'Faces Places'

Foreign films on the big screen in Spencer in November

During the month of November you can take a trip to the United Kingdom, Sweden and France all for free.

With the annual Films for the Cinematically Disadvantaged series hosted by Arts on Grand and Carey’s Electronics you can travel the world and travel through time.

Since the early 1990s, Carey’s and Arts on Grand has teamed up to host a series every fall and winter to showcase foreign and international films. The upcoming fall season started on Monday, Oct. 29, and will run through Monday, Nov. 19.

They meet on Monday nights at 7 p.m. in the upstairs theater space at Carey’s Electronics.

“We’ve been meeting here since the event started in the early ’90s. We had just tore our building down and put up a new building that had an upper level with a surround sound system and a projector and everything,” said Mark Carey, with Carey’s Electronics.

“Arts on Grand approached us about helping them start a foreign films series and asked us to haul down a big screen for them to use, but we had a better idea. Why not host it in our theater in our upper level?”

They’ve been a partnership ever since.

On average they get about 25 people at the free events, but with a really popular film that number can go up to closer to 45. There is free popcorn as well as hot chocolate, coffee and tea to enjoy.

The films that are chosen are studiously studied in advance by Mark, but he doesn’t usually see the films until the night they are shown for the Films for the Cinematically Disadvantaged.

“I rarely have seen a movie before we actually show it. I’m an avid review and critique reader though. I read the reviews that people like you and me submit as well as reviews from the pros,” Mark said.

In choosing the films to be shown, Mark also always tries to offer up films from different places and times.

“We like to mix it up geographically and timewise. We will do a contemporary one and then sometimes one from the ‘60s or ‘70s and once in a while a black and white film — something that I think our group should have on their resumes that they’ve seen like a Bergman or Kurosawa film,” Mark said.

Since Mark doesn’t watch the films ahead of time he gets to experience the film for the first time just like most of the other people who attend a night of Films for the Cinematically Disadvantaged.

“Pretty much all of the foreign language films we show are pretty highly regarded, but since I don’t see them ahead of time I’m always pleasantly surprised or a little disappointed. Or really disappointed,” Mark said. “But I always look forward to the films and I enjoy the friendships we’ve forged with the people who have to our movies from all over the area.”

The movie he’s most looking forward to the most in this particular series will show on Monday, Nov. 5. It’s “A Hard Days Night” and is The Beatles first movie.

“Why can’t I wait to see it? Because it’s The Beatles,” Mark said with a laugh. “I think people are really going to like this one.”