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Student creates Philosophical Cinema Club

By Laura Traister
On February 23, 2014

Free film. Free coffee. Free doughnuts. Free thinking.
If any or all of these sound appealing, then a new club on campus called the Philosophical Cinema Club may be for you.
Freshman Blaine Boles is the president of the club and one of its creators. He spent his first semester of college at University of Tennessee Knoxville. The university was not a good fit for him, but he did come away with fond memories of a particular club there.
"The one thing that was really nice for me is there was a cinema club there, and it was heavily invested in the discussion," Boles said.
He appreciated that the club showed what he called "staple movies in the film industry," films such as "Seven Samurai," "Apocalypse Now" and "Magnolia."
"They played a lot of these really good actors that I had never heard of before and really introduced me into this. And I got into English when I was in high school, so it kind of just fit together really well. I thought I'd bring that here with my friends," Boles added.
As a philosophy major, Boles wants the club to be more than a group of people sitting around passively watching films. He wants philosophical discussion to be the driving force behind the club.
For their first meeting they showed "Pulp Fiction."
At their second meeting on Feb. 20, officers and other attendees discussed the themes of the 1999 film "Fight Club."
This Thursday's meeting will likely be a showing of, in Boles' words, "the funky flick 'Boogie Nights.'"
After the showing of "Fight Club," Boles lead a well-prepared discussion, touching on duality, consumerism, and other themes in the film.
While the subject matter of the discussion may at times be solemn, the atmosphere of the meetings is not.
A goal of the club is to provide a balanced, comfortable environment.
"I want it to be formal enough ... I want people to get in and try and have a serious discussion, but I want it to be a little bit casual to where you don't have to come in and try and act all snooty," Boles said.
Boles, Vice President Logan Harkleroad and Secretary/Treasurer Kehler Gibson work together to prepare thoughtful discussions.
Each week, the officers rotate who presents the film and leads discussion. Each officer has a sort of specialty that he can bring to the table.
A steady supply of coffee and doughnuts adds to the relaxed atmosphere. The officers are clearly passionate about film, and they are eager to welcome new members.
"Everybody's welcome. If anybody has a discussion or anybody has a movie that they really like, feel free to suggest it. We'll watch it. There are plenty of membership opportunities ... if someone from around campus would want to come in and present a movie and give little talking points for the discussion, they're more than welcome to. They can just come and talk to me and we'll set it up," Boles said.
"If you love film and coffee and donuts, this is the club for you."
The Philosophical Cinema Club meets each Thursday at 6 p.m. in Rogers-Stout Room 328. For more information, attend a meeting or contact Boles at Also find the club on Facebook by searching Cinema Club at ETSU or on Twitter @CINEMACLUBETSU.

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