What SCA Is Watching

James Francis Ginty '25

James Francis Ginty '25

MFA Film & Television Production

Hey SCA Community! My name is James Francis Ginty '25 and I’m a first year MFA Film & Production student. I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA. My journey into cinema began through acting, which I studied at the Juilliard School in New York City, before being cast in movies such as Kathryn Bigelow’s K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) and Stephen Frears's Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (2013). I recently started a production entity called The Magi Company with my producing partner Fatima Loeliger (currently a NYU MFA/MBA student). Our debut project - Created Sleep Transmissions (2022) - which got me into SCA and her into NYU, recently won “Best Short” at the Traverse City Film Festival! I love watching movies and television shows - new and old. Here are some of the things that have resonated (and re-resontated) with me of late...

1. L’argent de poche (1976) (called “Pocket Money” on American streaming platforms such as Paramount+ where it can currently be seen for free with membership)

Perhaps my favorite movie of all time, this too often overlooked masterpiece in the vein of great teacher/student movies (like Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939) and Dead Poets Society (1989)) is directed by French New Wave legend (and my personal hero) Franc?ois Truffaut. Following the recent passing of Jean-Luc Godard, I found myself in a “whose work was better” debate with my SCA roommate, Rocky Wong. We both concluded that regardless of who was right, in this era of the “Corporate Cinematic Universe” - Godard and Truffaut lovers ought to stick together. The monologue on “why teachers teach” (delivered to perfection by Jean-Franc?ois Ste?venin) in this movie’s final act, is a masterclass in film acting.

2. Seven (1995) (streaming free on Peacock Premium with membership)
I’m a lover of classic film noir (including Double Indemnity (1944) and The Maltese Falcon (1941)), but David Fincher’s ability to weave heavy doses of horror and suspense into this movie was a “genre mashing” game changer for me. Seven is a masterclass in original cinematic storytelling with relentlessly brilliant camera movements and nail-biting suspense. Darius Kopelson’s cinematography is astonishing and the brilliant editing of Richard Francis-Bruce defies description. I was so inspired by my recent re-watch of this film that I immediately started outlining a film noir of my own.

3. The Worst Person In the World (2021) (streaming free on Hulu with membership)
My favorite movie of the past year, this Joachim Trier directed masterpiece - starring the incredible Renate Reinsve - is a quintessential example of contemporary romantic life told through a lens of creative originality too often missing from widely distributed movies. Expertly paced, photographed, written and acted, this film also delivers perfectly sprinkled moments of “class movie magic” throughout. A24 seems to get all the credit these days for being the “studio for original content” but for my money, Neon, the distributor of this film and others including Parasite (2019) and The Painter and the Thief (2020), deserves more praise for delivering movies like this one to the global community of true cinephiles.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Tender Bar (2021), Fargo (1996), Ex Machina (2015), A Brighter Summer Day (2011), Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), The Mermaid (2016) and Field of Dreams (1989).