Sunday, June 7, 2009

Film Festival with a Side of Polyphony

Good day, all! I hope you've had a lovely weekend. The rain finally left Knoxville and I've been enjoying the sunshine.

I'm currently listening to the CDs which accompany the book I use to teach Music Appreciation at Pellissippi (McGraw Hill's Music: An Appreciation, 6th Brief Edition). I am such a music nerd--and I LOVE IT! Oh, man--the harpsichordist is tearin' it up in the solo near the end of the first movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. I haven't listened to the first movement all the way through in a long time. If we had time to listen to all the examples in their entirety in my class, I'd be the happiest nerd on the face of the planet. My students would watch in amazement as I floated up to heaven, riding on the high F near the end of Hildegard's O succesores.

By the way--for those of you keeping score at home, when I typed the title of the blog I was listening to Machaut's Puis qu'en oubli. 150 music nerd points to the first person who correctly identifies the period and genre of the three works I've mentioned. No teachers can participate, sorry (it's not fair)!

Onto the first part of my title. My friend James invited me to attend the Marble City 10-Hour Film Festival screening with him yesterday. Filmmakers are given a list of elements then must shoot, edit, produce, and deliver a 3-minute film using those elements in 10 hours. Seeing all the different ideas that people came up with was the best part. I had a feeling that there would be at least one group who would try to get their "message" across and I was right. One film consisted of a young woman speaking about today's society and how certain groups of people are trying to control our resources and monopolize power. The entire film (which seemed longer than 3 minutes) consisted of mostly tight shots of her face while she delivered her monologue. Images of religious and monetary symbols as well as nature scenes were superimposed on her image as she spoke, and a large part of the dialogue was repeated (same footage of woman with different superimposed images). At first I was interested and tried to follow, but the woman's character was that of a person just rambling on about something. After a while I started wondering when it would be over.

Now, I'm not saying this to be mean and I'm not saying it was a bad film. I'm just saying that there's a time and place for that sort of thing and I don't believe that this festival was the right venue. And judging by most of the audience's reaction--rude shouts, jeering, and the like--I believe I'm not totally off base. However, this could be an opportunity for Marble City Films to introduce a new genre (I can't recall in what genre the film was originally placed) to their festival.

Overall it was a positive experience, preceded by my first trip to Barley's (Caribbean pizza = YUM). I also learned about Rootclip, a really cool collaborative filmmaking site. As they explained, it's kind of like Choose Your Own Adventure meets YouTube. Definitely check it out. I've already been bitten by the filmmaking bug and I know nothing about the process!

I'll close with the link to a movie that I will be seeing this Friday: The Hangover


  1. Came for the Trek review, got captivated by this, yay! One thing's for sure, Bach is the New Man of those three. Hildegard von Bingen is the oldest and it's amazing to think that we can hear her almost a thousand years later. I guess she's Medieval. Then comes Guillaume de Machaut - I'd call him Medieval too. JS Bach - well who doesn't know him, Mr Baroque?

  2. Woohoo, my posts are captivating! :-D And yes, you win the 150 points! Maybe if I show something like this to my music appreciation students, they'll believe me when I say this stuff is fun...