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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Yolo County Film Society provokes discussion

At first glance, the Davis Pleasure Dome seems no different from any of the other houses on Pole Line Road. It’s certainly not a dome at any rate.

However, one of the Pleasure Dome’s residents, Drew Evans, envisions the Pleasure Dome as an anchor for the community. One of the community events he hosts at his home is the Yolo County Film Society, a free movie screening that takes place on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

“When I moved into this house, me and the other residents wanted to make this place a community fixture,” Evans said. “We would host potluck meals and gatherings. Eventually, we decided to get a projector and screen movies.”

Evans has said that while he is open to suggestions as to what he will screen, he will show one American film and one foreign film each month.

For instance, Evans showed Into Great Silence, a German documentary about monks in the French Alps, on Jan. 12 and will show Groundhog Day, an American comedy starring Bill Murray, on Jan. 26.

“I’ve seen a lot of movies so I have an idea of what function film serves in a community,” Evans said. “I try and select movies that tie into that function.”

Steve Watson, UC Davis campus employee who has attended three screenings, discussed how the Film Society not only screens quality films, but also provides a welcome space to be a part of a community.

“I keep coming back because Drew’s nice and it’s a nice group,” Watson said. “It’s great to get people together and talking. I support it.”

Evans lets people discuss the movie afterwards, although the amount of discussion depends on the group. “Some people want to talk afterwards, and some people just want to watch and leave,” Evans said.

The two movies that caused the most discussion were Barton Fink and Adaptation, although for different reasons.

“Fink had a lot of weird imagery and allegorical stuff, which people wanted to figure out,” Evans said. “Adaptation caused discussion because some people were like, ‘What just happened?’”

On average, Evans said that about five or six people show up, although this number varies. He’s hosted around 20 people for some screenings.

“There seems to be no correlation between attendance and the movie I show,” Evans said. “One night I played a Woody Allen movie and one person showed up, but when I played a weird Klaus Kinski movie, a lot of people came for that.”

Andy Stewart, a resident of Davis, was present for the screening of Into Great Silence. It was the first time he attended a screening since the documentary appealed to his interest in monastic culture.

“This is the kind of Davis culture I like,” Stewart said. “I like that there are events like this. It’s a good kind of art culture.”

Evans’ goal with the Film Society is to try and get people to be less isolated.

“Society is geared around phones and virtual worlds, which are isolating,” Evans said. “I’ve been passionate about things that get us into a shared space, and the theater is the ultimate example of this. It’s nice to have a bunch of people get together and share the same experience.”

To learn more about the Yolo County Film Society, visit yolofilm.wordpress.com.

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