There are a couple of reasons that it has been so long since I last posted, despite the fact that, every weekend, in my planner, I have written “Write blog post.” One is simply the fact that is true of every college student at some point or another, and that is that I have a lot going on. That is a terrible excuse though! The other reason being that I have been struggling to decide what to write this next blog post on. Given that I do have a lot going on, I want to write about all of those things, and tell you about all of those things, instead of choosing just one for a blog post.
So I got some help. And I was told that my best bet would be to write about what has me most excited about Tufts right now. Instead, I immediately thought about what has me most excited in general, and that is, as it always is, movies. My love for movies, particularly romantic comedies, has slowly taken over my life at Tufts over the past two and a half years. I came here an English major with an interest in possibly studying animation. Now, I am an English major studying animation and taking every film class available to me (some count towards requirements, some don’t, alas).
I think that my love of movies and the fact that I am able to pursue that love at Tufts is one of the things that has me most excited about Tufts right now. Last week, between Thursday and Saturday, three directors, one actor, one producer, one philosopher/critic, and one comedian all either had shows (in the case of the comedian) or screenings with Q + As either at Tufts or within the near vicinity of Tufts. (All being accessible by the Red Line.) All of these events were closer to us than they were Boston. There were likely too many incredibly cool events for any one student to attend. (Regrettably, I had class during most of them.) Tufts has never claimed to be a film school, but it is a school with a small film minor backed by a number of incredibly dedicated people eager to allow students to study film to any extent they should desire during their time at Tufts.
This semester, I am taking a Film Noir class to meet one of my five required Art History courses for the Combined Degree. I have previously taken a Hitchcock class to meet that same requirement, and will be taking Latin American Cinema next semester, which meets the Art History and World Civ requirements. In the English department, I am taking Laughter on the Left, a class about leftist comedy in film, which includes Borat in the course description. I love that. I will be getting credit towards my major for taking a class on two of my very favorite things- Comedy and Film. I’ll continue with animation, and if I can get into the class, I will hopefully be taking Making Movies at Tufts, and giving live action filmmaking a shot.
I love that I have been given the opportunity to take this wild variety of classes and decide what kind of films I would like to make, or if that is what I want to do. In my time at Tufts, I have been able to explore if filmmaking is something I want to do. I definitely knew I wanted to animate when I came to Tufts, but I had no idea that I would become this invested in film, and I love that I can be discovering this now. (Unlike Dawson Leery, I was not certain I wanted to work in the film industry as early as my freshman year of high school.)
Tufts is actually perfectly located for the avid film viewer. Tufts Film Series shows two movies every weekend for free in Barnum Hall. At least one of those two movies was released recently. This past weekend, they showed Drive and The Place Beyond the Pines, both of which I have seen and enjoyed. And both starring Ryan Gosling.
Somerville Theater is a mere Joey ride or short walk away, in Davis Square. It typically shows four to five movies at a time, given their size limitations, and they change what they are showing more often than a larger theater might. I saw “The World’s End,” “Enough Said” and “Ender’s Game” there this semester. (I also caught the 10 pm opening night premiere of “The Great Gatsby” there, which I enjoyed mostly because Somerville will use its stage for fun pre-movie activities, like people dressed in ‘20s era clothing to dance on the stage in front of the screen.)
Just a couple of T stops over you’ll find the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, which does a truly astonishing number of special showings and events and has themed months and screenings. They show classics, indie movies, and have wonderful showings like a triple feature of the Before Sunrise Trilogy. They don’t leave out the more recent movies, with certain “Recent Raves” weekends. (This will allow you to catch that movie all of your friends saw a few weeks ago and couldn’t stop talking about even though you thought you missed your chance to see it in theaters.) I’ve only made it out there for a field trip this semester, but I’ve previously seen “Howl’s Moving Castle” during a Miyazaki themed week, which was wonderful.
A few more T stops away is the Kendall Square Cinema, which I adore, and which has been responsible for allowing me to see certain indie movies or films with limited release that have not reached Davis Square. I’ve seen Lake Bell’s “In a World,” which really needed to get more attention and Richard Curtis’s “About Time.” Both are just really enjoyable rom coms.
Last but certainly not least is the AMC Loews Boston Commons 19 which has a long name and a truly magical number of screens. You don’t even have to leave the Red Line to reach it! This is the theater you go to for the blockbusters. This is where I saw “Thor: The Dark World” just this Monday, fittingly with students in my Superheroes in Movies and Media class. (Which, oddly enough, has not yet reached any of the three closer theaters.) This theater might be one of the large, very commercial giant monsters of theater cineplex thing, which some people might villainize in the same they have Barnes and Noble (in a battle with the independent bookstore which is represented so well in “You’ve Got Mail”), but I love it. There is something about these large movie theaters where I can go and see whatever I want, at any number of times throughout the day. Given that I live maybe 5 minutes from one of these theaters back home in Houston, there is something about the gratuitous size of this sort of theater that makes me feel at home.
I have seen more movies in theaters this semester than any other semester of my time at Tufts. Normally, I see maybe two to three movies a semester if I’m lucky. (With Thanksgiving Break and Spring Break doubling my numbers.) And I know that the number of movies I see is far different from that of most people.
I don’t know if movie going ability is going to be anybody’s deciding factor in terms of choice of university, but I love that it has become such an important part of my own. (Also, maybe I should spend more time outdoors.)
This is a sort of part one of two in terms of blog posts. As I started to write this, I got all caught up in Richard Curtis and rom com statistics and how wonderful romantic comedies are, and soon had enough for a second post. (I do like other genres, but sometimes I think I just watch them for the romance.)
I feel like I didn’t talk enough about animation in this post, so here is a short film I recently enjoyed. Hopefully next time I’ll remember to link to weird gifs I love!