My recent blog posts would have you believe I do nothing but paint. However, that is not at all true. I also go to three other classes, have some hobbies, and participate in extracurricular activities. Sometimes I even: read for fun (currently Leonard Woolf's autobiographies), try to discover new music (I wrote a blog post on here a few years ago about how terrible my music taste is - it has only gotten marginally better), play video games (almost done with Mass Effect 3, so awesome), learn American Sign Language with one of my roommates (so much fun), and go on road trips (like to D.C. for the national feminist conference).
Other than my oil painting tutorial, I am taking two cores (Natural Sciences IV and Humanities IV) and one other elective (Film Elective: Narration Through Music). My class on musicals is a ton of fun. We all get together Tuesday evenings, watch this films together in Cinderella Lounge and then gather again Thursday morning to discuss them. Between the screening and the discussion we read a related essay (or a collection of essays), and sometimes the libretto, and one of us writes a protocol (a short paper read aloud at the beginning of class to focus discussion).
The class includes students from all grade levels and a few students from IIT. This is the first time this elective has been offered, but every semester Marc Hoffman facilitates some sort of film class. Recent ones have included an Introduction class to film and French New Wave.
To give you an idea of what we have been watching in our Musicals class, I will list a few (photos from imdb.com):
The version of Into the Woods we watched was a taped version of the Broadway show with Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleason. I was not a Sondheim fan before this class, but after our discussion on the complex dialogue, interwoven themes and harsh juxtaposition of fantasy to fact, I joined the fan club.
Judy Garland is best known for her role as Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz (another musical, though not featured in this class), but she really won me over in Meet Me in St. Louis. The film is a technicolor explosion about a family that amy have to uproot their lives and move to the big city.
We discussed gender roles, economic class distinctions, family ties, and the role of music in tying together a storyline.
One of the best-known musicals of all time, Singing in the Rain offered a whimsical, light-hearted story about an actor who falls in love with a movie and out-of-favor with his co-star. It offers a lot to discuss about gender roles and relations, the silenced female voice, comodification of racial identity and capitalism's role in art.
Ingmar Bergman's The Magic Flute is absolutely wonderful. It is beautifully filmed, skillfully written and acted with conviction. It sparked discussion about the role of audience in a film, what it means for a movie to be filmed for television as opposed to the theater, and the grey area between good and evil.
Basically, I am taking an awesome film elective and learning a lot more about the world through musical narration.
Until next time!