Mavericks and Misfits: Outsiders in Cinema


“It was a great mistake, my being born a man. I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home....”
-Eugene O’Neill

It’s a paradox: everyone has felt like an outsider. Our unique perspective on the world can act as a kind of veil between us and our fellows, each of whom feels disconnected for the same reason.

Some outsiders are excluded because of recognized racial, ethnic, or sexual differences from the group. Yet being an outsider is always a matter of context, and any of us might find ourselves labeled a loner, eccentric, or freak.

So strong is the drive to belong that outsiders may hide parts of their identities, thus assuring that their true selves are never known. Caught between the drive to distinguish ourselves and the pressure to conform, the sense of self that survives in an outsider can be isolated and fractured.

Movies can help us resolve this quandary. As viewers of films we are, in a sense, outsiders looking in. From our position as privileged voyeurs, the experience of the outsider can become our own. As our vision expands to encompass the outsiders in these films, our world gets larger, more honest, and a lot more interesting.

Each film will be followed by a panel discussion led by Collin College faculty and staff. The series supports the college’s core values of learning, creativity and involvement by engaging students through film and discussion.

All screenings are free and open to the public. Doors open 30 minutes before the film begins. Seating is limited. Some material may not be suitable for all audiences.

7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
Plano Campus Living Legends Conference Center
(R, 2002, dir. Julie Taymor, 123 minutes)
Surrealist Frida Kahlo paints to express her inner demons, her revolutionary political views, and her Mexican heritage. Based on a true story. Presented in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month.

Pale Rider
7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018
McKinney Campus Conference Center
(R, 1985, dir. Clint Eastwood, 116 minutes)
During the California gold rush, a mysterious stranger comes to the aid of a group of independent prospectors terrorized by a greedy mine owner.

The Imitation Game
7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
The Angelika Film Center in Plano
(PG-13, 2014, dir. Morten Tyldum, 114 minutes)
British mathematician Alan Turing leads a team of cryptographers, struggling to break the Nazi regime’s Enigma code, while he hides his own sexual identity. Based on a true story.

In the Heat of the Night
7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019
Frisco Campus Conference Center
(Not Rated, 1967, dir. Norman Jewison, 109 minutes)
An African-American homicide detective from Philadelphia upends a small, conservative Mississippi town when he investigates a murder. Presented in conjunction with African-American History Month.

The Elephant Man
7 p.m., Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019
The Angelika Film Center in Plano
(PG, 1980, dir. David Lynch, 124 minutes)
Severely deformed, brutalized and forced to perform in freak shows, John Merrick is freed to live a more normal life when a compassionate doctor takes on his care. Based on a true story.

7 p.m., Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2019
Plano Campus Living Legends Conference Center
(PG-13, 2007, dir. Jason Reitman, 96 minutes)
Midway through high school, independent-minded teenager Juno finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and turns to her family and friends to find out what she should do.  

Collin College District map

Plano Campus
2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano

Frisco Campus
9700 Wade Blvd., Frisco

McKinney Campus
2200 W. University Drive, McKinney

Angelika Film Center
The Shops at Legacy, 7205 Bishop Rd., Plano

The Auteur Film Series is supported by the Academic Affairs Division at Collin College.