Movies and The Arts
BC Celebrates McCarthy
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
On a windy Friday night, Boston College students gathered together under the protection of a heated tent to enjoy a double feature screening of the films Up! and 50/50. As a part of this year’s Arts Fest, “Film Festival Friday” was an event meant to be both entertaining and inspiring, and was successful in both of these endeavors.
The tent, which was lit with movie theater-style lights, sheltered viewers from the whipping wind that had no regard for the event scheduled on O’Neill Plaza for the night. Viewers were all provided with free popcorn and cotton candy to supplement the movie-going experience, and viewed the big screen from folding chairs amassed for the purpose.
The films selected for viewing were not only wonderful, but meaningful to the BC community. Tom McCarthy, BC ’88, co-wrote the extremely popular movie Up! as well as wrote, produced, and directed the prestigious film 50/50. McCarthy was also the recipient of the 2008 BC Arts Council Alumni Award for Artistic Achievement. McCarthy’s two pictures were great entertainment, and inspiration for his fellow Eagles. His work shows a commitment to creating beauty, one that was mirrored all weekend long in the countless Arts Fest performances and shows that wouldn’t be possible without BC student involvement, passion, and dedication.
The films are both filled with inspiring content that amused and motivated the crowds. Additionally, the success of a BC alum stands as an inspiring tale for everyone who watched. McCarthy graduated not too long ago, and has met with great success in the film industry. The achievements of BC grads are a true inspiration to current BC students looking to make it big someday, in any industry.
The messages of the movies invited the audience to laugh, to cry, and to remember to always dream. As Ellie says in Up!, “Adventure is out there!” Although this is a cartoon, the movie has messages for all audiences. The lessons remind us exactly what is important, especially as we rush through our daily lives as students. Film is a stirring medium, which speaks to viewers on so many different levels, and the two different films, a cartoon and the story of a young athlete, both provided something to their viewers.
Sarah McDermott, Arts Council Program administrator, Arts Fest director, and BC ’07, said of the event, “It’s nice on a Friday night to slow down, and see what other alums are doing out there.” The mission of the event, she said, was to spread the notion to current students that, “The arts don’t have to end after you graduate.” McDermott thought this was an important lesson to teach BC students, while simultaneously entertaining them. “The idea of tonight’s event was to have something a little more relaxing,” McDermott said, reflecting on the fact that everyone has been working really hard on performances and on organizing and coordinating the whole weekend. Watching a double feature was just the relaxing break that performers needed.
The film screening provided an event that was not only entertaining, but social as well. In a dark movie theater somewhere off campus, making connections with fellow BC students is not likely to happen. “People can relax and get to know people they wouldn’t get to know normally on campus,” McDermott said, speaking to not only this event, but also to the mission of the arts in general. The arts are about bringing people together, and fostering a mutual understanding that can lead to conversation. The arts have the ability to connect people, and to sustain relationships. The movie screening provided the perfect venue for this, where people gathered around a similar interest, and were able to bond over their mutual love for the films being screened. Although McCarthy was unable to attend the evening’s screenings, McDermott said that part of the plan for the future of Arts Fest is to have more alumni involvement in all aspects of the weekend.
The event was not heavily attended, which McDermott guessed was due to the weather, which was windy and cold, with ominous clouds looming over the tent. During the showing of the first film, technical difficulties turned off the projector, and after some assessment, the showing moved into Devlin 008 for the remainder of the screening.
The film screening was truly an example of art by BC students, for BC students, which is a driving force of the whole weekend. Even though everyone is not artistic, everyone at BC had the ability to be involved in some capacity. Katie Cutting, CSON ’14, is a nursing major on the ski team and was also a volunteer at Arts Fest this year. Cutting was involved as a Film Festival host, and as a part of the strike team after the event. She volunteered her free time for the arts, both during and after an event, showing a level of dedication that is exemplary.
Cutting became involved in the arts when her two roommates attended an Arts Fest meeting last year, “I thought, ‘I have a spare hour, why don’t I go with you guys?’” Cutting said. Last year Cutting was involved with posting signs, stage crew, and other marketing projects. She said she had so much fun during the process that she wanted to come back yet again to volunteer this year.
The evening was definitely a success, and a much-needed respite for those who had been performing in, volunteering at, or just attending the various performances that were offered at Arts Fest this past weekend. The films were an illustrious example of the power of art, and the success of a BC alum in a highly competitive industry. Despite the weather, and the relocation of the event, it was truly a highlight of the weekend.