The Plaza is teaming up with local libraries to bring you The Cineaste: From Book to Screen. First, pick up the book at your local library. Then after reading, you’ll have a chance to watch the film adaptation followed by a discussion about the differences between the two and the process of adapting a novel into a screenplay. Discussions will be co-facilitated by faculty and alumni from the St. Joseph’s College film studies program and librarians from participating local libraries.

Inquire at the Patchogue-Medford Library, or South Country Library about how you can get involved in their book discussions. If you aren’t affiliated with one of the libraries, you can still get involved by reading the book and participating in our post-screening discussion. Book clubs are a great way to interact with friends and family while having an engaging discussion about literature. Audiobooks are also a great way to get involved if you’re looking to fit in a good read on a busy schedule.

You can download the current flyer here.

If you’re interested in joining a book discussion at the Patchogue-Medford Library click here.

Book Discussions Schedule:

Thurs, Mar. 23 (Guest Speaker, Peter Mascuch, PhD)
6:30 - 7:15 P - Book discussion at the library
7:15 - 7:30 P - Walk to The Plaza
7:30 - 9:30 P - Screening at The Plaza
9:30 - 10:00 P - Film discussion at The Plaza

The Hours (PG-13) Three women of various generations all have their lives intertwined through their attachment to the  VIrginia Woolf Novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Woolf herself is written into the novel as she struggles with her personal mental illness in the 1920s. Later on, in the years 1949 and 2001, we meet similar women who experience situations that mirror the character of Clarissa Dalloway in the Woolf novel. Through a stream of consciousness narrative similar to Mrs. Dalloway author MIchael Cunningham presents a day in the life of each of these characters as they plan events, deal with sorrow, and experience the subtle beauty of everyday life. The novel employs many of the narrative techniques of Woolf’s work, which allows the reader to be sucked into each time period that the women inhabit. The 2002 film adaptation directed by Stephen Daldry follows the same three characters, all of whom are shown for a day of their respective lives. Framed in the beginning and the end of the film with snippets of Virginia Woolf’s life, Daldry has crafted an emotional adaptation of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning novel. The movie has been heralded for its faithfulness to the novel, with Daldry working to implement many of the narration techniques that Cunningham used and adapting them for the screen. The film was nominated for 9 Oscars, with Julianne Moore winning the award for Best Actress.

Book Written by Michael Cunningham
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman
Running Time 1 hr 54 mins


Thurs, March 23 - 7:30 P (Guest speaker, Peter Mascuch)

Book Discussion Schedule:

Coming Soon

Persepolis (NR) This uniquely styled graphic novel traces the biographical history of its author, Marjane Satrapi as she depicts her progression from childhood to becoming an adult. Satrapi grew up at a pivotal point in Iranian history as her adolescence was spent in the depths of the Islamic revolution. Told from her perspective, she moves back and forth between Iran and Iraq, facing societal clashes, losing loved ones to the revolution and being consistently separated from her family both physically and in shared ideologies. The non-fiction graphic novel was ranked by newsweek as the fifth best non-fiction book of the 2000s. Persepolis was adapted into a film in 2007, following the same artistic style as the graphic novel with the exception of some moments being displayed in color. A team of twenty animators were given the task of transforming Satrapi’s graphic novel into a moving animation, a project that emphasized traditional animation techniques as well as the capabilities of only using two solid colors (black and white) to achieve depth. The film was a co-Jury prize winner at Cannes, and was also nominated for an Oscar in 2007. 

Book Written by Marjane Satrapi
Directed by Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud


Sat, Apr 15 - 11:00 A
Thurs, Apr 20  - 7:30 P

Book Discussion Schedule:

Coming Soon

V for Vendetta (R) Set in a dystopian version of England, this 1980s British graphic novel offers a post-apocalyptic take on society. England has been overthrown by a fascist party and transformed into a police state. Alan Moore’s signature style shrouds the panels of the novel in beautiful yet darkened illustrations of a society trying to rebel. The novel opens as young Evey Hammond is saved from an assault by a masked man named V. His iconic Guy Fawkes mask becomes the face of a revolution, as he partakes in anarchist acts to try to overthrow the fascist government. Evey becomes involved in his desire to break free of the constraints of their situation, and she too becomes involved in a resistance movement while also trying to understand who V really is. All the while, various police detectives and government officials become wrapped up in understanding who V really is, and more importantly how to stop him before he commits more terrorist acts against them. The 2005 live action film stars Natalie Portman as Evey, and the dystopian thriller has been heralded for giving the Guy Fawkes mask its status as a pop-culture icon for use in protests against oppressive regimes around the world. 

