Police Academy loses humour but buildings still look good

by | Feb 6, 2020 | A&E, Campus News, Lakeshore

John Grant, Arts Reporter

Humber College’s Lakeshore grounds impersonated a police academy once again with the screening of Police Academy at the Interpretive Centre.

The Film Screening Series event was initiated by Humber’s curatorial intern Phillip Goodchild. He wanted to give the students and the guests attending the screening a dive into the institution’s past, highlighting the campus’s history and evolution over time.

“We’re hoping that they get an appreciation for the campus, where they daily walk in and out of these places and sort of see, ‘okay, that’s that place,’” Goodchild said.

The comedy premiered on March 23, 1984. It is about a bunch of misfits that come together and go through numerous trials and tribulations in their time at the police academy.

The movie was shot on the Lakeshore grounds and throughout Toronto and involved many buildings still in use. Filming in the city was free which made it the ideal shooting location for the movie.

Goodchild also knows the excitement a person can get when seeing familiar structures. He was born in London and was able to see some of the scenery in the Jason Bourne movies.

“I saw one of the Jason Bourne movies. They filmed extensively in London. I come from London myself, so when they’re running through Waterloo station, you get that gasp of recognition of, ‘I live there, that’s my home,’” he said.

Police Academy is also a film caught in another time, using racism, misogyny, and sexuality as punchlines for jokes in ways that would not be acceptable today.

One scene, in particular, had the main character telling his future love interest, who was played by Kim Cattrall, about how he would love to see her reduced to an object.

The curator of the Lakeshore grounds Interpretive Centre, Jennifer Bazar, felt there was a significant difference watching it when she was younger to watching it now.

“When I watch it now, there are certain scenes that make me uneasy. There are comments about sexualized dynamics between men and women that I find a bit uncomfortable,” Bazar said.

“There are some racially inappropriate comments that are made towards different groups of people,” said Madison Crombie, a social services student.

Crombie agreed with Bazar after watching the 1984 film for the first time during the event.

“The movie was funny at parts and cringing at others,” she said. “There was a lot of racism and objectification of women. Kim Cattrall’s character was really only used as a damsel in distress.”

Regardless, the Interpretive Centre event will showcase three more movies to represent the history of the Lakeshore grounds, the mystery slasher film Urban Legend on March 4, the Genie-nominated drama Beautiful Dreamers on March 25, and comedy Strange Brew on April 1.