Trauma is a free film reading group based at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. We screen films every Thursday during term time, with each season lasting three weeks. These themed seasons generally deal with films which are extreme in filmic practice, theory or content, all constructed and delivered by people who attend regularly. Each screening consists of a ten to fifteen minute introduction, followed by the film and then a group trip down to the Senior Common Room (SCR) bar for a few drinks and a discussion about the film. Screenings start at 7pm and are usually held in LT1 (South Building). Everyone is welcome and admission is FREE.
So, welcome to Trauma film screenings at the University of Ulster, showcasing films from around the world that offer a vibrant alternative to the boring daily diet of mainstream multiplex fodder. Although we are launching Trauma with some fairly mainstream content, we aim to choose films that explore strange ideas in radical new forms, films that push at the boundaries of realism, comedy, satire, and horror. In the first five seasons, you will find films from Canada, Finland, France, the United States and the UK. made by directors with a unique and distinctive style, following few rules, but their own.
Today, films that are extreme in filmic practice, theory or content have become widely available. At present, our censors consider that, in most cases, adults should be able to choose for themselves what they watch, changing their primary focus from censorship to classification. Yet censorship still remains in the form of exhibition and distribution, with films that exist outside the mainstream being increasingly marginalised and silenced by the rise of multiplexes. More and more screens are showing fewer and fewer films.
We don’t have an independent cinema here in the North coast of Northern Ireland, yes; we have access to digital 3D, bucket-sized drinks, and 10 simultaneous showings of the new Twilight film at the local Movie House, but an arty Polish abortion drama, for example, would likely be off limits. So, we present you with a wide, wild, and wonderful world of films, available to anyone willing to venture beyond the mainstream.
Trauma film screenings on the Coleraine campus will constitute an important outlet for students and faculty interested in cinema, whilst fostering the study of film. The club will provide a further framework within the Centre of Media Research for viewing and discussing films, for developing theories and for making films. Indeed, it is hoped that Trauma will promote the appreciation of the art of film and re-emphasise the social dimension of film in culture.
Keep an eye on the Centre of Media Research blog for the latest Trauma seasons. You may love some of the films, you may hate some, but none of them will leave you unmoved.