Monthly Archives: January 2015

And it should have been longer

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I spoke way, way too soon last week about what my blog will discuss in the next semester. It’s looking more and more like it will indeed be class-focused, and mostly in French, because of the way my French module is being assessed. And since I’ll be doing it for two classes (are they still called classes if they’re separate parts of the same module?), I think I’d be as well off doing them for most, if not all of my classes. I don’t want this to turn into another famous last words, but I will most likely be discussing films on this blog, as three of my modules are pretty film-heavy, and I’ll need to keep it all straight in my head. I will also be discussing French manifestos.

To start, let’s talk a little about Miloš Forman’s The Fireman’s Ball. Honestly, I’m not really sure what to say about it. I enjoyed it, but I watched it once on Tuesday, and I didn’t take proper notes. In my defense, the room was pretty dark. You know, with the film and all. It was enjoyable, but it definitely had a few cringey moments that came across a lot darker than the film intended (*cough*MISOGYNY*cough*). I will need to watch it again, and also go over my notes from previous cinema classes, in order to be able to talk properly about the cinematography and the like.

The context of the class, and why we were watching the film, was a discussion of Soviet-era Eastern European cinema. It was taken as an example of a liberal form of socialist realism. Which sounds pretty complicated. What that boils down to, as far as I know, is that it pays lip service to the policies laid out in the 1934 First Congress of Soviet Writers, but as it is a product of 1967, before the Prague Spring and subsequent crushing thereof in 1968, it doesn’t have the same doctrine sewn through it as other films from the era. Plus, it was directed by a super-famous director, so there was probably an element of “let’s start them off with someone they’ve possibly heard of before” to the choice. (For those who don’t know, like I didn’t, Forman also directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus).

…This is probably the main reason that I’m going to be writing about cinema this semester. I actually can’t think of anything to say beyond “it was good. I liked it.” I promise, The Fireman’s Ball, I will learn more, and write you the blog post you deserve.

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It’s been a long time coming

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So the holidays are over (or just about, anyway), and as of last month I am no longer required to keep a blog: however, I did find it very useful for the two modules I documented on it, so I think I’ll keep on trucking with it this semester. There will be a few changes, though:

1. There will probably be more informal posts, with less of a schedule. It depends.

2. I will still be talking about my classes, but I probably won’t be doing it in French unless I have to, or I really need to practise.

3. There will be a lot more ranting about my final year project (thesis equivalent, but I’m in undergrad? I don’t know what other universities call them. Essays? Long, horrible essays?).

4. There might be less creative writing, since I’m no longer doing a creative writing class, but I am hoping to keep it up outside of college work…basically, if I have time, I will still be doing creative writing, but don’t bet the house.

5. There will be more film stuff. Although I’m not a huge film fan, one of my classes next semester is on European cinema from the 1960s to present day, and that’s definitely one that I will be going over here. So much easier to take notes when I can include screencaps!

Last note: if anyone is interested (no-one is interested, I know this) my final year project is a comparative study of postcolonial themes and language use in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Cahier d’un retour au pays natal. If there is anyone (hello?…Bueller?) who also finds that interesting, and maybe happens to know stuff about it, please hit me up. No, seriously, bro. Srsly.