13 January 2010

Back to the grind

Well, I enjoyed my break. It was filled with far more time with family and friends and much less time watching movies than I had expected, but I can't say that's a bad thing. It was quite nice, though it did end up leaving this blog out to dry. Never fear though, because... uh... I'm going to be busy with classes now?

Okay, so maybe it sounds counter-intuitive that classes will mean more posts here, but keep in mind that I am taking four courses this semester—a grad level film studies course, an undergrad film studies course, a digital cinema studio seminar, and a course in which I prepare my senior exhibition of my cinematic work. So, yeah, for the next four months I am going to be constantly watching films, thinking about films, reading about films, making films, and of course writing about films. I'll most likely end up eating films and breathing films at this rate. I can't say I'm not excited, though I must admit it is a little daunting. Especially making all those films... If I'm ever too busy for this blog, I blame that class.

That said, here's some things to look forward to:

EN 560 - Film, Politics, and Propaganda: This is the grad level course and it should prove very interesting, and will mean you will receive plenty of my thoughts on such controversial cinematic works as Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will and Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. Expect some of these to make an appearance on Cinema is Cinema proper, as they are tangentially related to the interests of steampunk and dieselpunk enthusiasts.

EN 425 - Topics in Film Theory: This undergrad course is an overview of the history of film theory, from the early pioneers like André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer up through genre theory, auteur theory, and (the one I detest most) the psychoanalytic approach. Not to mention University of Wisconsin–Madison's David Bordwell, who would denounce approaches such as psychoanalysis as having little to do with cinema and arguing in favour of a more historical approach. (Have I mentioned that I want to pursue the graduate studies in film at UW–Madison?) Of course, we will apply these theories to many classic, canonized films that I will be sure to talk about here.

Nordic National Cinemas: Given my great interest and growing knowledge in Nordic cultures, I have begun studying Nordic national cinemas in my free time. I am, in particular, interested in the cinema of Iceland. For those interested in worthwhile readings on the subject, I suggest the texts Transnational Cinema in a Global North and The Cinema of Small Nations, which prove to be the only two English sources to have given Icelandic cinema and sort of serious consideration. Don't bother yourself with any other texts published before these two, as they will either not add anything new not stated in these two texts or will be completely and utterly useless (I think in particular of the text Nordic National Cinemas which does an incredibly poor job even before considering the atrocious section on Iceland that likely hurts those interested in the topic more than it helps). I would also again suggest the website ICN. That said, I have numerous Icelandic films either in my possession or in route to me to watch and discuss (including many of the works by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson), and in the process I intend to rewatch some I have already seen for the purposes of this blog. More than anything else, this blog will serve as a sounding board for my personal exploration into Icelandic cinema, and I hope to hear from those of you interested in the subject. I would love to hear your thoughts, and I hope to provide anyone intrigued with my suggestions on how to see many of these often hard to access works.

Gonzo, and my love of films in general: Let's face it, I love films. Even when it's not for class or other studies, I'm going to be watching them. I have Netflix, and I used it regularly. I am also the president of a group on my campus called Gonzo Media which shows classic, foreign, and independent films.

Coming up soon, some brief comments on Ingmar Bergman's To Joy as well as a look at Georges Méliès' A Trip to the Moon and the early works by the Lemière Brothers.

Oh, and also expect a special collaboration with my friend Menchi, in which we will play through at least a portion of a game which we have never heard of nor played before: Chu♥Lip (alternately Chu♡Lip, Chu❤Lip, Chu<3lip, or simply ChuLip). We hope it's entertaining...

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