Meet the Programmer: Stacy Brick of AFS’s Sunday School Series

Each month, AFS presents Sunday School, a program of family-friendly films that introduce the next generation of filmgoers to cinema’s greatest hits and newest discoveries. The mastermind behind the series is guest programmer (and parent of two) Stacy Brick. We had the chance to speak with Stacy about the inspirations for the series and her life in film watching.

What made you want to start programming the Sunday School series?

As soon as my kids were old enough to watch movies I knew I wanted to expose them to programming that was different from the usual choices. Kids are really open and can absorb things that may at first glance seem too complex. They will sit still for longer than you think to watch things like silent movies – it’s a beautiful thing to see a theater full of kids cracking up over Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd. I started screening films for friends with kids in my yard back in 2012 when my kiddos were pretty young.

What were some of your favorite films growing up?

The first movie I remember going to see – at the Highland Mall theater – was THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN. When I was eight we went to Universal Studios and they had some of the giant furniture there that they used for the movie. It was cool to see that behind the scenes kind of thing as such a young kid. It’s always been one of my favorites and we screened it last year at Sunday School.

Can you talk about the importance of offering family friendly content, old and new?

Part of the reason I program Sunday School is so that parents and kids can share the movie-going experience. I think it’s extremely important to watch films with your kids and then explore the topics the films bring to light. I try to screen films that will start conversations – SMALL CHANGE and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD come to mind. SMALL CHANGE gives kids real insight into what it’s like to grow up in a small French town. My kids loved the fact that the kids in the movie drink watered down wine with dinner. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD opened up a conversation about poverty, illness and death.

What has been a memorable experience thus far at the Sunday School series?

After the screening of THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT I had three women in their 60’s approach me and thank me for programming the film. They said it was one of their favorites and they hadn’t seen it in over 40 years. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to share films I love so much and find others who love them too.

What is your favorite film you’ve programmed so far?

I’m a big fan of Jacques Tati so it has been great to see my son fall in love with his films. MON ONCLE is one of his favorites so it was a real treat to screen that one.

The next film you have coming up in the Sunday School series is Robert Altman’s Popeye, what drew you to that particular film?

When I was a kid, POPEYE was on HBO all the time – I must have seen the film 30 times. When I began studying film I remember being floored that Robert Altman directed it – he really has done everything! I love Harry Nilsson’s music and so do my kids so this film was a natural choice.

What’s coming up this fall with the series?

In September we have SAFETY LAST! (a silent film staring Harold Lloyd) followed by ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN in October.

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