The following is a very kind letter written by one of our series regulars, Karen N. We are grateful to patrons like her for their continued support of our film study program.
One of our favorite programs to attend as a family was the Park Ridge Classic Film Series. Since its inception we were thrilled by the outstanding collection of films, shorts, cartoons, and lectures. Not only has the series provided us with the opportunity to see beloved films again, we were also introduced to some other movies that proved to be equally a pleasure. These classic films have depth, substance, and represent an overlooked art form. The Series provides a much-needed respite from the mundane banality of what passes for entertainment today, and we are a better community for having such a program.
For us, the best part of the Classic Film Series has been the erudite insight offered by Matthew Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman’s delightful introductions into each movie’s history are informative, and brimming with a rich imagery that leaves us wanting to know more. Through his lectures, we are offered a compelling peek into the fascinating private world of the classic films and the people who made them great. As the Library’s resident film historian, Mr. Hoffman has the ability to take complex artistic themes and present them in a way that engages and enlightens his audience. Like the elegant prose of a well-crafted preface to a literary masterpiece, his introductions offer an enticing combination of historical fact, keen analysis, and the personal stories of the people who gave life to the magic of cinema. Thus, the Park Ridge Classic Film Series is not just a collection of old movies; it is a tribute to a cultural legacy. We loved the Film Series so much we made it a tradition. It was wonderful having an activity we could enjoy on a regular basis as a family.
After my father passed away, my mother and I found it difficult to feel social as we worked through our grief. Once again, the Park Ridge Public Library helped us by offering a warm, welcoming place where we could start to participate in activities again. Our experiences at the Library have always been positive, and it seemed natural to go to a place where we had spent so many pleasant hours as a family. We associate the Library with such good memories! When we started to slowly ease back into social events, the Library was the place we chose to go. Our familiarity with the Library’s many programs and services made it seem natural for us. We started by attending the Classic Film Series again. For a few hours each week, my Mom and I were transported to another time and place so we could forget our pain. It helped. When we left the movie, we would always talk about how my father would have enjoyed that night’s selection. We found solace in these evenings at the Library, and a comfort that allowed us to start moving past our grief and enjoying life again.