How do you choose the movies?

Basically we show what we like. There's lots to choose from. Anything on video or laser disc is possible. 16mm in a pinch. We aim to show an eclectic mix, a few of the hot new shows in a mix of the best old and wonderful classics, missed gems, especially Canadian stuff, a good sprinkling of comedy to keep it light, and now and then a provocative piece that gets you thinking, particularly some of the excellent movies on mental health/illness topics*. [See "More than just a free movie..."]

I don't show material with gratuitous violence, language, or sex. But we do show challenging adult material in the mix. Heart of Darkness (a documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now), Peter's Friends (language complaints), Moscow on the Hudson, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Dead Man Walking and Exotica are some that have sensitive material but are fine movies.

We always try to warn people about violence, coarse language etc. so they don't get unwanted surprises, and we expect that people can make their own choices as to whether to come or not. My liaison person with the hospital has occasionally expressed concern but in over 300 choices* of movies has never interfered with our schedule. We take suggestions but the final choice lies with those who do the work. We've got to be behind and enjoy what we show.

The bottom line is that the movies we show are much more carefully chosen than what's often pumped in on broadcast television 'upstairs' on the ward - I remember a really poor dramatization playing on evening "ward" TV of a manic-depressive man holding a woman hostage, wild eyes, shot gun taped to his victim's arm while a SWAT team attempted to pick him off. High drama, sensitively selected for a fragile audience? Nah! Cops, 911, all the weird and wonderful on Oprah and Donahue etc..........We like to think we're picking them better than that!