Book Written by Alan D. Moore
Directed by James McTeigue
Starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea


Sat, May 13 - 8:30 P
Thurs, May 18  - 7:30 P

Book Discussion Schedule:

Coming Soon

Neruda (R) Having been heralded by Gabriel García Márquez as “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language” Pablo Neruda has made an immeasurable impact on literature through his poetry. Born Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, he took his pen name in homage to Czech poet Jan Neruda. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and later became a diplomat in addition to his career in poetry. Neruda wrote surrealist poems, historical poems, and manifestos, often using green ink as his own symbol for hope and desire in his work. During his life Neruda faced exile and conflict due to his connections to the communist party in Chile. All the while he wrote poems, amassing hundreds of poems and countless volumes of work later translated into English. The 2016 film Neruda focuses on the political controversy that surfaced after Neruda made a speech against the anti-communist government of Chile in 1948. There was a large manhunt for his arrest after the speech, and he and his wife had to go into hiding, eventually leading to his exile. The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes film festival and also ran at the Toronto and New York film festivals. Since the film is not based on a novel, the book clubs will instead read The Essential Neruda, a collection of poems, and an 8-page biography from The Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century. 

Directed by Pablo Larraín
Starring Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco, Mercedes Morán


Sat, June 10 - 11:00 A
Thurs, June 15 - 7:30 P

Book Discussion Schedule:

Coming Soon

True Grit (R) This 1968 novel originally started out as a serial series in the Saturday Evening Post. The novel is narrated by Mattie Ross, an elderly woman telling a story about her life when she was fourteen years old. After the murder of her father, a young Mattie works to avenge his death by enlisting the help of a Texas Ranger and a friend nicknamed Rooster. Together they go after the outlaw drifter Tom Chaney, who is responsible for the murder. Along the way the three characters are swept up into an unlikely friendship. The three are brought together for very different reasons, as each person desires their own personal revenge. The novel has been adapted into several film and TV adaptations, with one of them starring John Wayne as Rooster. In 2010 the Coen Brothers produced their own adaptation of the novel, which was later nominated for ten academy awards. The film stars Jeff Bridges as Rooster and Matt Damon as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf. The film follows the same crew, the “grit” of each protagonist being tested in various trials and tribulations.

Book Written by Charles Portis
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin


Sat, July 8 - 8:30 P
Thurs, July 13 - 7:30 P

Past Films:

Played February 2017

The Color Purple (PG-13) Since winning the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1983, THE COLOR PURPLEhas remained an iconic epistolary novel with many further adaptations. The novel traces the life of Celie, an African-American woman growing up in rural Georgia. She survives incredible amounts of abuse and bigotry throughout her struggle to gain equality in the first half of the twentieth century. As the novel progresses Celie is separated from her sister Nettie, who tries to escape the life of submission that the girls seem doomed to. Celie stays behind, and her story branches off to include the lives that she cares for and is affected by. Throughout the novel Celie grapples with her own faith in God as she deals with unspeakable tragedies and abuses. Themes of racism are contrasted with the underlying concept of sisterhood that holds the characters in the novel together. The book was later adapted into an Oscar Nominated film starring Whoopi Goldberg as Celie and including Oprah Winfrey’s film debut as Sofia. Directed by Stephen Spielberg, the film was widely critically acclaimed for its powerful message and brave story.

Book Written by Alice Walker
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Danny Glover, Adolph Caesar, Margaret Avery Rae, Dawn Chong,
Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey

Played December 2016

Slumdog Millionaire (R) The protagonist of the book Q&A is Ram Mohammad Thomas, a young waiter who, upon winning a local game show, becomes the biggest quiz show winner in Indian history. Higher ups in the country immediately assume he cheated and send him to jail with no evidential information. Ram spends the book telling his lawyer stories about his life that explain how each question was answered correctly. The book was widely praised and loosely adapted into the 2008 film SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, in which the character Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) wins a quiz show and is brought up on the same accusations. Throughout the film Jamal’s stories are told as the viewer is taken on a visual journey through flashbacks. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE won seven Academy Awards in 2009, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Book Written by Vikas Swarup
Directed by Danny Boyle
Starring Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor

Played November 2016

The Girl on the Train (R) Rachel, devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds. Based on Paula Hawkins' bestselling novel.

Book Written by Paula Hawkins
Directed by Tate Taylor
Starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett