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Quesnel Film Club to show The Wife

The film club has a new board of directors, and a new lineup
The Quesnel Film Club will show the films at the Carib Theatre. Heather Norman photo

The Quesnel Film Club has released its winter line-up – including a January 17 showing of Golden Globe award-winning film The Wife.

The film club, which began in 1994, has had an interesting year. The original organizers of the club decided to take a step back after the 2018 winter film season, after nearly 24 years of bringing unique films to the community.

Without its organizers, the club was set to fold this year. Some club members were concerned: what would happen if they let the club lapse, and then decided they wanted to start it up again later? It would be easier, they decided, to try to take over where the original members left off, instead of starting from scratch.

Four club members decided to take on the mantle and form the new board of directors for the club.

The group spent the fall season transitioning – figuring out films and finances, and all the logistical bits and pieces that accompany such an undertaking.

“We’re really excited to present the new program,” says Penny Hendricks, one of the new board members. Hendricks has been involved with the club since the 90s. “There were many members of the public asking why there were no showings in the fall.”

One of the major challenges to taking over the club, says Hendricks, has been finances. Printing brochures, for example, was one of the major costs the club has faced, and the new board wanted to find a new way to get the word out to its members and the public.

So they began gathering email addresses.

Once they had collected enough, they sent out a survey asking people if an emailed brochure would be acceptable instead. This helped them to minimize the cost of printing.

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But there are many other fees that come along with showing a film. The club has to pay to rent the theatre – which Hendricks says has also gone up over time; they have to pay to rent a copy of the film they hope to show; and then have it couriered to them and back when they’re done.

The only way the club makes money — which goes toward hosting more showings — is through the price of admission at the theatre, or donations. “Obviously,” says Hendricks, “as a society we can only sustain a loss so many times before we’re forced to fold for financial reasons.”

To that end, the club has been forced to raise their admission price to $10 per person, or $8 for seniors older than 65.

Hendricks has been working hard to make sure the public is aware that the club has returned. She runs a Facebook group for the club, which can be found by searching “Quesnel Film Club” on the social media site, and regularly posts updates and descriptions of the films the club will be showing. Hendricks says anyone who wants to join is welcome to become a member.

The films chosen by the club aren’t Hollywood blockbusters. They are typically independent, foreign films or documentaries – the kind of feature that doesn’t typically appear at the Carib or in Prince George. Often, the films they choose are also shown at festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

She’s hoping for a full house when they air their first film of the season, The Wife.

With the tagline “behind every great man, there’s a greater woman,” the film follows Joan Castleman (played by Glenn Close), who travels to Stockholm with her husband, Joe (played by Jonathan Pryce), to see him receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Joan has been a dutiful wife to her highly successful husband for four decades. She ignores his infidelities and supports him, but on the eve of her husband’s award ceremony, Joan reaches her breaking point.

Close recently won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Major Motion Picture for her portrayal of Joan, and the movie has been widely critically acclaimed.

The Wife will be shown at the Carib Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The rest of the lineup includes Shoplifters, on Feb. 7, Bel Canto, on Feb. 28, and Three Identical Strangers, on March 28.

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