Classic & Foreign Film Discussions
Available for in-person discussions in:
Available via Zoom?
To book Roberta, e-mail:
Roberta Presser has had a multi-faceted career in the film industry as a Location Manager, Production Coordinator, Assistant to the Producer, and Second Assistant Director. She has worked with such luminaries as Tom Hanks, Richard Burton, Tatum O’Neal, John Belushi and Dan Akroyd. On The Blues Brothers, she coordinated more than 100 vehicles used in this iconic car chase comedy. You can see her film credit every Halloween when they show Friday the 13th, Pt. 2!
While living in Toronto, Roberta set up a workshop for Toronto Women in Film and Television and assisted at the Toronto Film Festival. Back in New York, she was an active member of the Media Educators Association and wrote for their newsletter.
Since moving to Florida, Roberta has taught film and hosted screenings for the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the JCC in Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, the Palm Beach County Library, the Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival, and Temple Beth El in Boca. For the past twelve years, she has been teaching film courses to retirees at the New York Teachers’ Union (UFT) headquarters in Boca, and, since Covid, she has also been teaching on Zoom nationwide for the Queens, New York, UFT office.
Film Series & Discussion Options Include:
Note: Roberta introduces each film, offers points to watch for, then leads a discussion after the screening.
Classic Hollywood Films - American and, more specifically, Hollywood, films have dominated this art form for the last 100 years. Watch some of these most popular of all time movies to gain a better understanding of this medium. Suggested titles include: Casablanca & Now, Voyager.
Movies about Film - Filmmakers have often portrayed their unique world in feature films. We will examine some of them, enjoying the humor and learning more about what goes on behind the scenes. Suggested titles include: Wag The Dog & Day For Night.
Famous couples of the Silver Screen - From Bogey & Bacall to Tracy & Hepburn, to Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks to Woody Allen & Diane Keaton, we love to watch these couples interact. We will watch movies starring some of these iconic couples and discuss what makes them so special. Suggested titles include: To Have And Have Not (Bogart & Bacall) & Adam's Rib (Tracy & Katharine Hepburn).
Memorable Musicals & Musical Biopics - View key musicals from the 1930's with Fred and Ginger through the glorious musicals of the 50's, 60's and 70's. What made them timeless? Why do we still enjoy them today? Suggested titles include: Top Hat & Singin' In The Rain.
Classic Foreign Films - From the early days of Russian filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein and his theories of montage to German Expressionism, American filmmakers have been influenced by foreign innovations in this new art form. We will look at some classics from the French and Italian New Wave as well as more contemporary classics from abroad. Suggested titles include: Bicycle Thieves & The 400 Blows.
Alfred Hitchcock: Master of the Craft - The Master of Suspense makes use of paranoia, claustrophobia, intense chase scenes, and the terror of ordinary people. We will observe Hitchcock's use of these techniques to build suspense in his films. Suggested titles include: North By Northwest & Rear Window.
Classic Romantic Comedies - Classic romantic comedies is one of the oldest genres of film. Its roots go back at least as far as Shakespeare's comedies, which have been updated and retold countless times on film. The universal themes appeal to us all - boy meets girl, someone screws up and boy loses girl, boy gets girl, and we have a happy, satisfying ending. In this series, we're going to examine some of the best loved romantic comedies from the '30's and '40's, beginning with the stylish comedies of Ernst Lubitsch, followed by iconic screwball comedies. Suggested titles include: It Happened One Night & Ninotchka.
Coming of Age Films - Growing up is hard to do. We can all recall those painful years, although sometimes our memories are colored by rose tinted glasses. We will see how various filmmakers recall incidents, sometimes from their own youth, that portray this journey to adulthood. Why do we sympathize/empathize with these characters? Suggested titles include: American Graffiti & Juno.
Films from Israel - Israel did not have a film industry until after independence; so it is relatively new. However, it has matured into a major producer of movies and television series which are watched worldwide. What makes them so popular? Why do we identify with these characters? Suggested titles include: Sallah & Maktub.
Foreign Films Fit for Foodies - Food and drink are essential for survival. The movies we will watch capture the importance of food preparation in its many emotional, as well as physical, subtleties. We are all aware of cultural stereotypes surrounding food, obvious examples being the Jewish mother and Italian grandmother, who ply their progeny with food as an expression of love. We've watched Charlie Chaplin as the lovable tramp eating his leather shoe to stave off starvation. In between these two extremes are all the human emotions, and these films illustrate our strong connection to food. Suggested titles include: Tampopo & Babette's Feast.
Two Boychiks From Brooklyn: The Humor Of Mel Brooks & Woody Allen - Through his use of verbal and visual humor, we will see how Mel Brooks used the medium of film to overcome adversity and champion the little guy. Laughter was, and still is, his weapon. We will see how he wields it in his most popular films. We'll also examine some of Woody Allen's early films, and see how Allen's use of one-liners and gags, a carryover from his days as a standup comedian, developed into complex stories where his unique humor became an integral part of the story line. We will observe the different types of humor used, from jokes only New Yorkers will get to Jewish humor to more gentle non-ethnic humor (e.g., "I have a gub" from Take the Money and Run). Suggested titles include: Blazing Saddles & Bananas.
New York, New York – It’s a wonderful town. It’s also an important, sometimes even a crucial, setting in many films. So integral to the film is this setting that it can become almost a character within the movie, giving new meaning to the narrative. In recent years, many films purporting to have New York locations, have been shot elsewhere, with key scenes of NY exteriors actually shot in just a few days. Having worked on two such films, one with Richard Burton, I will share my location experiences as we observe key scenes in these movies. Suggested titles include: On The Town & Sweet Smell Of Success.
The Holocaust – In recent years, there have been numerous films made about the Holocaust, the best known being Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. From early roundups in the 1930’s to fascism to daring escapes and anti-fascist groups to the aftermath and its effect on families and the societies in which they lived, we have seen a wide variety of films from a wide variety of countries on this general subject. This series will cover some of the most significant ones. Suggested titles include: Europa Europa & Woman In Gold.
The Image of Jews in Film – After Al Jolson shepherded in the Age of Talkies, we did not see another major character who was Jewish on the silver screen until 1947 with Gentleman’s Agreement and Crossfire, both of which dealt with antisemitism. This series will include films with major Jewish characters and/or events significant to the Jewish community. How has the portrayal of American Jews evolved? Suggested titles include: Annie Hall & Uncut Gems.
Are you ready to bring Hudak On Hollywood to your community?
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. We look forward to hearing from you!