Half a century of fine arts and first-rate films

By Nicole Veenstra

Max Cady (Gregory Peck), ex-felon and stalker, threatens the safety of Sam Bowden (Robert Mitchum) due to his role in landing Cady a seven-year prison sentence.


The movie American Graffiti asks the question “Where were you in ’62?” On Wednesday and Thursday, Rider’s Film Symposium asked the same question, conducting a mini-course in film culture from 1962 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Rider’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, according to the event’s poster.

Professors and students shared their thoughts on different films, such as La Jetée, The Manchurian Candidate and Advise and Consent during various panels and roundtable discussions. The symposium also allowed students to share research papers, which focused on a specific theme throughout a film of their choice.

The first film shown was Cape Fear, which is about a lawyer’s family who is stalked by a man that he once helped put behind bars.

Dr. Cynthia Lucia, professor of English, and Dr. Thomas Simonet, professor of journalism, also discussed recurring issues and themes throughout the films of 1962 during the kick-off of the event.

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Gerald Peary, an international film critic, who introduced his acclaimed documentary, For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism. Peary was an English major at Rider in 1962 during the formation of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The two-day event closed by focusing on up-and-coming talent during a student film festival and competition moderated by Dr. Shawn Kildea and Professor Scott Alboum, both professors in the department of communication and journalism.

Advise and Consent is a staple in American cinematic history as it brings to life some rather taboo issues for the time, such as homosexuality and suicide.


The Manchurian Candidate is held in such high esteem that it has been preserved in the U.S. National Film Registry for being culturally and historically significant.
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