March 5, 2013

At Cornell Cinema, an Elegant Trip to the Past

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On Saturday night, Cornell Cinema proved itself to be versatile and refined enough to host a Winter Formal Party. I have been to Cornell Cinema before, but I never imagined that it might lay out this sort of event. Yet as soon as I entered the doorway, I needed no longer to wonder. Four tables filled with food were the first sight to greet visitors. Having not eaten for two days prior (okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration), this was a welcome sight indeed. The food itself was exquisite. From crackers to fruit to mini sandwiches, Cornell Cinema had it down. I personally had to get two of the meat shish kebabs. The pita chips were especially good with the humus and all the different dips and sauces provided the finishing touch. Eating that night reminded me of the scene from Ratatouille when Remy, the main rat, explains the sensation he gets when he eats — fireworks in his mouth! Drinks ranged from water to Guinness; the most popular drink available for purchase was Cabornet. There was plenty of space to walk around, and everyone was well-dressed for the night. Though it was a slightly older crowd, it only made for a classier evening. Maxwell Jacob Murphy ‘16 found it incredible that Cornell Cinema could be “transformed into a room where a party could be held,” a triumph that “really made it a special night unlike any other.”

The silent auction items were on display at the back end of the room, at the foot of the stage. There were a couple of movie posters, including one of Sean Connery as James Bond. There was a book that gave a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes world of the Life of Pi. There were also a couple of bottles of wine from local companies. On the actual stage, there were tables of even more food. All the desserts were there, and it was difficult to walk off the stage. There were plates of chocolate pastries and macaroons, along with your good old-fashioned brownies and cookies — but better.

After nearly two hours of quiet conversation and passionate consumption of food, the silent auction and lottery prize winners were announced. There were about a dozen lottery prizes. Among them were movie posters and gift baskets. There was film poster signed by Robert Redford, and two liquor gift baskets from companies such as Ithaca Winery. I really wanted a gift basket.

At around 10 p.m., the movie finally started: 1973’s The Sting, featuring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. It was highly appropriate for the night, given its reminiscence of a former time when life was classier. In The Sting, Robert Redford’s character, Johnny Hooker, and his pal Luther Coleman portray con artists. After they unwittingly steal $11,000 from a man who ends being part of a mob, Coleman is killed and Hooker flees. He meets up with a man Coleman recommended prior to his death, Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), who, in his glory days, was a great con artist. The two of them collaborate with three other men to exact revenge for Luther’s death by conning the mob leader, Doyle Lonnegan, a really scary Irish guy. The stakes are high, and the film presents twists and turns that allows the audience to appreciate a quality ’70s film. But the greatest twist of the night was that Cornell was able to put on such a good show.

Original Author: Danyoung Kim