Movie Magic: La La Land Screens for #UDLateNite

By: Brett Slaughenhaupt – Movie Columnist

Weekends at the University of Dayton are pretty much synonymous with alcohol and partying. But for those who do not partake in those activities, #UDLateNite has your back.

Operating through the Center for Student Involvement, the #UDLateNite initiative is “committed to providing the University of Dayton with fun, free programming each week” from karaoke at the ArtStreet cafe to weekly Saturday film screenings and then one large scale program per month.

The film screenings in particular are a popular staple through this initiative, having an average attendance of 50 to 100 students depending on the movie. In the past month, they have shown films like “Moana,” “Dr. Strange,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “La La Land” — the one-time Best Picture winner for about two minutes.

Their hope is to show the most recent popular films, catching them in pre-release after they have left the theaters but before they are streaming or on DVD. The most important aspect of the film, though, is that it must align with the Catholic and Marianist values of the university.

That means most of the screenings do not showcase films over the rating of PG-13 or anything that becomes too violent or offensive in language or content to anyone. In order to make sure each film meets these standards, they use Catholic News Service as a source.

This organization rates popular films based upon the values of the church. For example, “La La Land” is rated A-III, or a film acceptable for adults based on “an implied premarital relationship, a few rough terms, some crude language.”

“La La Land” was a great way to spend my Saturday night. The film, written and directed with absolute precision by Damien Chazelle, provides an absolutely pleasurable experience.

From the beautifully filmed cinematography in CinemaScope that works to pay homage to the classic musicals, to the instantly catchy score and music written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul, this film knows exactly what it is hoping to achieve.

Jillian Van Auken, assistant director of Student Life and head of the #UDLateNite initiative, said that it is important to provide this alternative programming during the weekend for students who don’t drink because it “provide[s] these students a healthy, safe social scene on the weekends where they do not feel pressured to engage in events with alcohol and/or so they do not feel left out socially. It is important that students know there are other social options other than drinking.”

Although you wouldn’t be able to catch the Best Picture winner “Moonlight” screening for #UDLateNite due to it’s rating of “O” for morally offensive based on a “tacit endorsement of homosexual acts” amongst other things, there are plenty of great opportunities to enjoy a good movie on Saturday nights.

You can check out the Center for Student Involvement’s website and OrgSync portal to find out what movies they are screening each Saturday night. On March 25, they will be showing “The Space Between Us” in Sears Recital Hall.


Photo Courtesy of

Flyer News: Univ. of Dayton's Student Newspaper