Crit Week 2019 - Making Art Meaningful

This week I watched 23 short films.

In first year, we have two main film projects. One is a 3-5 minute short film that we shoot over the Winter break, and the other is an 8-5 minute short film we shoot over the summer break. Crit Week is designed to be the showcase (and critical analysis) of those 8-5 minute productions.

Crit Week was broken into three days (Tues - Thurs) and two major blocks of four hours each day. Each filmmaker gets assigned an hour slot where their 8-12 minute film is shown, then the rest of the hour is spent listening to professors across the various disciplines of film critique and guide the filmmaker in order to help make the film better (through edits, reshoots, ADR, etc) and tell a better story.

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Watching Movies Through The Ages

A while back, Columbia sent all incoming Film students a list of ‘required’ films to watch, as well as a list of ‘recommended’ films to watch before coming.

The list totals 151 films, spans 20 countries, and every decade.

Prior to receiving the list I thought I was well-watched. I thought I had a pretty good sense of story and knowledge of film. I’ve slowly but surely been making my way through the list and it has shown me just how limited my viewing has been in the past.

My pre-70s film knowledge is nearly non-existent, and foreign cinema is a near write-off.

There are thirty-eight days until Orientation, and I have thirty-nine ‘required’ movies to watch. Just over one per day. I likely won’t be able to finish the list but if anything it has been a humbling experience to learn just how much more I have to experience and learn through my upcoming program.