Can Guardians of The Galaxy come out on blu ray already? Damn that movie makes me feel good.
Also, The Doors may have just become my favorite band. I’d wish I had listened to their music sooner, but I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it much then. Dipset to The Doors…14 y/o me would never have guessed it.
I still think pledging allegiance to phone companies is stupid, but damn do I love using an iPhone.
I’m currently studying William Butler Yeats’ poetry. It’s a bit frustrating, not because of the content, which is challenging enough, but because what I find to be the best of his work is so engaging and vivid. The worst, all in my opinion of course, seem so dull by comparison and I find myself racing to finish, hoping to find another “Leda and the Swan” or “The Cap and Bells”.
I thought the fun part about living was figuring it out for yourself, not having others tell you how to do it
Andrei Tarkovsky on film education: Art is an exploration of ourselves, courtesy of A-BitterSweet-Life’s Edwin Adrian Nieves.
Only through personal experience we understand life, says Andrei Tarkovsky, and this same statement could be very true about filmmaking: it is through our personal experience with the process that we come to a better understanding of filmmaking. Quentin Tarantino said, I didn’t go to film school. I went to films, while Paul Thomas Anderson claimed, My filmmaking education consisted of finding out what filmmakers I liked were watching, then seeing those films. I learned the technical stuff from books & magazines…Film school is a complete con, because the information is there if you want it. If the search for knowledge is incumbent upon man, one thing is for sure: a filmmaker’s journey is a continuous search in understanding the elements of film. Here, Tarkovsky expresses how he truly came to cinema: by finally understanding in the process of filmmaking the things he learned at school. It was all in the doing.
Film education can be found in institutions which often focus on theory and technique, however, much of what the arts demand from artists is an application of the self towards his or her chosen medium, and so art is an exploration of ourselves, and thus, it does not finish with school but continues throughout life. Tarkovsky believes in the importance of this exploration, and when it comes to cinema, he acknowledges that the best experience for the filmmaker is film itself: studying film works and participating in the making of films. Then there is the study of the other arts. As Tarkovsky, Tarantino, and Anderson suggest, film education starts and ends with you.
Get inspired with Andrei Tarkovsky and this excerpt of an interview with the filmmaker.
What do you feel about the training at VGIK?
People have to study, but really if you want to be a director you would do better to take part in the making of one long film. The best course is the Advanced Course in Directing. It is absurd to spend six years studying in the Faculty of Directing, you might as well spend twenty years there, when you take into account the fact that only twenty percent of the total time is allowed for your speciality.
You can’t teach a person the art of cinematography any more than you can teach him to be a poet! The profession as such can be taught in a couple of months. Piano playing has to be taught by someone, whereas writing you can learn only yourself, by reading other people’s writings. And of course you have to be taught how to be an actor, only they are not being taught the right things. They don’t know other languages, they can’t ride. Nor can they fence, swim, or dive, or drive a car or motorcycle. Doubles have to be used for all those things. The actors can’t pronounce their words properly, they are not natural, but on the other hand they pass dozens of exams. What they need to be taught are things like hygiene and diet, and intense physical exercise. But all of that has to be done professionally. VGIK ought to enlist the services of leading cineastes who know how to teach. In my view, film actors should be taught by good film directors. Sergey Gerasimov is right to teach actors and directors together.
At the moment a lot of people straight off the street are being taken on as actors. And quite rightly. They will have parts in films, and they will become real actors, because they know what they want. There are plenty of VGIK graduates who imagine they are fully-fledged actors or directors, when in fact VGIK is merely a place where you can get a good degree; the whole thing only starts after VGIK. When you leave.
The main trouble with VGIK is that the professionals are not interested in it. None of the Studios know anything at all about people at VGIK. It is vital to break down the wall that separates VGIK from actual film production. I think they ought to have a year’s practicum, working on an entire production. A year of specialist study and then a year of practicum, working on a full-length feature. Or maybe the other way around: the practical year first and then the Institute. The point is that VGIK can’t go on being divorced from production. When we first came into the studios in our fourth year, we felt as if we were in some dense forest. The rules there were different, we had to do things we hadn’t been taught to do. On the other hand a studio can’t guarantee work for twenty people.
And then—how should candidates be selected? I only realized what I wanted to do when I was in my fifth year; before that I hadn’t the slightest idea why I had come to VGIK. Only after working under Marlen Khutsiev did I begin to understand that this was something real, and important, and art. Earlier I had been working on screen adaptations, and working with actors, but without knowing any of the whys and wherefores. I wanted to become a director, and I imagined I knew why, but in fact I only really understood why very recently.
First you have to be bitten by cinema, you have to ask yourself if you are going to be able to do something in cinema, and only then should you go on and study. Lots of people who graduate from VGIK have a difficult time. We don’t have a satisfactory selection system, and there is a tremendous amount of wastage. We remain oblivious of all the endless psychological tests that exist to establish what a person is likely to be good at. Surely there must be a way of finding out about somebody’s professional potential? Then, of course, nobody actually knows what it takes to be a film director. That ought to be established. One is told that it is not possible to develop any system of that kind, but the fact is that nobody is giving it any thought. One way would be for a student to be apprenticed to a master, as they were in the old days. Apart from all that, how can anyone live on twenty-eight roubles a month? The students are quite simply unfit for work; it’s hardly surprising that no one will take them on. Engineers are needed all over the place, but directors are pretty well redundant. A director only becomes necessary when he has proved that he can do things better than other people. Then he’ll be an artist. All the rest are doomed to eke out an existence of the periphery of art, on the periphery of cinema. Once a person has been studying one thing for a year or two he hasn’t the courage to give it up and start doing something else.
There ought to be quite a different form of training. They ought to see more films. The whole “new wave” was a result of film critics sitting in cinemas and watching huge quantities of films, after all! It’s important to see the work of the great masters, and know it well, in order not to start reinventing the wheel. There aren’t very many of them, perhaps only five; Dovzhenko, Buñuel, Bergman, Antonioni, Dreyer, and one or two others.
And then there’s no time at VGIK to read. All you have time for is getting through the reading for the seminars. You don’t read beyond certain works, or even just extracts, on specific themes. That’s very bad. A person can only really assimilate what he reads when it has time to become part of him. If they were to read more at the institute, and watch more films, they wouldn’t then start inventing things that have been invented long ago.
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Sometimes I wonder, will they remember they met someone great?
I’m no longer concerned on the days I hate my fucking life. If I’m going to hate everything else anyway, I can’t really make exceptions. Not even for me.