introduction

tues 1/17/2017 12:36am

Hi! My name is Zoey, I’m a current sophomore here at Duke, and I consider myself super lucky. By the end of first semester freshman year, I was still freaking out because I had no idea what I wanted to do academically (and in life); of course, that’s all very natural and I still had a lot of time, but I just hadn’t registered that yet. During second semester, I chanced upon a course called Intro to Arts of the Moving Image, and that’s when I realized where I’d be headed. I’d never perceived films in that way before – never knew I could look at them that way before – and my first study of films in an academic setting was a complete success. I loved every moment of it.

The arts have always been a part of my life, but up until college, it’s always been about music (the violin, specifically). Little did I know that I could take my hobby of “casually viewing” film and TV and becoming an active, thinking scholar. Last semester, I took an editing course and a production course to learn more about the technical components of film-making, and this semester three of my classes involve film theory of some sort. During the summer, I’ll be participating in Duke’s Arts & Media program in New York, taking courses and interning simultaneously, and I hope to spend a semester next year in Los Angeles doing the same.

Basically, I’ve found my calling.

I’m incredibly excited for this upcoming semester in particular, because apart from that first fateful course a year ago, I haven’t done a lot of reading and big-picture thinking (no pun intended) about the moving image. This recent excerpt was a great first read to establish the foundation of what exactly it means to be a casual viewer, film critic, and film scholar. While this was an idea unfamiliar to me before, I know now how many modes and functions film has; it can be at once a work of art and a well-spun tale, or it could be just one of those. My main takeaway from this book’s exposition is that film is ever-so-fluid. Given that its history is little more than a century old, film itself is still clearly going to go through changes, adaptations, and advancements with exponential speed, which is why it is very difficult to try to define it and the many subcategories it encompasses (organization, genre, stars, director, etc.) – we shouldn’t even bother to.

One way we can keep the evolution going is to read the art (not just merely watch it), give feedback/critiques, and bounce ideas off of each other. It’s a process that I am excited to be a part of, especially in a division of media that’s sure to develop more throughout my lifetime.

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