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Tuesday, September 13, 1994

York MFA program, first day of class

September 13, 1994      I was initially very excited when I saw that you were requiring us to write a journal. I find them a great outlet for all the complaining I want to do but find socially embarrassing to vocalize. Journals I've done in the past have always remained hand written which meant that I could add to them anytime, anywhere. Typing is not a problem, though it may not end up as spontaneous. I apologize now for any times in the following pages where I may drift off topic. I have no intention of editing it all out as I think that some of the more mundane thoughts of today may reveal themselves to be the revelations of tomorrow. In other words, please bear with me.
     We had our first class yesterday. I was extremely nervous going into it and remained so until the end. Although I am fairly certain that I will be able to keep up with my classmates in scholastic matters, I worry that my reclusive ways may leave me straggling behind when it comes to developing interpersonal relations between myself and the others. Although today I spoke at length with Mark from Concordia and we shared many of the same thoughts about the state of the Canadian film industry.
     Mark and I talked about horror films, a favourite topic of mine, and how the recent Canadian horror films I've seen (ie "Dracula Rising") which pull most of their punches and substitute style and gloss for tension and atmosphere. The purpose of this, I propose, is that the market for our "B" movies is through venues such as pay tv which must be "appropriate" for a wide audience. Don't get too scary, we don't want to create any new Cronenburgs out there. Italian and Spanish horror films pull no punches. Perhaps they don't get the rapid support of the film establishment, but they make money and international reputations for their creators. Neither of us desired to see the continued support of mediocrity in our cinema, here or in any country.
     So we'll be shooting super 8 film eh? I wish I'd known. I left my camera and projector at home (home will always be Saskatchewan. Oh well, start off on a equal footing I suppose. I have a couple 16mm cameras being shipped here for when I need them. I used to shoot 8mm when I was younger (1976-1982) so I think I'll be an interesting endeavour.
     Went to Scott library to watch Wells' Magnificent Ambersons
on lazerdisc. I hadn't seen it before. Frankly I was a bit disappointed. There are bits of interviews and storyboards and so on after the movie; they explained how he lost control and how so much was cut out. I felt regularly confused by what was going on and who was who. It wasn't that difficult but something was seriously wrong. My tv still hasn't arrived so I am feeling very frustrated, my evenings have been filled with reading and time with Margaret. Margaret (Bessai), whom I may regularly refer, is my partner of nearly 4 years. She moved here with me. She has a degree in visual arts and frequently assists me with my animation or other aspects of my films.

     Regarding the film festival; I really wanted to avoid the chaos of the big crowds until I feel more settled in my routine here. There is constant pressure to go to films there, so I suppose I will have to try. 

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