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final portfolio

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Hello everyone,

I realize this post is long overdue and I apologize for that. In class on 10/6 we had the library visit from the archive department. I believe this class left everyone with a few questions in regards to our artwork and future archive visits. At least, that was my case. By the end of class I was lost as to what exactly I will be searching for during my visit to the archives and how exactly I go about finding what I need? Well the chair of the Archives department( at least I thin he was the chair) came in along with Annie, an assistant in the department and showed us several items, some of which belonged to Louis Armstrong. They both explained to us a little more about the archives and what it has to offer us and then passed around a sheet so we can make our appointments. By the end of class, Prof. Ferguson asked us to post one thing we learned about the archives department’s visit, one question we still have, and one thing we need to do to prepare for our visit to the archives. I believe many students from class were surprised to find out what kind of things the archive preserves and how useful it could be in our future research.

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The first thing I noticed about this reading was Vertov’s use of Harvey’s “Elements of An Academic Essay”. Just like in the previous reading, Vertov refers to key terms such as “bourgeoisie” and “six-real cine/psycho-drama” to develop his arguments. I believe the structure of this reading was pretty straightforward, Vertov provides us with an example for each point he makes. I think his sentence structure is pretty concise and to the point as well. The tone of the reading for the first couple of pages, however, seems to be angry. During this, he seems to be bashing all filmmakers, and movie-goers, alike. This is portrayed to us through the repetition of the word you (in the manner that he says it) at the beginning of every sentence for the first few sentences.

One quote stuck with me throughout the whole entire reading. On page 81, he says, “The organism of cinematography is poisoned by the frightful venom of habit.” I think this sentence alone could be his thesis. This quotation provides us with his main argument that filmmakers have a tendency of creating their films in such a way that the films are a reflection of their viewpoints and beliefs.

After reading this, I was shocked at how forceful this whole reading seemed. Vertov seems to be sort of pushing his views onto his readers and believing that he, and only he, is right. His mention of the eyes of the audience being under slavery just attests to the fact. At one point on page 83, Vertov states that “We cannot make our eyes better than they have been made, but the movie camera we can perfect forever.” This almost sounds like a sarcastic comment trying to attack the filmmaker by saying that our eyes cannot be adapted to see from the point of view of the filmmaker.

He also goes on to talk about how time is disregarded in movies because one shot, no matter when it took place, can be “stictched” into a shot following a scene with similar characteristics. For example, he mentions, several clips of a burial process. All of these shots can be “stitched” one after another because they are all in sequence and make sense.

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Sorry it’s late, I was having problems with Windows Movie Maker, it kept freezing.

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I believe Grierson sees documentary as something “real”, and not “forced”. Documentary is natural, without all the extra stuff other genres of film have added to it. I think it is the most basic and honest form of film that we have. According to Grierson, documentary should be regarded to as “one of the higher classes of film” that we have. I completely agree with him in this respect because documentaries usually unveil the cold, hard truth about a subject or matter.

Grierson goes on to compare documentary to “the peace-time newsreel”. The distinction he is trying to make between these two is making a documentary has to be a well thought out process, it is not just done with “a snap of the fingers”. I dont know much about documentaries but I do think that most documentaries have a clear and concise point that is expanded on throughout the whole film.

Grierson later mentions that “The studio films largely ignore the possibility of opening up the screen on the real world.” I completely agree with that statement because most modern films do not really show things as they are in the real world, but rather format them to what they believe the audience would like. I do not think this is a good idea because it is almost as if the filmmakers feed the audience “fantasy” or anything that is not real and some people take it as is because they do not know any better. It feels like the only thing the modern filmmakers care about is having a large audience and appealing to them.

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  1. Close up of Jenny’s hand being waved.
  2. Shot of Jenny smiling.
  3. Quick shot of me.
  4. Close up of Jenny speaking.
  5. Clip of brochure from Queens Gateway school.
  6. Jenny speaking. Regie microwaving something in the background. Back to Jenny speaking.
  7. Shot of rolls of film.
  8. Shot of cover of Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion.
  9. Close up of Jenny’s expression when she talks about Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion.
  10. Jenny laughing.
  11. Jenny staring at something that’s not in the frame.
  12. Short clip of first English class.
  13. Shot of film editing lab.
  14. Shot of the Queens College campus and the Quad.
  15. Clip of a list of QC programs.

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