Sunday, October 3, 2010

Makes you wanna screen

This evening I attended a screening (in the beautiful auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center) for my Theory of Media class. My friend Matt was kind enough to accompany me, since, you know, why not.

The film was Man with a Movie Camera, a 1929 silent Russian documentary that features groundbreaking cinematic techniques, like fast motion, split screens, jump cuts and stop motion animation. Although it has no plot and no characters, I was gripped because I like candid footage of ordinary people. Well, sort of ordinary, in this case ... the film had a bit of a propaganda feel to it, too. That aspect reminded me of Triumph of the Will, a Nazi propaganda film I saw in an undergrad film studies class. I've had a real all-American education.

When I signed up for this class, I was under the impression that screenings would be weekly (because the syllabus said there were weekly screenings ... guess that's an inside joke in the film studies program). But this was our first one; not sure if it will be our last. I was looking forward to screenings because I never seem to watch TV or go to the movies these days, so being forced into escapism would suit me fine.

For several weeks, I've had the first disc to the first season of The Wire sitting in the living room, courtesy of Netflix. It's never been the right time to start it, and I also can't make up my mind whether I want it to be something I can relax with on my own time, or something I turn into a regular social event by inviting friends over once a week to watch it with me, like some of us used to do for LOST. This high-stakes dilemma may be a moot point; I never seem to find the time to watch it regardless of whether I'd be doing it alone or in a group.

I hope I can get away to see a movie or two during Fall Break, which begins Oct. 15. I wouldn't mind seeing The Social Network and, if it makes it here, a documentary called Waiting for Superman, about the public education system. These days, I generally prefer documentaries, just as I prefer nonfiction books. 

I may not find time for full TV shows and  movies, but I can find time to sneak in an SNL skit or two ...  

1 comment:

  1. That's Vanessa Bayer! Chris and I saw her doing stand-up at Zanie's comedy club in Chicago several years ago, and I got to talk to her briefly after the show. Actually, I just said, "ohmygod you are so funny" in what was probably a very drunken slur.