I started a Meetup group and need some content ideas
February 3, 2017 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I started a Meetup......now what?

I broke up with my long term girlfriend and moved to a new city. I found myself friendless and without a partner. There are slim pickings as far as online dating is concerned. I figured Meetup.com would be a good way to meet friends and maybe a woman. Worse comes to worse I'd have something to get me out of the house and be social. I searched the area to find things that I was interested in. Nada.

I decided to start my own. This was no small feat as I'm extremely shy. I'm trying to get outside my comfort zone. I like having intelligent discussions about topics like politics, AI, philosophy and the human condition in general. I didn't want to do a book club for a couple of reasons. One: there is already one in the area. Two: I don't have enough time to read. Three: I wanted to meet more frequently than once a month.

I decided to focus on documentaries and shows that inspire conversation. I try to find things that are on Netflix or free. Many people don't have HBO or want to buy movies on iTunes etc. I am perfectly content to discuss Westworld and things of that nature, but want things that are easily accessible. It seems like most people have Netflix.

Up to this point we've done Black Mirror and some documentaries.

Can anyone recommend things to check out?

Thanks in advance.
posted by kbbbo to Human Relations (5 answers total)
Asking your meetup group to suggest things they want to watch and discuss is a good way of building group cohesion.

But to answer your question more directly: Welcome to Leith fits your description. It's in my queue but I can't bring myself to watch it.

I hope your meetup is called Netflix and Chill!
posted by headnsouth at 10:04 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

All on Netflix (I think), things I'd personally love to watch and discuss for a club like this and that hit your criteria:

Metropolis is a 1927 sci-fi movie that definitely hits what you're looking for - 'politics, AI, philosophy and the human condition in general'!

The Square is an on-the-ground documentary about the Arab Spring - politics, the human condition.

Rope - a Hitchcock film done in a single shot (like a play) about two men who murder a friend just to see if they can get away with it, and the psychological toll (or lack of it) that the murder takes on them.

The Hunt is a Danish drama about a guy in a small town who is falsely accused of molesting a girl and the impact it has on his life and on the town he lives in - lots to say about how people react in a super harsh situation.

Woman in the Dunes is a surreal black-and-white Japanese movie about a man who becomes trapped in a sand pit with a woman and is forced to stay there digging sand essentially forever.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a quiet but compelling documentary about one of the best sushi restaurants in the world.

Paris is Burning is a documentary about 1980s Harlem drag balls and the often marginalized people who found community there.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a sci-fi comedy/drama about a broken-up couple who use sf technology to erase their memories of each other, and what happens after.

This is a good tool to search netflix by topic, which the actual netflix site is pretty bad at.

(Also, you might want to ask a mod to edit your above-the-line post to say something like "I'm looking for documentaries and shows for my meetup group that will inspire conversation." People with good answers to that question might just skip over this post, because there's no indication that it's a question about movies or TV.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:33 PM on February 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

TED talks are free, online, and 20 minutes long.
posted by at at 2:18 PM on February 3, 2017

OJ: Made in America is great fodder for discussion and I think is available for free on espn.
posted by chaiminda at 5:13 PM on February 3, 2017

This is an excellent idea for a meet-up! Good luck! Here are a few ideas that go along the "technology and the human condition" theme. I've checked that all are streaming on Netflix:

Extremis -- Academy Award nominated short documentary about end of life decisions

Lo and Behold -- Werner Herzog documentary about the history of the Internet and ruminating about its effects on society

Person of Interest -- TV show about ex-CIA agent and a billionaire using technology to predict crimes before they happen.
posted by alligatorpear at 12:17 PM on February 4, 2017

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