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Cinema society to provide fresh perspectives, historical contexts

March 15,2017 20:25

A new film society formed to screen classic movies will have its premiere Saturday at the Hannibal Arts Council. The group, called 63401 Cinema Society, will show the 1943 romantic comedy "The More the Merrier" at 7 p.m. at the Arts Council, 105. S ...

Posted: Mar. 15, 2017 11:50 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- A new film society formed to screen classic movies will have its premiere Saturday at the Hannibal Arts Council. The group, called 63401 Cinema Society, will show the 1943 romantic comedy "The More the Merrier" at 7 p.m. at the Arts Council, 105. S. Main St. "Being in a small town, I feel there is a lot of history that can apply to general life. Film is historic, and there aren't a lot of local organizations that focus on classic movies," said Meredith Riggs, founder of the film society. "Classic movies are art, and people can learn about and enjoy this art. They bring in new perspectives." Riggs grew up watching the Turner Classic Movies channel on television, which launched April 1994. Robert Osborne, a film historian, hosted the channel and talked about each movie that was about to air. "He'd give the historical context about the movie, tell a story about it or provide interesting facts," Riggs said. "He was the face of the classic movie community." Osborne left the air in early 2016 for health reasons, and he died March 6. As did Osborne, Riggs plans to hold discussions after the cinema society's film screenings, too. "The discussion is an important aspect. If you don't interact with the audience afterward, you miss a big chunk of what the movie and the society is about," she said. "The More the Merrier" stars Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur. It tells the story of a single young working woman living in Washington, D.C., as the city experiences a housing shortage during World War II. Arthur's character lets two men sublet her apartment, and she falls in love with one of them, even though she is engaged to marry a Washington bureaucrat. The movie received many favorable reviews after its release and has a 94 percent favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "It's not very well- known, but people can get a taste of what you can't watch anymore," Riggs said. She has a running list of movies to show and plans to hold screenings a few times a year. "The More the Merrier" will be screened in the Hannibal Art Council's gallery, and light refreshments will be served. The free event is open to the public.

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