Last night was our second Culture Making Collective evening. This time, our film-geek-in-residence, John Giesbrecht, facilitated a closer look at the films of Darren Aronofsky. Our purpose once again was to think and talk about creative ways in which his art inspires us to be "culture keepers" -- intentionally stewarding good forms of culture. Here's our collaboratively-derived, multiple choice "DO" list -- a bunch of ideas to act on that which inspired us. All who attended (as well as anyone reading this) are invited to pick something from this list and DO it sometime in the next few weeks. After you've done it, we highly encourage you to either comment here or write a full blog post about your experience and send it to me: nelson (at) artisanvancouver.ca. Oh, for those who were present last evening, if I've missed any DOs or I've phrased them wrong, please either email me or amend it yourself in the comments section.
1.) Go and see Aronofsky's latest film, Black Swan, on or after December 1. Do this with a group of friends, and then discuss it afterwards.
2.) Watch a movie by yourself, either at home or at a theatre. Choose something you wouldn't normally watch (making sure it's a meritorious, truth-telling film). This enables you to engage a film without being concerned about whether other people are enjoying it or not.
3.) After you've watched a film, sit silently through the entire credit sequence to allow the film to sink in more fully.
4.) Oscar season is upon us! Try to go see as many of the Best Picture nominees before the award show airs in February.
5.) Come to one of the upcoming 'ARTISAN Secret Series' film nights. Stay tuned for more on that.
6.) Make a short film and score it ourselves.
7.) Many within our culture tend to be well-attuned to their favorite actors, caught up in the celebrity buzz. This has its place, of course. And while some of us may long for a world without tabloids, movies can't exist without actors. But something happens when you also begin to watch films through a Director's eyes. To begin doing this, ask questions like: Why was the action framed in a certain way? Why was that character off-screen while speaking? Why was one scene told with rapid cutting while another consisted of one shot held for five minutes? Why was music used in one scene and not in another? Do we recognize any opposites in the movie (light/dark, good/evil, male/female, etc.)?
8.) Watch a series of films by the same director. Think of one of your favorite films, find out who directed it, and watch more of their work to learn about their style and vision for filmmaking.
9.) Research the people and organizations who finance risk-taking films like Aronofsky's. Anyone know how to find this kind of stuff out?
10.) Read the screenplay of a film before watching it (or the novel on which a movie is based). How would you imagine it being portrayed visually? How did your vision measure up to that of the director?
11.) Watch films by a favorite screenwriter.
12.) Check out Ron Reed's amazing Soul Food Movies blog. As many of you know, Ron is the Artistic Director of Pacific Theatre and a serious movie buff. He's working on a book called 1000 Soul Food Movies: A Guide To Films With A Spiritual Flavour. If you're looking for a trustworthy take on 'films that feed the soul', check out his blog regularly and often.
13.) Re-watch a film you didn't particularly like the first time, but other people you trust really did. How did your experience change after 'giving it another chance'?
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