Room – Birdman – Love Is Strange – Sing Street – Moonlight – Wild Tales – The Lost City of Z Biographical Index

Nick Davis
Associate Professor
Department of English,
Program in Gender and     Sexuality Studies,
Northwestern University
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In 2014, the two conveners of a new film discussion group for Chicago-area women hired me to be their facilitator. Their requests were that I pick an interesting new release each month that our 30+ members would have ample time and ability to see; that I formulate discussion questions and offer some insights about production histories and formal choices in each movie; and that, despite their eagerness to recruit a professor, I treat our monthly, two-hour meetings as real conversations, not lectures. The "Gold Coast Film Group" is still going strong after several years, and all the gals (click that photo to the left) have become my treasured friends.

I'm sharing the sheets I prepare for each of our meetings, which everyone reads ahead of time. When possible, I prep these after seeing the movie twice. Sometimes our discussions hew to these prompts, and sometimes they don't. I'm sharing them as examples of the kinds of thematic interest and formal nuance I'm looking for while watching an ambitious film. Since I rarely have time to review movies in full anymore, these give a sense of what resonated with me in recent releases. Please enjoy them... and please don't plagiarize them! And by the way, for folks who often ask if I'm reading too much into these films...

"How do I love this? Let me count the ways. Even the parts you didn't dig. Love it. Thanks for really seeing the film. Can I tweet it?" — Ava DuVernay, writer-director of Selma

"Ummmmm, I've never seen something like this study sheet done before, wow... Nick, the thoroughness of your study sheet is astounding, much respect!" — Barry Jenkins, writer-director of Moonlight

Season 6: Sep 2019 – Jun 2020
May 2020: Saint Frances April 2020: Portrait of a Lady on Fire April 2020: Quarantine Comfort Movies April 2020: Women Filmmakers World Tour Mar 2020: Woman at War
February 2020: 92nd Academy Awards Dec 2019: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Nov 2019: Parasite Oct 2019: Pain & Glory Sep 2019: Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Season 5: Sep 2018 – Jun 2019
Jun 2019: Rocketman May 2019: The White Crow Apr 2019: Gloria Bell Mar 2019: Shoplifters Feb 2019: 91st Academy Awards
Dec 2018: Widows Nov 2018: First Man Oct 2018: A Star Is Born Sep 2018: The Wife
Season 4: Sep 2017 – Jul 2018
Jul 2018: Leave No Trace Jun 2018: The Square May 2018: Disobedience Apr 2018: Isle of Dogs Mar 2018: My Oscars Adventure
Feb 2018: 90th Academy Awards Dec 2017: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Nov 2017: The Florida Project Oct 2017: Victoria & Abdul Sep 2017: Viceroy's House
Season 3: Sep 2016 – Jun 2017
Jun 2017: My Cousin Rachel May 2017: The Lost City of Z Apr 2017: 20th Century Women Mar 2017: Life, Animated Feb 2017: 89th Academy Awards
Dec 2016: Manchester by the Sea Nov 2016: Moonlight Oct 2016: The Birth of a Nation Oct 2016: Snowden Sep 2016: Little Men
Season 2: Sep 2015 – Jun 2016
Jun 2016: The Lobster May 2016: Sing Street Apr 2016: Midnight Special Mar 2016: Hail, Caesar! Feb 2016: 88th Academy Awards
Dec 2015: Spotlight Nov 2015: Room Oct 2015: 99 Homes Sep 2015: Phoenix
Season 1: Sep 2014 – Jun 2015
May 2015: A Most Violent Year Apr 2015: While We're Young Mar 2015: Wild Tales Feb 2015: 87th Academy Awards Jan 2015: Selma
Dec 2014: The Homesman Nov 2014: Birdman Oct 2014: Gone Girl Sep 2014: Love Is Strange

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