Cinema in the City
April 30, 2008
A Saturday afternoon proved to be a perfect day for a good movie
at the Manhattan campus on April 26.
Members of the Loughlin Society and the McCallen Society were
treated to Cinema in the City with a special showing of The
Great Debaters starring and directed by Academy Award winning
actor Denzel Washington. Timed to coincide with the famous Tribeca
Film Festival, the event was the brainchild of Thomas McCarthy,
Director of Advertising Communication at St. John’s. “It’s an
inspirational film about education,” he said. “In the old days,
people used to go to the movies and then walking home they would
discuss it. Now most people run to their cars after the movie or
they rent it at home. Here, they will get more of a community
More than 70 people filled the theater on the second floor of
the Manhattan campus and Frank Brady, Ph.D., Chair of Mass
Communication, Journalism, Television and Film opened with brief
remarks and shared with the audience some tips on how to watch the
film to get the most out of the experience. A noted writer, editor
and publisher who has served as a consultant on films, Dr. Brady
also introduced a short film by high school sophomore Alexa
Barrett. The film, titled Sean Rising, focuses on the
rehabilitation of Sean Biesty who was critically injured in an auto
accident in 2002 where he sustained a severe, traumatic brain
injury. Both Barrett and Biesty attended the showing and received a
rousing round of applause from the audience who were touched by the
story of Biesty’s struggle to get better.
Popcorn and drinks were provided and Loughlin Society member
Thomas D. Hughes, Esq. ’74SVC and his daughter Kathleen settled in
for the good times. Hughes said he has “always been very, very
dedicated to the school” so he considered such an event to be a
highlight. “St. John’s gave me an education I could not have gotten
anyplace else and has had such a direct impact on my life,” he
said. “My daughter can attest to how much I talk about the
University.” His daughter responded, laughing “He loves it.”
James Audino, a member of the McCallen Society, said he was
attracted to the opportunity to watch the film with fellow St.
John’s supporters. “I like the camaraderie and I enjoyed the film
very much,” he said.
The showing was followed by a cocktail reception during which
time Dr. Brady signed copies of his book Bobby Fischer: Profile of
a Prodigy the film rights of which were sold to Home Box Office
(HBO) last year. Brady will serve as a consultant on a long-planned
docudrama about the most famous chess match in history, Fischer vs.
Spassky in 1972.
The McCallen Society is comprised of esteemed donors who have
remembered the University in their estate plans. The Loughlin
Society recognizes those who have made leadership gifts of $1000 or
more within a fiscal year.