What are Informal Classes for the Community?

Eight Sundays/Eight Movies* at The Palace Theater on the historic square in Georgetown, TX
Led by media scholar Philip J. Hohle, PhD

Entertainment as a Second Language

The language of popular culture can be strange and confusing. At the same time, entertainment can be immeasurably influential. In particular, the movie is the most broadly influential and subtly powerful means for change in western society. With skilled craftsmanship, filmmakers carefully conceal their beliefs and convictions within a compelling story, and their artful invitation becomes almost irresistible to the average viewer. This truth raises important questions for the awakened audience member.

  • How is it that two people can watch the same movie but experience two completely different stories?
  • What is it about great movies that seem to stir the soul?
  • How does one uncover the subtle arguments embedded by the filmmaker?
  • What important details are easily missed-clues that give new meaning to the story?
  • What in the film triggered this remarkable disruption/empowerment we often experience?

Participants in these ESL classes will explore and practice using tools that can make them fluent in their media consumption-better at making sense of the messages and meanings behind their favorite movies. This activity is centered around weekly screenings at The Palace, each followed by an open discussion led by our team of respondents.

To guide participants between movie nights, a media literacy curriculum was written for the class with participants in mind. (Provided for registered participants as a part of the fee.)

The Filmmaker’s Prayer: Cinema and Religion

Improve your media literacy-become fluent in reading popular film.

Read the FAQs about the class.

This class is based on two previous series. Below are some of the films examined in the most recent classes.


Films Studied in the Fall 2019 LENSES Series

  • Peanut Butter Falcon
  • Brittany Runs a Marathon
  • Downton Abbey
  • Judy 
  • Joker
  • Gemini Man
  • Malificent-Mistress of Evil
  • The Current War
  • JoJo Rabbit

Films Studied in the Spring 2019 CINEMA & RELIGION Series

  • I Can Only Imagine
  • Theory of Everything
  • Easy A
  • Sully
  • A Quiet Place
  • Nerve
  • Winter’s Bone
  • The Shape of Water
  • Mother!
  • Black Panther
Classic movie stars on screen seeming to argue about religion.

Media Fluency for People and Organizations