Attending a film direction class

This week, being in Thessaloniki for a couple of days, I was given an unexpected gift that changed the way I see films for ever. I’ve got an invitation to attend two sessions of  a film making class in the University of Thessaloniki.

The (almost) six hours that lasted the two sessions, provided me an avalanche of information about film making, the techniques used, the hidden meaning behind the scenes, clues to look for to find this meaning, the different ways directors may use to express what they have in mind and much more. It was as if I was inside a building and suddenly the walls and ceiling started to become transparent, revealing little by little the surrounding landscape.

UnChienAndalouJust to give an example: “Un chien andalou” (The Andalusian Dog), a film by Luis Buñuel, explicitly designed to have no plot (see the history of the film), was explained through psychoanalysis to have a meaning.  The analysis made scene-by-scene was really amazing.

The Element Of Crime It also, never occurred to me, that the first five minutes of a film, like “The element of crime” of Lars Von Trier may be partially analyzed for forty-five minutes in such a depth!

My experience with such an approach is non-existent, so I am not the expert to judge whether it is one of the best across Universities etc. However, I did admire the passion for the cinema and dedication with which the teacher was trying to convey its experiences, concepts and ideas to the students, always trying to keep the “line open” for input from them.

To which degree may a student at the age of twenties really understand how rare this is and how fortunate he/she is to have the opportunity to have such a teacher? May be the mere fact of the large degree of students attending and the participation in exchange of ideas during the course is such an indication of such an understanding. Another one might be if everyone would arrive on time in order not to interrupt the course once it begun :).

So, I wish everybody there, a beautiful voyage in the sea of film making :).