Jen: Being Like Elle Woods and Hanging at the Harvard Film Archive

This summer I spent time going to movies, talking about movies and reading movies (can you tell what my interest/major is?). In addition to working with Boston University’s Orientation Office, I wanted to do something that involved working with film this summer. One night, after applying and getting rejected from two internships, I was scrolling through the Harvard Film Archive’s calendar looking to see what retrospectives are coming up. Soon after I found their blog, and very soon after that I found that they had internship opportunities. I was accepted and I was able to work there for the summer. I never really thought of myself working in a place like the HFA, but after leaving the internship, I realized just how awesome of a place it is, whether you want to work with film curation or if you’re just a casual film lover, like myself. If you’re just a little tired of the  typical, multiplex with overpriced snacks and previews amongst previews, the HFA may be a place for you!

  • LUNCH SPOTS: Being in the heart of Harvard Square was a perk of working at the HFA in the summer. Located on Quincy St., it’s just a short walking distance to fantastic restaurants like Mr. Bartley’s Burgers (where each sandwich is named after a public figure), Bolocco, Clover Food Lab and my favorite breakfast spot Liquiteria. (Side Note: Having gone into Harvard Square for lunch many times, I have found the best lunch spot to be Crema Cafe. Order the Crema Chicken Sandwich with the Sweet Nectar Tea and you will have your life changed.)(This isn’t a paid ad for Crema Cafe)(I just am so passionate about that sandwich and drink).

  • THE MOVIES: This place doesn’t mess around when it comes to movies. They have a library of over 25,000 films from the beginning of cinema to now. You can find classic dramas, old cartoons, home movies, etc. They also have film series that play throughout the months. They have done the complete films of Robert Altman, a series on Oliver Stone, a retrospective on black cinema of the 1970s, just to name a few. They also have had amazing guests who have stopped by like Joshua Oppenheimer, Harmony Korine, Pedro Almodovar, Ang Lee and in two weeks Pam Grier will be there! Sometimes filmmakers will even premiere their films there too!

  • ATMOSPHERE: The theater is a one screen, two hundred seater. Outside the theater are film stills and pieces written about the filmmaker or genre.  The HFA is located at the basement of the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, located directly next to the Harvard Art Museums. So, as you can tell it’s a very artsy, creative and educational place to be in. Whenever I would walk into work, I would be greeted by the different art pieces done by visiting faculty members of the CCVA. There are more floors above the HFA that have all types of art. One of my favorite parts of the internship was when I got to attend a poetry reading of the poems of Frank O’Hara on their rooftop terrace. I felt very collegiate and artsy in that moment.

The HFA was a fantastic place to intern at. I got to learn about film curation, and what it’s like to basically run a movie theater (which, if I haven’t told you, my plan for when I retire is to run a small theater on Martha’s Vineyard, so it was great experience). The people I worked with were knowledgeable and friendly, and they also brought food to the office which was also amazing. If you haven’t been able to visit the HFA yet please do so soon! (STUDENT TICKETS ARE LIKE $7 SO…) (GO TO THE MOVIES!)


(Outside of the CCVA)



(Rad posters featuring films part of the Robert Aldrich retrospective)


(Lobby of the CCVA)



(Hanging with some donated films, about to do some vinegar testing to prepare the films for curation)


(Like…the best sandwich I’ve ever had at Crema Cafe)

Published by


The COM Ambassador program is available to current and prospective COM freshmen. We are here to answer questions and help you learn all the great things that BU, COM and Boston have to offer. Be bold. Be creative. Be COM. @BU

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *