Monday, November 19, 2007

Fitting in at Film School

Film school seems fun. And it is for the most part. You're making your own films from start to finish. You watch films in class instead of sitting through boring lecture about plants or something. But being in the critical studies program is a little different. For one being in it means you don't really aspire to make films as a main career. Which, you know, kind of guarantees you a steadier job in some respects. But it also means you have to know your shit. You need to watch a shit load of movies. Like, Martin Scorsese watches a movie a night! How the hell does he find time to do that? I try to watch at least two a week. But then again, I am no Scorsese.

When I came into Columbia, I had seen a lot more modern films. I knew I had to step my game up once other students started asking me about films. It's strange, and I admit to doing this, but people judge you based on the movies you watch. Like, the more old-school film buffs will be like, "Oh you mean you haven't seen Godard's first film Operation 'Beton'? Wow...that's interesting." And they have to say the foreign title. Because saying the English title would be a crime. Or there are the experimental buffs who scoff at you if you haven't seen Dog Star Man. It's just this weird thing that we do.

I realize the importance in watching the masters, and I do that. But I want to totally own these pretentious film kids. I want to know exactly how may Renoir films have Jean Gabin in them. Not only do I think it's important for my future career, but it's also important for my street cred. So I'm going to start this series of posts called "Fitting in at Film School," so that all prospective film students don't have to go through the same ridicule I had to. Based on what the asshole kids at Columbia have said in class or to me directly, I have made up a list of films to watch. And the usual suspects are on there: David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, anything super-experimental. Anything in the Criterion Collection is on the list, with a few exceptions (Wes Anderson, what?). Basically, if it was foreign, surrealistic, art house, all that jazz, it's on there. Anything made by an auteur is on there. So hopefully this series will help some kids out, and at the same time help me school some dicks. I'll show them...

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