Nash ’11]
I am a member of LSC, the Lecture Series Committee. It’s one of the larger student groups at MIT bringing films and presenters to the MIT community in the large lecture hall 26-100. We show movies that were in theaters recently and charge four dollars, but every now and then there will be a free showing of a movie that is either in theaters or hasn’t been released yet nationally. Recently, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was shown for free. Occasionally they show classics, like Martin Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver.” I’m a member of LSC because I love movies, and I get to see them for free. I only have to work one evening each month, and did I say I get to see movies for free? Who wouldn’t want to join?
I work for the Night Committee as an usher. I collect movie tickets at the door for one show, and I help sell tickets at the other show. On a normal week, we show 2 movies each weekend. One movie will show twice on Friday night. The other movie will show twice on Saturday night. Both shows are shown once Sunday night. The format is A-A-B-B-A-B. Two weekends ago, “Atonement” and “Charlie Wilson’s War” showed, both movies that I had been dying to see. I saw Charlie Wilson’s War on Friday and Atonement on Saturday. About the former, I forgot that Tom Hanks still acts. I don’t think I have seen anything with him in it since “Road to Perdition” in 2002. It was pretty good. It maintained my interest in a topic I knew very little about, and Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Big Lebowski,” “Almost Famous”) stole the show as Gust Avrakotos, one of the few American men trying to help the Afganis defend themselves from the Soviets before Wilson got involved. At this point, fighting the war was him “and three other guys.”
“Atonement” is a lovestory set in WW2 London, where a young writer, 13-year-old Briony Tallis, accuses her sister’s lover of a heinous crime that he did not commit. I was a little skeptical of Keira Knightley, although she is in some very good movies, she hadn’t quite convinced me that she was worthy of A-list status. “Atonement” convinced me. It has a strong script, cast, director, and clearly a great crew. I was most impressed by how three actresses played Briony, young girl, adult, and elder, but their voices sounded as if they could have been the same, as if she had aged 70 years in only a couple of hours. That is great planning and a damn good voice coach.
Not only are there movies, most of which excellent, but also there are great speakers. Often, they are involved with a movie that is being shown for free, e.g. the director or one of the main actors. We were supposed to show “21,” the movie about the MIT blackjack team, but alas we could not, so some of the blackjack team members did a presentation; this event was free, as are most if not all of the presenters.
Long story short, go to LSC, enjoy free or cheap art. If you like movies a lot, join; we can always use members, and you can yell during the coming attractions. For some reason, we feel the need to yell that the movies are “coming soon, in stereo.” I think we should play a silent movie and yell, “Coming soon, stereo broken.” We also yell, “LSC sucks,” every time there’s a projection error, just to show how much we care. Join, I tell you.