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Features Cook library hosts first 16 mm film festival

Cook library hosts first 16 mm film festival

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The University of Southern Mississippi Cook Library presented its first ever 16 mm film festival in the Cook Library Art Gallery Feb. 18.

The library event screened two short educational films.

Southern Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn provided popcorn as attendees watch 1956’s “Better Bulletin Boards” and 1968’s “Marijuana.”

“Better Bulletin Boards” demonstrated the process for properly making and utilizing bulletin boards.

According to the event page on the USM website, the film provided a retro ’50s perspective from a time when bulletin boards dominated schools.

The event allowed a short intermission before screening “Marijuana,” starring and narrated by famed musician Sonny Bono, who informed students about the dangers of the drug and its use.

Audience members seemingly enjoyed themselves throughout the two movies’ showing.

“I thought the presentation was outstanding,” said attendee Phil Sykes.

The audience chuckled throughout the films. Sykes said the movies were not intended to be humorous.

“This wasn’t funny,” Sykes said. “If you get right down to it, even with the bulletin board video, the basic concept remains in the digital age.”

Jennifer Brannock, curator of Rare Books and Mississippians at Cook Library, felt differently.

“When people laughed at things, it was just because of the kitschy nature of it,” Brannock said.
She said the film festival was for entertainment purposes and not really meant as an educational seminar.

Michelle Frasier-Robinson, librarian for Education and Psychology, said she enjoyed the films and the festival format.

Keeping the film festival an hour long with two short screenings is better because people might not stay interested for much longer, she said.

“It’s something for people just to pop in, look at and move on,” Frasier-Robinson said.

The 16 mm film collection is not currently accessible to students through the library.

According to Frasier- Robinson, the Preservation Committee is currently working to decide what films stay and go, because they are deteriorating.

Frasier-Robinson said because of the large number of films in the library, they have thought about doing a film festival every semester.

“We had a fairly good turnout,” Frasier-Robinson said. “I think that once word gets out about them, maybe they’ll become popular, and I think we should try to do it again.”

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