Navigating the Constant Stream

It is difficult to grasp just how many thousands and thousands of movies exist in the world even as a film student. I remember one of the first History of Film classes I took and looked at the list of movies we would be watching for the semester, excited to discuss some of my favorites. Well, I hadn’t seen any of the movies that were on the list. Scratch that, I hadn’t even heard of any of the movies that were on the list. How could that be?? New to the major, this unfamiliarity certainly startled me awake, and the feeling of being more or less overwhelmed continued through the semester (let alone the entire year) as references and allusions were made to movies all over the world, all that were unknown to me.

Cinema is a vast, vast world. I am coming to know just how vast it is once again as I gather research for my repurposing project, and my list of movies I need to watch keeps expanding. Traditional academic research makes up a good part of the work that still needs to be done, mostly reading historical texts and analyses. But as mentioned, I am increasingly discovering how many recent movies I need to familiarize myself with, one’s I haven’t already seen, in order to make connections between neorealism and current film trends. As always, I am excited to see what a new movie holds, but unfortunately this is no timely task. I really will have to make sure I am setting aside enough time to be able to watch these movies that are crucial to my project, without getting too overwhelmed.

The New Return of an Old Movement

Last year as a sophomore, my view of cinema was greatly transformed. The film theory classes I took introduced me to radical new ideas that changed the way I looked at and felt about every movie I had ever seen. For me as a common film viewer, before I had even decided to go into the major, this was pretty revolutionary as you can imagine.

The new idea that stuck with me the most was a movement known as neorealism, a style of filmmaking that strived to be as real as possible, a narrative documentary of sorts. The movement died down during the early fifties but I could’t help but wonder how the movement influenced films of today, if there are any shared characteristics or even a possible resurgence brewing. I want to explore this question further and will be using this backdrop for my repurposing project.

Turns out, I am not the only one who has been more than a little curious about the legacy of neorealism, and some major news publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times have discussed how recent indie flicks are strikingly similar to the mid-century movement. These articles explain how young directors and their low budget films are shaping the market, utilizing on-set shooting, untrained actors, and realistic non fantastical scenarios to make their films hyper realistic and relatable. Reminiscent of what defined classic neorealism, perhaps the movement isn’t completely extinct after all…

Writers Who Write About Writing

It may or may not be true that the vast majority of blogs I follow can be defined as, well, “personal blogs”, which I suppose do not satisfy this blog post assignment! But alas, I do follow a few professional, perhaps more high end appearing blogs with authors out to make a living. Krisnoel is one of these blogs! As a writer, it is no surprise that I read a few writing dedicated blogs just to stay in the loop, and to learn some useful tips. Kris Noel, a blogger based out of Burbank, California, has a knack for gathering a variety of fiction tips and tricks from around the web and depositing them right in one nifty space.

Her posts focus mainly on fiction writing, but span a number of writing genres as well.

Of course many of these tips are original, and written by Kris herself. I have followed her blog for awhile and she always remains active and informational.

This blog is especially useful and relevant to the group, considering we are all here to become better writers. But becoming a better fiction writer, well, that one is up to you.

So if you are ever struggling with characterization, plot points, references or the such, no need to beat yourself up.

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You now know where to look.

 

What is writing?

In class thursday, the discussion went on to resonate with me a lot more than I had anticipated. The overlaps that exist between ‘writing’ and other art forms are evident, and big enough to make one reconsider how exactly the medium ought to be defined.

A common denominator across most sub categories of writing I would say is the goal of some sort of catharsis. In song, poetry, fiction, even in non fiction, the author is working towards a connection between the self and the reader, one that conveys strong emotions. Being able to share these emotions through writing can be comforting and satisfying for the author. But what emotion is released from the writing of a recipe? An informational pamphlet? A page of notes from class? These gallery examples offered a valuable perspective from the other side of the spectrum. Surely they too count as writing?

Among the two of these classes, the highest intention is to communicate with another, to transfer information, whether that information be emotional or informational, to another human or to oneself (in the case of notes). The obtaining of information represents a recognition, from a state of ignorance to one of knowledge, and this may come about as cathartic.

Ong too describes writing under the breadth of communication, having to be interpretable by oneself or others. What sorts of symbols count as being interpretable by others however, I think is very broad and open for debate. As a student here under the minor in writing program, my aim is to use writing as an emotional vehicle, and I hope others will have no problem interpreting this!