How is it possible that our films are so influential?
I am trying to answer that question for myself. One of the goals of my research is to understand the relationship that film has to education. I believe I have come up with something new on the matter. I have done work with film students, but I do not believe there is a single single one of them who is doing very much research on their films. That is because it seems that no one is very good with film. It seems that we only take pictures, we discuss the content, and we go to the cinema. That’s the only thing we do with it.
When did you become interested in film studies? What was your first film, and how did it help you develop your interest in cinema?
The first film I watched that really helped me is The Godfather. What attracted me to the film was the use of language. But it was also the atmosphere. The camera always seems to look a little farther. When that happens, you know you’re in a world that is just beyond our own world.
After reading your book, I know that no one has ever said that films have a huge effect within cinema. So, why do you think they have such an effect in classrooms?
As soon as you begin to look beyond the surface, it is obvious that the impact of films is deeper. I do not believe that we look into cinema for educational purposes — we look at it because it looks better. This is what I hope happens. The world we live in changes a lot. People find new ways of living. The cinema of today could not exist without the cinema of yesterday.
A film school is a new way of thinking about cinema. How do you create a new atmosphere that will encourage students to study cinema?
I hope that the approach you take will be a mixture of everything. To start with, my students should be thinking about film in a way that it was not even imagined by them. There are no two ways about it: we need to find ways to adapt our teaching methods to the idea of cinema. That way we can make it an integral part of our education.
I hope that my students, when they are at the cinema at the end of the day, think, “There is an atmosphere to this film. There are lines in this film that I don’t understand.” In a sense, it is the way we study the past that creates a cinema for the present. We
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