It’s time for 3rd year. In storytelling, the number 3 is magical because it implies a threesome.
I don’t really remember much of 3rd year – except: for my hero. Yes, yes: I know I said that the first year philosophy professor was heroic because he dared to play jazz music, but this man was different. I forget his name, but he taught a Japanese cinema course yet he was not Japanese. Unorthodox! Pithy? Serendipitous! I can throw these words around because I have business cards! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.
He looked like Tom Cruise from the Last Samurai but was for more gentle and taller and was not a movie star. He gave a very stirring speech about the erasure of Orientalism (stereotyping the East purely based on the fact that West, remains, the centre of the universe). Did I mention this man was not Japanese?!
I remember him telling the tale of a film called 23 minutes of Zen which is a film with no images, but just runs a white film projection for about 25 minutes. He said that at first he was going to leave, but then realized that this was The pure experience of watching a film. I differ without begging to. Based on the amount of films that ‘hit it big’ in cinemas that involve 30 minutes (was that how long I said it was?) of blank film is negligible. As in: there are none that would ever want to do this. The pure film experience is watching Die Hard or the Muppets or something like that. Or perhaps the pure film experience is watching a trailer for a film, getting really excited for its release but then being profoundly disappointed when you see the real deal (ie Quantum of Solace sucked etc.).
In all seriousness, films from Asia are amazing. Partially because their language is pictorial, so they approach film with a much more embedded understanding of film as communicative tool. It’s subtle and haunting work.
Hurray for the finishing of 3rd year and onto the future as she comes to pass!