There have been many changes in my life over the last couple of years. I went back to school to return to my film roots, and I moved to Montreal. So perhaps the films presented here are a natural culmination of all this. This past term I took a course in Adobe Premiere with a bit of Audition and AfterEffects. Mostly the assignments were to practice as many different effects and techniques with the editing software, which is why the footage isn’t the most professionally shot; it wasn’t part of the program, so I used my cell phone camera. But these short video assignments gave me the chance to combine image and movement, as well as continue my hobby of mapping my new city through photography.
Every century, changes in technology allow a new art form to take hold. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was the spread of the printing press that enabled the novel to reach the heights that it did. In the twentieth century, it was the feature film. Both exist today, and have their own advantages that will give them staying power well into the future. The novel remains the consummate look into the mind, and the written form is the best way to express ideas. Film has the potential to bring together many of the elements of storytelling from novels as well as drama, art, photography and music.
Coding: The Grammar, and the Theory
There were three components to the conference: general talks, topics specific to developers, and a training track for people starting out. Since I’m taking a course in the WordPress software this fall and am an aspiring developer, I went to a couple of the more advanced developer talks. The first was Debugging CSS by Stephanie Hobson of Mozilla. As I’m also taking a course in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, which affect the presentation of a website) it was good to have a refresher. Programming languages are a bit like spoken languages, except that it is absolutely crucial not to make any grammar mistakes, something that is quite challenging.
From the first time I heard about Eisenstein in Guanajuato, it sounded like a movie had been made just for me: the story of a young filmmaker who has a same sex relationship in Guanajuato. Some of that is not entirely unlike my own life, although there are substantial differences and I live in a very different era. And it did not disappoint in portraying any of these things.
I know, it’s been a few months since you last heard from me. It’s been busy as I’ve been taking courses and working on my novel.
I also wanted to have some time to reflect on the direction and structure I’d like this blog to take. It began as a project for a course that I intended to continue after the class finished. The structure of the class however necessitated that I do a lot of writing very quickly, which isn’t quite how I plan to approach it. It was also useful to get feedback both from the instructor and readers to see what people found most interesting, and what I found most compelling to write.
“You’re doing a play based on a book that was written 60 years ago, for a thousand rich old white people whose only real concern is gonna be where they go to have their cake and coffee when it’s over. And let’s face it, Dad, it’s not for the sake of art. It’s because you want to feel relevant again. Well, there’s a whole world out there where people fight to be relevant every day. And you act like it doesn’t even exist! Things are happening in a place that you willfully ignore, a place that has already forgotten you. I mean, who are you? You hate bloggers. You make fun of Twitter. You don’t even have a Facebook page. You’re the one who doesn’t exist. You’re doing this because you’re scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don’t matter. And you know what? You’re right. You don’t. It’s not important. You’re not important. Get used to it.”
The first Mexican movie I remember seeing was Like Water For Chocolate, in my first-year film class. I still remember the sensuous portrayal of food, the magic realism, the feeling of danger with the Mexican Revolution, and the intense passion. However, it was one of many memorable movies I remember seeing that year: Battleship Potemkin, Blow-Up, Vivre Sa Vie, The Celluloid Closet, American Dream. Every week a new world opened up, and it was beautiful as well as overwhelming, a lot for my brain to process. By the time I saw Y Tu Mama Tambien, however, in theatres a year later in the summer of 2002, I was a bit more ready, able to appreciate the arts of watching for the mise-en-scene in the frame and understand a movie through its historical context and vice versa.