As a nonprofit organization, the work of Film at Lincoln Center would not be possible without the support, passion, and commitment of our incredible members and patrons. To show our appreciation, each month we will celebrate and showcase our unparalleled community of film lovers in a Member Spotlight, featured here on our website and in our Member News via email.
For this month’s Member Spotlight, we are excited to introduce Anne Smith. Anne has been actively involved with Film at Lincoln Center for more than two decades. After retiring from a career in publishing, she spends her time volunteering with the Housing Works Bookstore and Sundance Film Festival while also traveling to destinations inspired by some of her favorite film locations.
Why is cinema so important to you?
The exposure to other worlds, other peoples, is wonderful. I love being in a dark theater, with a large screen (Walter Reade!), being immersed in someone else’s story. Most times, it’s quite thrilling and inspiring. And, I learn.
Do you recall the first movie you ever saw in a movie theater? If so, can you tell us what it was and your experience seeing it?
This may not have been the first movie I saw in a theater but it certainly was an early experience I well remember. My family went to see Patton in our local theater. It was 1970 and I was sixteen years old. At some point, the national anthem was played and I refused to stand up. I was protesting. My Dad turned to me and said that he had been in the Navy and had friends who had died in WW2. If I wouldn’t stand, he suggested I leave and walk home which is what I did. I learned a lot about my Dad from the experience. It even prompted me to take a class in the mid-80s on “Point-of-View in Viet Nam Films and Literature”, including The Deer Hunter, The Killing Fields, and Going After Cacciato.
Do you recall the first movie or event you saw here at FLC or NYFF?
Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan.
What is your fondest memory at FLC?
Sappy, I know, but true. I really like the people who are a part of FLC. My experience with the theater staff, the development people, even poor Nicolas Rapold (Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment) who I snagged at Sundance this past January as he was trying to board a shuttle. The consistent dedication to the power of film and supporting of the fine work of filmmakers is impressive.
Why did you become a member or patron of the organization?
I lived in Chicago before moving to NYC in 1989. Richard Peña had been at the Art Institute of Chicago where I knew of him and his work. When I moved to NY, I was drawn to the Film Society because of Peña. I’ve been a modest member for many years and it’s only been in the last few when I’ve been able to commit more resources and time to FLC that I’ve become a Patron. The totality of what FLC offers: the programming, both first run and retrospectives, including Q&As; Film Comment, especially the long form articles, and Critic’s Choice recommendations; and the podcasts are akin to a graduate degree in film. Fabulous!
What are your top three (or more!) favorite films? Did you see any of them here at FLC or NYFF?
All of Éric Rohmer, Jane Campion, Wes Anderson and John Sayles’s films. On the Waterfront and Citizen Kane. My most recent favorite which I saw at FLC was The Post. It just so struck a chord in today’s world. I cried. And, I’ve watched it several times since then to get a good shot of hope! I just really love that film.