Retired College of DuPage administrator Joseph Barillari loved movies and shared his knowledge of film in reviews broadcast on the Glen Ellyn school's radio station, WDCB-FM 90.9.
He initially reviewed movies on the public radio station with fellow College of DuPage professor Allan Carter before giving critiques on his own. The two men also teamed up on a course in film and led discussions about films as founding members of the After Hours Film Society, now in its 25th year and meeting regularly at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove.
"We had a weekly 15-minute show (on WDCB), then Joe did two-minute reviews for about 15 years," Carter said. "He (had) a two-minute review down perfectly. They (were) wonderful."
Mr. Barillari, 74, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday, July 2, in Seasons Hospice in Naperville, according to his cousin, John Scott. He had lived in Glen Ellyn for about 20 years.
Mr. Barillari was born and grew up in Canton, Ohio. In a 1993 story, he told the Tribune that as a teenager he had watched hundreds of movies on television, often with his father, a former actor and silent film buff.
"Our paths were similar," said Carter, who grew up in Rhode Island. "We went to movies on Saturday afternoons. We educated ourselves just with the sheer volume of films we watched."
His formal education included getting a bachelor's degree in history from the College of Wooster in Ohio. He then went on to Washington University in St. Louis for a master's degree in history, according to his family.
He taught history at the University of Maryland before taking an administrative post at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. From there he moved into College of DuPage's administration in late 1985.
He and Carter began collaborating even before Mr. Barillari moved to College of DuPage.
"We co-taught Film as Literature," Carter said of the course the two developed and soon adapted for independent study. Students would watch a film on their own and also listen to audiotapes of Carter and Mr. Barillari discussing the movie. In those pre-computer days, students would mail their papers in for grading, then get them back in the mail.
Carter said they later adapted the course to the Internet but kept the audio discussion component.
In 1989, the two film buffs got involved as founding members of the After Hours Film Society.
"Joe really loved movies and was such an authority on film," said society founder Debbie Venezia.
Venezia said Mr. Barillari might make a joke but was always serious about the films and lent insight to the discussions.
"Some of our films were difficult, challenging," she said. "Joe was always good about balancing different points of view about films."
Carter said Mr. Barillari loved movies but also understood that they offered much more than entertainment.
"He recognized that films told a story but also had a social context," Carter said. "They said a lot about the times in which they were made. We're teaching film, but we're also teaching history and we're also teaching sociology."
He said Mr. Barillari especially enjoyed the film discussions at the Tivoli.
"Joe was a great listener and respected people's opinions," Carter said. "He really wanted people to think."
Mr. Barillari had a special understanding of the technical side of moviemaking since his work at the college included instructional technology. After 25 years with the school, he retired in 2010 as director of special projects for information technology.
He had continued his short radio reviews until recently.
Mr. Barillari is survived by a son, Erik; a sister, Concetta Lovejoy; and a brother, David.
His two marriages ended in divorce.
The After Hours Film Society will hold a memorial screening of one of Mr. Barillari's favorite films, "The Bicycle Thief," at 7 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove.