Film school rant: What ever happened to entertainment?

Good evening, I’m Molly and I’m one of several programming directors in NJFA. This is my first ever blog entry. Just so you know, I’m an undergraduate student and I study English and cinema studies. Also, I occasionally mumble my way through some French classes.

So far, today has been a rather filmy day for me. I had a few film classes, and a screening of “Bicycle Thieves.” After spending my day discussing Vertov, Eisenstein, and Italian neo-realism, I was obviously desperate for entertainment. I am now watching “Ghostbusters.”

In three years of studying film at the college level, I’ve realized that a lot of my professors and fellow students are just plain snobs. I don’t think I’ve ever studied a film that fared well at the box office, and why not? It’s not like a film’s quality and its popularity are inversely proportional. Say what you want about Diablo Cody, “Juno” was a wonderfully-written cultural phenomenon. Why doesn’t anyone mention it in film class? And no one can argue that Quentin Tarantino is a fantastic director, yet he’s never come up in one of my classes.

Also, you’d think that after the death of John Hughes this summer, at least one of my film professors would have mentioned “The Breakfast Club” or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” both of which are classics. Teen movies are entertaining and full of social commentary, but apparently none of my film professors has ever heard of the genre. I’m sick of studying movies that I can barely sit through without falling asleep.

I hope that through NJFA, we can bring to light some high-quality, interesting, and most importantly, ENTERTAINING movies that not everyone would normally see. A movie can be smart and appealing at the same time, and there’s nothing wrong with comedy. Hopefully my professors will realize that before I graduate next May. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching the highest-grossing indie movie ever, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and taking notes.

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1 Comment »

  1. Andrew Ruch Said:

    I really enjoyed your take on misconstructed college lectures. I am also a student in the process of sitting through boring screenings. However, these screenings so far this year have included titles such as 16 Candles, Last American Virgin, and Dumb and Dumber. The only film I can say I truly enjoyed so far this semester was Hard Candy. Also, just throwing it out there, next semester they are offering a course on John Hughes in which they will be watching his more notable films.

    I just wanted to comment on your statement.. “It’s not like a film’s quality and its popularity are inversely proportional.” For the most part, I agree with this wholeheartedly. Yet I can’t really say that Transformers II and Spiderman III were worthy of my time and money even though they were two of the highest grossing films of the past ten years. The American public is not always a good judge on quality in any sense, see reality telivision. To be entertaining one doesn’t need to have depth.

    I appreciate your take on the industry and how college professors are going about teaching it as I can relate. Keep the blogs coming, I will be reading.


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