Film + discussion series explores “coming of age” theme

The Leo J. Welder Center Cinema Society will kick off the fall schedule of films on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The movie and discussion series is open to the public and will take place at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Victoria.

Audience members will view movies and participate in discussions about the films.

Discussion leaders will offer their unique viewpoint on a film, expounding on qualities such as storyline, context, timing and suspense, historical perspective, and differences between film and book.

“Earlier this year, we collected information from community members about their cinema interests, tabulated votes on the proposed films, then worked with distributors on availability and pricing,” Sue Prudhomme, director of cultural affairs, said of the scheduling process.

The theme for fall 2015 is “Coming of Age.” Each film in the series features young adults who are struggling to find a place within their world.

“Sixteen Candles” screens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7. Molly Ringwald stars as a young girl whose “sweet sixteen” birthday is anything but special in this 1984 film directed by John Hughes, well-known for his comedy-dramas of the 1980s and 1990s such as “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Discussion leaders will be John Hughes fans Mike and Brooke Mercer along with Melita Keith.

“A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” will screen on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. An international coproduction shot in French, Hebrew and Arabic, this 2011 film features two young adults, one living in Israel and one in Gaza, who develop a tender friendship through email. The film will be screened with English subtitles. Abe Ajrami, a Palestinian American who is a native of Gaza, will lead the discussion along with Hannah Ajrami, a senior at West High School who has traveled three times to Gaza to visit family.

“Giant,” the 1956 classic about Texas, oil and ranching culture starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean, will screen at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. The discussion will be led by Dr. Kim Herzinger, an English instructor at the University of Houston-Victoria and a Pushcart Prize-winning critic and writer.

The series is sponsored in part by Hit Radio 104.7. Tickets are $5 per movie, except for “Giant,” which is free. The screening of “Giant” is sponsored as a surprise birthday gift for a “Giant” fan.  All tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door.

Tickets for the movies may be purchased at the Welder Center Box Office, by calling (361) 570-TKTS or online at

The Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts is located at 214 N. Main St.

For more information on the Welder Center’s cinema offerings, contact Prudhomme at (361) 582-2436 or email

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015

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