Its that time of year when people turn to film appreciation, with two-three major fests in India and so much debate/discussion on the worth of ‘good cinema’. Over the next 10 days, am designing a filmmaking workshop for women and attending another workshop where am supposed to handle the segment on Short Films – both in Kerala. Wonderful opportunities but they leave me wondering if I know anything enough to teach! When I was at film school, on the teaching staff room door there was a poster which proclaimed:
THOSE WHO CANT, TEACH
THOSE WHO CANT TEACH, TEACH GYM
THOSE WHO CANT TEACH GYM, TEACH AT FILM SCHOOL!
Ha! Many chuckles on that one… its always been so easy to make evident one’s boredom in insipid classes (YAWN!) and to walk out of one never to return! But now the tables are turned and am wondering how I should keep those bums on seats. Time to atone for all those classes I cut… No clue if I would be good, bad or ugly at it. Personally I don’t think much can be taught about filmmaking (besides technicals) but there’s plenty to learn. So what I hope is to create an environment that may breed some open irreverent thought on film. My attention span is rather tiny so the biggest challenge would be to for me not to yawn…
One of my favourite classes at London Film School was conducted by Alan Bernstein on Wednesday mornings. He showed us a film in the cinema and then deconstructed it with us. Being in a dark cinema, it was the easiest class to bunk and I have bunked quite a few. Only problem was that with this class, I always knew that I was the one losing out. Last year when I first saw the FIPRESCI review of my debut film Manjadikuru, the first person I sent it to was Alan. That should tell you how good he was.
Looking back, what made it special was the interest he took in each of us and our individual interpretation to film. Taking the cue, I enquired about the members for the women’s workshop – apparently someone is flying in from abroad to just attend the workshop… another one fighting the constraints of a conservative family to attend a three day workshop… yet another who wants to walk out of a lucrative career into film… and suddenly this seems more like an opportunity for me to learn. 🙂