Thursday, December 18, 2008

Season's Greetings

There was this one semester in college when I scheduled all my classes just on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This left me with some unstructured time and I was free to other interests I had, such as film.

My best day was Monday. I started the morning by sitting in on a general "introduction to film" class. That's where I saw The Battleship Potemkin.

There's be discussion by the teacher afterwards. This is also where I first saw movies by Renoir, Chaplin, Welles, Kurosawa, and the like. After that class I'd do my usual campus thing and then go to a French cinema course. In the evenings there was a "women in film" class. So on Mondays I went to three movies accompanied by lectures and student talk. It was great.

I saw a lot of movies back then and to this day I tend to look at them through film student eyes. The professors instilled in me a way of distinguishing classic film-making from all the rest, and because I've seen a lot of movies I appreciate originality. Repo Man, see quote above, is certainly quirkier than it is "good," but that's why I like it. Same goes for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, which is the best time-travel movie ever.

The stoner philosophy really gets me. You can fall in love with people from the past, and some of them are very interesting. You can teach yourself to duck in a timely manner. It's just a silly little caper film, but it's final conclusion is epic: Be excellent to one another.

What a lovely and profound sentiment. Be summarizes all of existentialism. Excellent is "the" aesthetic and ethical goal for us. To points in the direction of the real world, the one outside our minds. Bill and Ted go there. It's big. One acknowledges other individuals, and Another established our commons.

It's what nurses try to do, I guess. When we are given time and resources.

I'll be sporting a 12-hour shift on X-mas. I've got your back in case anything bad happens. But don't worry; it won't.


Ruth said...

Did you see "The Rose Tatoo"? I won't tell you anything since you may not have. One of my favorite conversations was about it, though. I asked someone if she'd seen it, and she said, oh, I don't go in for old movies. My reply: "It wasn't old when I first saw it." giggles.

wunelle said...

I think you may be the first person to find the inner zazen of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure! But I agree: 'Be Excellent to One Another' is an inspired motto!

Never had a film class, but I'd love what you describe. I'd even like to set up a little monthly or bi-weekly meeting around home with film people, where each week someone picks a film, tells us why they picked it, and we all watch (with popcorn!). We could do our own film apprec. class!