Has the slowing of film and television news got you down? Are you waiting for someone to shine a light on the dark side of the entertainment moon? Well, what if I told you that today AFI (American Film Institute) unveiled the launch of AFI Movie Club, a presentation designed to be “a daily virtual gathering to leverage our collective love of film on behalf of optimism in this time of global uncertainty.”
Acting as your Master of Ceremonies for today’s AFI Movie Club launch is AFI Trustee and 1995 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award Steven Spielberg! While stationed in front of a vintage poster for DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, Spielberg announced that the first film to be featured as a part of the AFI Movie Club lineup is none other than the 1939 fantasy classic, THE WIZARD OF OZ.
“I know you think you’ve seen it,” Spielberg begins at the top of an introductory video for the AFI initiative. “But please think again, because right now at this moment in our history, what better message is there then ‘there’s no place like home’?”
In addition to the above video, AFI released a statement saying that they will “continue to select an iconic movie each day for the world to watch together, creating a communal viewing experience during these unprecedented times of social distancing.” Furthermore, AFI’s plan is to welcome a variety of hosts and other guests to introduce the institute’s “movie of the day” in short videos posted on AFI.com and social media platforms. To view the featured movie of the day with the use of your preexisting streaming services just go to AFI.com/MovieClub. According to Deadline‘s Pete Hammond, an AFI spokesperson stated that the organization will be releasing a new video and movie selection every day for the foreseeable future. The group will also be looking to unearth exclusive archive footage as a way of adding to the overall experience. Finally, audience members will also be able to interact with one another via the hashtag #AFIMoviesClub.
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“AFI’s goal is to live in a world of art above anxiety,” said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO. “We’re honored to have Steven Spielberg, the greatest storyteller of our day, lead the way.”
With so many cinephiles in the midst of social distancing right now, it could be a great time to revisit any number of cinematic gems that AFI plans to have on offer. There’s no telling who might show up to introduce AFI’s planned slate of classic films, or what we’ll learn as the initiative continues to new shed light on the films we love. I say bring it on.