Saturday, April 19, 2008
This afternoon I attended the screening of the fourth year film student projects, held at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. It's a bit funny seeing them, as these were students I currently know very little about. Most of them I never taught in a class, although I saw some projects and met most of them while I was department head. A couple of projects shine through. Jemma Gilboy's film "Seishi" began as a crude drawn-style animated film with parts of it in cut-out style. The story followed a girl driving a car with flashbacks of her attending a funeral. This really only required a handful of drawings, but had the right mood and tone. The car then drives off a dock and sinks into the sea. There is a new, more detailed sequence of drawings as she sinks and bubbles rise. Then she emerges as a mermaid, animated as doll-based puppets. Charming. Another project of note was "The Star" by Nils Sorenson and it consisted of a seven minute unbroken shot which moved gracefully around an old farm yard. The cinematography was near perfect, I was thoroughly impressed. The soundtrack was interesting, consisting of a well mixed selection of sounds including some near-voice noises. My sole criticism of the film is the inclusion of subtitles which tell us what this noise is saying, words from aliens from the Draculan Galaxy or something like that. The wordless film would certainly have been more mysterious and visual. Another nice moment was a conversation with Jared Peace, whom I've not seen in 3 years since he graduated. He was the brightest student to darken our halls in many years but he's not intending to return to grad school (I think he will eventually). I admitted to him that he intimidated me when I was teaching, by no fault of his own, just because I knew he probably knew a lot more about many of the films we were discussing than I did. I know I started teaching from background and personal opinion/gut instinct rather than from textbook that year as a result of these feelings. As well, I realized that a good student, and he was that as well, will find things to learn in every situation. He's back in Regina where, ironically, he didn't spend much time during his four years at school as he primarily commuted back to Saskatoon. I imagine I'll see him again.