City Honors’ ambitious Cinema on the Hill film series ends its first season - The Buffalo News
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City Honors’ ambitious Cinema on the Hill film series ends its first season

“All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun,” Jean-Luc Godard famously stated. To make a compelling film series, on the other hand, you need the kind of ambition displayed by City Honors seniors Anna Blatto and Christina Schultz. The duo developed a way to share their love of film, raise funds for their school, and draw crowds of like-minded cinephiles.

Blatto and Schultz (with help from their teacher Melisa Holden) createded Cinema on the Hill, a thoughtful, eclectic film series intended to raise money for the school’s International Baccalaureate Film Studies.

“The series developed last year in May when we were thinking of ideas for how to fundraise to buy new equipment and supplies for film class,” Blatto said. “The response has been very positive, but we’re still working hard to raise awareness. We think film is a great cause, so we hope to get more people involved, and for the film program at our school to expand as the years progress.”

Blatto and Schultz’s selection of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 New Wave masterpiece “Breathless” in April indicates that we are not talking about standard teen fare, here; those seeking pasty, brooding vampires must seek elsewhere. The series has screened acknowledged classics (“The Maltese Falcon,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “Duck Soup), acclaimed 1980s foreign films (Louis Malle’s Holocaust drama “Au Revoir Les Enfants”), and the cult classic to end all cult classics, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Blatto said the films have been selected for a number of reasons: “What we thought people would enjoy, what some of our cinematic favorites are, and seasonal favorites. The primary reason we chose ‘Breathless’ was because it is one of my and Christina’s favorite films of all time. Additionally, we have strong support from our French department at City Honors, so we were able to gain attendance from teachers who want their students to learn more about French culture through film.”

The season draws to an end on May 20 with Billy Wilder’s “Some Like it Hot,” a witty, endlessly entertaining selection — a fitting selection for this lively series. The film starts at 7 p.m. at City Honors’ auditorium, 186 East North St.. Tickets are $3 each.

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– Christopher Schobert

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