Film Studies

Film Studies occur on Tuesdays at 1:30pm or 7:00pm and online via Boxcast

$80 per person for Museum Members
$96 per person for non-members

Film Studies are a series of five-week courses of films selected from the finest in classic and contemporary cinema presented with critical context. Presented by Film Studies Coordinator, Diane Thelen.

Film Studies are available as in-person screenings in the Leonhardt Auditorium, as well as via streaming on your computer or TV.
Each week of the series, VBMA educators will send registered Film Studies students an email that contains a handout about the current film as well as a link and instructions on how to stream from home.
Participants can choose to view the film at the VBMA during their designated time, or from home.

For troubleshooting viewing films via Amazon Fire TV click here.

Presenting Sponsor: Roberta G. Olsen

Supporting Sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Unruh, Jr.

Additional Support: Rehmann Financial and Business Advisory Services, Sue and Charlie Thomas

Patron Sponsors: Ann Bowling Endowment for Film Studies

VBMA Film Studies Coordinator, Diane Thelen

Diane Thelen, Film Studies Coordinator

October 10 – November 7, 2023

The Great Gandolfini: The Many “Other” Faces of New Jersey’s Favorite Mob Boss

Who didn’t adore Tony Soprano?! It was a love-hate relationship “Tony” had with family and friends alike; but James Gandolfini, the actor who portrayed the Soprano mob boss from 1999 to 2007, was a sensitive actor and appeared in many films not tied to his gangster persona. Come experience some of his work and see what we lost with his passing. Down the Shore (2011) is a little-known gem that proved this man remained true to his Jersey roots.

The Great Gandolfini – 1:30pm class      The Great Gandolfini – 7:00pm class


November 14 – December 12, 2023

Canadian Interlude: Maple Leaf Tales from Our Northern Neighbors

This series will include five films made in or about Canada that are as diverse as their population. Canadian filmmakers are anxious to share their country’s history and heritage with the rest of the world and in recent years they have been doing just that. These films will introduce the audience to the diversity of this northern neighbor, including Maudie (2017), the inspiring true story of an artist who pursued her talents against all odds – a film worthy of presentation at an art museum.

Canadian Interlude – 1:30pm class      Canadian Interlude – 7:00pm class


January 9 – February 6, 2024

Fabulous Fables and Fairy Tales: How Legend and Lore Shape Our Culture

With these five films from places like Denmark, France, and Spain, it will be obvious to participants that legends and myths have influenced people from the world over and are still relevant today. The same lessons in stories that we are familiar with from our childhood remain intriguing into adulthood. One fabulous fairy tale that does just that is Snow White – this time titled Blancanieves (2012) and transposed into 1920’s Seville, Spain.

Fabulous Fables and Fairy Tales – 1:30pm class      Fabulous Fables and Fairy Tales – 7:00pm class


February 13 – March 12, 2024

Picture This! Humanity through a Camera Lens

Buster Keaton may have been one of the earliest screen artists to show us the impact of a simple tool like the camera. In his famous 1928 silent film, The Cameraman, he runs wild with sly insights into the world of movies and clever insights into humanity. This series focuses on films, both fiction and true stories, about people who picked up a camera and changed how we see the world.

Picture This! – 1:30pm class      Picture This! – 7:00pm class

The Cameraman

March 19 – April 16, 2024

A Woman’s Voice: Perspectives on Female Visionaries in the Arts  

This series highlights five fabulous women who have forged strong identities, proudly representing the arts as film directors, producers, writers, and artists. One such female is an artist-mother-teacher-rebel, Audrey Flack, the “Queen of Hearts” of the 2019 film’s title. All of these women have a unique perspective on life, which is reflected in their work. This series is comprised of both documentary and drama presentations.

A Woman’s Voice – 1:30pm class      A Woman’s Voice – 7:00pm class

Queen of Hearts

Join the VBMA Film Society!

The Film Society is the auxiliary level of membership that provides members access to a rich and varied collection of more than 3,000 notable classic, foreign, and art house films, drawn from the many years of the Museum’s Film Studies Program.

The Helen Ecclestone Stone Film Library is open to Film Society Members:
Tuesdays 12:00pm-4:00pm

If you would like to browse films online, all available film titles can be found on our BookSystems website. Film Society members can peruse titles online, choose DVDs to check out, and pick them up at the VBMA during open Film Library hours.

Learn More