Faculty of Arts hosts alumni movie night

On Thursday, May 31, the Faculty of Arts hosted an event which brought out Arts alumni from the GTA by the hundreds. Alumni were treated to a free, private screening of Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End at the SilverCity Yorkdale movie theatre, sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and York’s Alumni Office.

Above: Over 350 Arts alumni gathered at the SilverCity Yorkdale movie theatre for a special screening of the new Pirates of the Caribbean film

An e-vite was sent out on May 15 to selected Arts alumni who graduated between 1990 and 2006, who currently live in the GTA. The response was immediate and the event sold out within three hours.

Over 350 alumni and guests arrived at the theatre to collect their tickets and complimentary refreshments. After welcoming remarks from Dean Robert Drummond and Jeff Ball, internal relations manager from York’s Alumni Office, the Faculty of Arts communications team replaced the traditional movie previews with an educational pre-show that was designed to enhance the movie-going experience for their guests. Three Arts professors gave mini-lectures to the audience incorporating their academic area of specialty with the movie.

Andrea Davis, coordinator of the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program, spoke first of the portrayal of pirates in the Caribbean. She provided insight into how the directors typified Johnny Depp’s character, Captain Jack Sparrow, and how traits such as his infamous dreadlocks were not historically accurate.

Nick Rogers, professor of history, continued with the theme of historical inaccuracy, describing how the opening scene portrayed the hanging of pirates as inhumane when the style of hanging used in the movie was actually the most humane for the time.

Tom Loebel, professor of English, gave insight to the movie from the perspective of gender using the examples of how Captain Jack Sparrow may be perceived as a drag queen for wearing too much make up and how Elizabeth Swann may be perceived as a manly character for not wearing enough make up or for the masculine clothes she dons.

The movie night, the first of its kind for the Faculty of Arts, may become an annual affair. Later this summer,the Faculty will host a family day at Canada’s Wonderland, where selected Arts alumni will get a discounted admission ticket and a complimentary buffet lunch. The Faculty of Arts is also planning to launch an Arts alumni newsletter later this summer.

 For more details about the Faculty of Arts, including alumni profiles, visit www.arts.yorku.ca.

Written by Marlin Gold, events & promotions coordinator, Faculty of Arts.