Sunday, 13 June 2010
From the eye of a Film Student...
"So, you just sit around watching films all day?" "That's not a real subject." "Why haven't you seen this film? You do FILM STUDIES!"
Oh, the common jokes people make when they find out you're a film student. Yes, we watch a lot of films and yes it requires sitting whilst watching these films but it is a real subject, you know? I don't think it's fair we get frowned upon just because we don't study mathematics or biology. People know these are hard subjects so it's a worthwhile degree, but why isn't Film Studies?
You learn about different cultures, learn how people's perspectives of film vary completely opening your mind to a whole new possibility, and you generally learn the art of why these films are an amazing phenomenon.
And we don't watch your Edward Scissorhands or Ice Age. We watch either completely and utterly disturbing scenes which you'll never be able to get out of your mind for the rest of your life (The Idiots comes to mind). We watch World Cinema which means yes we do have to read subtitles. We watch the first films ever made which are usually around 5 minutes long with no narrative, colour or speech. And we watch some of the, what seems to be, most pointless features created all to give a wider knowledge on the world of film.
Salo "is based on the book The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade. Because of its scenes depicting intensely graphic violence, sadism, and sexual depravity, the movie was extremely controversial upon its release, and remains banned in several countries to this day. It was Pasolini's last film; he was murdered shortly before Salò was released." (Wikipedia) Does this sound like something you'd like to sit through? Because once we've watched these films, we have to analyse them. That means flicking through the scenes of someone eating poo and finding the meaning behind it. If that doesn't make you want to be sick, you'll probably love this grotesque, horrifying film. And imagine writing an essay on all of this? It isn't fun.
If you think about it, this intense look at the film means we'll never be able to enjoy it the same way. Yeah we're always going to be passionate about them because film tends to be a Film Studies student's life. But once we've seen how the behind the scenes works, that's all we think about. The camera angles become more important than the narrative. The ending seems less uplifting because we've guessed the pattern from knowing about genre.
But that's why we chose film. We're not gonna be the next Einstein or find life on Mars, but we're gonna keep bringing you the reviews, the articles, the films and the actors you all love. So would you just give us a break and not make us feel embarrassed when we say we study film?
(Although, film snobs have it coming.)