Jill and I have just watched our way through all nine films that Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy did together. It has been quite a treat, and also a surprising historical and American cultural revelation that sparked many conversations.

Hosting an informal film club at your home can be a fun way to get through the cold winter darkness. I greatly appreciate watching the collected works of a film director or actor and seeing how their work evolved over time.

You can also focus on any number of themes … maybe Westerns, or film noir, or foreign films. Whether it’s just you at home, or you invite friends and maybe share a potluck dinner, you can have several nights of great entertainment and conversation.

There are many sources for obtaining interesting films to show at home. Our favorite is Bart and Greg’s video store in Brunswick. They have an astounding collection of diverse films. Maine libraries are a great source of films for free. You can use the online Minerva system to order films from any library in the state delivered to the library closest to you. Visit www.minerva.maine.edu.

Netflix is popular for its original modern productions, however, it is not really a good source for finding collections of films centered on a particular director, actor or theme. Amazon Prime seems much better for finding all the titles of any collection of works you can imagine.

The website www.justwatch.com allows you to find films to stream from about 40 different online sources. You can set filters such as time period and genre, and you are given many choices to rent or buy the films.

One year, some friends and I got together over several weeks to watch all of the films by the Indian film director Satyajit Ray, a highly-regarded director from the 1950s and ‘60s. You can enter an entirely different world with well-produced films from other cultures.

Another year we watched the films of the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, whose films spanned the ‘40s to ‘80s, including those made in immediate post-WWII Japan, “The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail” in 1945, and “Drunken Angel” in 1948.

Any country that interests you has a unique film culture with directors whose work excelled beyond others.

The Internet Movie Database is a great source of information, at www.imdb.com. Any actor or director is easily searchable to find their entire filmography. You like Clint Eastwood? He has 70 films as an actor, and also an astounding 39 films as a director.

You can find the films of directors going back to the very first days of silent film in the 1800s, and every director and actor up to today.

Do you have a friend who worked in film or television? You can even find the credits for crew members, if you want to see the shows they worked on.

Our culture is overly saturated with “electronic content.” Much of it is pure garbage. Good film and television can expand, enlighten and entertain, and I think especially so when you do a little homework to choose a body of work of a respected actor or director.

I find it especially enjoyable to share the experience with friends. We seem to be in for quite a cold snap. Good film with friends is a great way to enjoy some of these long, cold nights. Stay tuned … Jill and I are exploring the possibility of a Winter Film Club at a local public venue.

Jill Wallace is the owner and director of Elm Street Assisted Living in Topsham. Steve Raymond is director of community outreach at the Lincoln Home in Newcastle, and the producer and host of the television show “Spotlight on Seniors.”