October 20, 2008

Random Musing: Writing on Film

Let me preface this "random musing" by initially informing you, my readers, that I am currently taking a course at Vanderbilt University called "America on Film," taught by Professor Sam B. Girgus. For this course, we have been required to purchase and read the textbook, "American Cinema/American Culture," by Professor John Belton of Rutgers University. On October 13, or last Monday, Professor Belton was invited to come speak to our class, so his guest lecture centered on a new chapter to be included in the third edition of his textbook - a chapter to be called "What It Means To Be Human: The Horror and Science Fiction Films." While all of this information seems dispensible, I can assure you it is important to know as I propose what I intend to do one day when I write on film.

While, yes, I do hope to one day become a regular film reviewer in a film magazine (or even for a newspaper), I also have some ambitions of writing books about film. This semester has offered me a great deal of insight into authoring such books, as Professor Girgus has written at least seven, two of which - "America on Film" and "Hollywood Renaissance" - I am currently taking turns reading. Also currently enjoying Belton's "American Cinema" book (which I would highly recommend for its insight and its being well-written), I have thus come to this decision of writing myself. Since purchasing "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke this summer, I have decided I would like to write a book analyzing the film version while drawing on its connection to the novel. I suppose this would then become a comprehensive version analyzing this mysterious and beautiful film. In addition, I have also considered writing a book about queer theory. While some of you might have read my first blogs on my studies this summer, I basically bemoaned its virtual nonexistence in film courses, especially those at Vanderbilt, today. After enjoying the first few chapters of Boze Hadleigh's "The Lavender Screen" earlier this summer, to which I promise I will return eventually, I have decided that following my studies, I would eventually like to pen my own book scrutinizing everything there is to know about queer theory.

In the last few days, religiously watching "Sex and the City" and seeing Carrie's collection of columns make their way into book form further solidifies this desire to become published one day. I would also like to see some of my film reviews meet the publishing light-of-day one day, but for now, I am content to continue publishing through "Versus" and through this site. I suppose all of these plans lie in that "one day" realm, but they will happen, I assure you.


shanestever said...

I imagine that was an intriguing lecture from Professor Belton. In my film class here at Victoria University in Wellington, NZ, Dr. Sean Redmond spent some time on the issues associated with horror and science fiction cinema. (Redmond has written quite a bit, including a theory reader specifically on science fiction. Also, he's outrageously entertaining.) I recently wrote an essay on sounding science fiction in The Matrix. Interesting questions there... what does the future sound like? How do we know? Yeah, science fiction begs for analysis.

It's cool that you want to tackle 2001. I'm pretty sure there's a LOT written about it though, so you certainly have your research cut out for you.

Ben Grimwood said...

Hey, that would make an interesting paper! Did you use "nondiegetic silence" in it? ;)

But yeah, I'm kind of obsessed with "2001," so we'll see where that goes. I'm now actually thinking of just writing an essay on it, and perhaps eventually writing a series that would become the complete "Films of Stanley Kubrick" or something.