STILLWATER — Sci Fi Film Night is entering its fourth year of bringing classic science fiction movies to the people of Stillwater with its latest series “It Came from the Deep.” On Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 6:30 p.m., the Stillwater Public Library will show “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” to kick off the newest series which will run the first Wednesday of each month through May.
“Sci Fi Film Night is a great opportunity for science fiction fans in and around Stillwater to get together, enjoy some movies and discuss everything from the social implications to the technical elements of the films,” said Lynda Reynolds, library director.
Jim Long, a long-time Sci Fi Film Night attendee, says the discussions are part of what makes the program great.
“We watch movies from the 1930s to the present and it’s interesting to talk about how differently the movies have addressed the same themes across time,” said Long. “Science and technology have changed so much over the years and you can really see that in the films, in the film-making and special effects, of course, but also in the devices and crafts and plausibility of the scenarios presented.
“Despite those changes though, there is a sameness in the themes as people are still concerned about alien species invading from outer space and worried about post-apocalyptic futures.”
Catherine Mintmire, another long-time attendee, agrees.
“It is very interesting to watch the movies in groupings based on themes,” said Mintmire. “It’s also a chance to see movies that I haven’t seen before. Often they are movies that I have heard of many times but wouldn’t necessarily think to go and watch on my own or they’re movies I’ve wanted to see for a long time but just never got around to it.”
In addition to being an opportunity to watch great movies, Sci Fi Film Night is a social opportunity.
“It’s fun to get together and watch movies as a community,” said Mintmire.
Long also appreciates the chance to talk with a variety of people about a subject he loves.
“I love coming to Sci Fi Film Night because I like having discussions with the diverse audience that attends,” said Long. “We have people in their 20s and people in their 70s who come frequently and it’s great getting to talk with people coming from such different times and with such different perspectives.”
One need not be a scholar or a die-hard science fiction fan to enjoy Sci Fi Film Night.
As Jim Ansley, who has recently started attending, says, “I like the casual atmosphere of the discussions.” Everyone’s insights are welcome but no one ever need feel compelled to contribute.
The upcoming series, “It Came from the Deep,” will focus the group’s attention on an occasionally overlooked aspect of science fiction—creatures that are in or have come from the water.
“Most people think of space when it comes to sci-fi,” says Long, “But a lot of what we have learned and used to go into space came from exploring the oceans. Plus, there’s still so much more of the ocean to be explored, it’s not implausible that we might yet discover ocean creatures even more bizarre than what science fiction can imagine right now.”
“20,000 Leagues Under the Seas” is based on a classic science fiction adventure novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870.
The book was highly acclaimed when it was released and still is; it is regarded as one of the premiere adventure novels and one of Verne’s greatest works, along with Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The description of Nemo’s ship, the Nautilus, was considered ahead of its time, as it accurately describes features on submarines, which at the time were very primitive vessels.
The series is free and open to the public, and complementary popcorn and soft drinks are provided. To be placed on the email reminder list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the film series, including the full list of monthly films, visit the Library’s webpage at library.stillwater.org/monthly_programs.php.