Marc Girdler


Name: Marc Girdler

Age: 39

City of residency: Decatur

It's a new year, and that means there's a new slate of movies being screened through the Decatur Public Library's free movie program. What should people expect from the program this year? 

I plan to make it the most diverse, deep selection of films possible. This is not a typical library film program, and while we evolved a lot last year, we're just getting started.

We will continue to show multiple classics each month, including our popular pre-code series of films from the early 1930s, landmark films that are high profile, but are worth revisiting (or seeing for the first time), and interesting new releases as well. I have also secured some of the most infamous movies ever made, which we will demystify for our more adventurous patrons.

I think each month will have something for everyone, as I try to pick a wide scope of eras, topics and tones. The program has gotten a lot of attention for some of our more colorful selections and social-minded content, so that will continue to be a focus as well.

If you're a fan of cult cinema or off-the-beaten-path movies, we have some insane stuff lined up for 2019; the kinds of movies no one, including the license holders in some cases, likely expects to see at a public library.

Some of last year's traditions will be back, such as Cagetoberfest (a tribute to Nicolas Cage) Ninja Christmas, our Black History Month series and horror movies all day on Halloween, but we have new events in the works as well.

(This year) will be a wild ride, for sure. 

What's the best thing about overseeing the library's movie program?

I love being able to help bridge the gap between patrons and the world of film, especially in the library setting because there are no barriers to entry.

The program is 100 percent free (we even have free popcorn), so anyone who can make it to the library can participate, and that kind of open access is a big part of why I love being part of the program.

I also have a deep passion for film, so being able to curate the series is a lot of fun, though it is kind of a stressful situation as well. The library has allowed me to take a lot of risks content-wise, and being able to share some of the more eclectic, controversial films has been a real experience.

There's a social bond that forms as well, especially with the regulars and that is a nice element. Working with my library handler Alix (Frazier) has been immense fun also. 

What sparked your interest in film?

I've been a movie fan since I was a kid, watching cheesy 1980s horror movies and old black and white classics.

My dad was a big VHS collector, so I always had new movies to watch, and that passion never left me. Even now, I try to watch at least 100 first-time movies each month. I also just love the social experience of sharing movies with my friends or even strangers, or making my mom sit through some outlandish film.

I've written about movies my entire adult life, but sharing them directly and watching alongside others is just on another level. So, being able to do that several times a week at the library is rewarding for me. 

Have you seen any movies recently that you'd like to recommend?

Of the more fairly recent mainstream movies, I really liked "Annihilation," "Sorry to Bother You," "Phantom Thread," "The Square," "Blade of the Immortal," "Three Identical Strangers," "Mother!" and "Loving Vincent."

For a little outside Hollywood, I think "Pyewacket," "The Clovehitch Killer," "The Love Witch," and "Blood of the Tribades" were all quite good. Also, not a recent release, but this week I watched "The Match Factory Girl" for the first time and loved it. 

If you could pick five of your all-time favorite movies, what would they be?

Keeping in mind this is my favorites list, not best list, I could pick pretty easily. Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights" is my favorite movie and likely my pick for best movie ever, but "The Room" is one I can watch over-and-over.

I'm actually watching "The Room" every day in 2019 as part of my New Year's resolution. It might seem like an odd pick, but it is such a unique and strange movie, with so much quotable dialogue, colorful characters, and just off-the-wall scenarios.

Next would be Takashi Miike's "Visitor Q," which is his take on (Pier Paulo) Pasolini's "Theorem" and is quite an experience. Disney's "Robin Hood" has immense nostalgic value and is another one I can watch a lot, and Rolfe Kanefsky's "There's Nothing Out There" would round out my top-five.

Honorable mentions to "His Girl Friday," "Howl's Moving Castle," "Showgirls," and "Project Nightmare." 

A look at previous herald & Review '5 Questions'

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR


Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Herald & Review.

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