Pop Quiz
McGee ’83
Filmmaker/Philosophy Professor

Philosophy professor Trish McGee ’83 caught the film bug relatively recently: She was heading to her 35th Reunion at Bucknell when a friend asked if she wanted to act in a movie, Shadows. Now, McGee has just released her own independent film: In Your Afterglow, about a tormented psychology professor, played by McGee, who exploits the gifts of an autistic girl to uncover the mystery of her past life.

Favorite film about teaching?
a. To Sir, with Love
b. Dead Poets Society
c. Wonder Boys
I love Robin Williams and can relate to his rather unorthodox methods.
Best movie for teaching philosophy?
a. The Matrix
b. Memento
c. Ex Machina
I have most recently been using Ex Machina to explore artificial intelligence as it relates to what it means to be human. For years, though, I used Memento as a great example to teach certain philosophy of mind concepts. My film is about the impact of memories from a previous life. I’m intrigued by how much memories affect our decision-making and behavior.
You get offered a part in a period movie. Which historical era would you pick?
a. Victorian England
b. Ancient Rome
c. Civil War-era America
The flashbacks in my film are from the Civil War era. The main character has memories from this time period.
“I’m intrigued by how much memories affect our decision-making and behavior.”
4. What Oscar-winning film do you wish you’d written?
a. The Favourite
b. The King’s Speech
c. La La Land
If had to pick one, I would say The King’s Speech. That’s just a really great film. But ultimately, I’d say none of the above. I want to write my own Oscar winner.
Hardest thing about making a film?
a. Fundraising
b. Finding time to write
c. Acting, producing and directing at the same time
Fundraising by far was the most difficult part of producing this film. We are still looking for funding to help with film distribution. Producing and acting at the same time was also very difficult. For my next film, I’ll choose one or the other.
Most influential Bucknell class, professor or experience?
My philosophy professor, Ed Papa. He and his wife, who was also a philosopher, had student gatherings at their home, sitting around their living room having wonderful discussions. They took me under their wing, encouraged me to pursue my passions and after graduation became very good friends.
Screenshot of the film In Your Afterglow
Photos: Morgan Hart and Tinseltown/Shutterstock.com
Trish McGee (left) in In Your Afterglow.