The making of my MFA directing application

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Here’s how I took a Mac SE/30, a 30-year-old impact printer, a disused VCR and some extraordinary effort to create my MFA directing application, and how nearly everything went wrong.

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Anyone can not direct a film

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On The Guardian’s review of Tom Ford’s A Single Man:

If it’s the case that anyone can direct a film, then it’s also the case that anyone can not direct a film. “I know stories about very well-known figures who are revered for directing films and who basically do nothing,” [Nick James, who edits film magazine Sight & Sound] tells me. “They just put their name on it at the end.” Is this a problem? According to James, there is a simple formula for making a film. “There are two things to get right at the start: the casting and the shot-list. After that you can basically sit back. The fact is, there aren’t too many directors who know anything about light metres or camera lenses. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

Two things to remember: get casting and pre-production right. Also, from the Leadership and Project Management class I’m taking, it looks like directing is more a matter of project management than of being behind the camera. …or is that producing?

In a gadda de Blade Runner

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Jen is still arguing with me over this scene in Blade Runner, and it’s got me thinking.

The love scene between Deckard and Rachael is a major turning point for the characters because it is what causes them to fall from grace (he said, making an easy allusion to Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the garden of Eden).

If memory serves, Adam and Eve’s punishment is that they will toil in the fields, endure painful labor, and so on. But given a gnostic interpretation of this scene, the punishment isn’t just that — their punishment is their awareness of these things. Adam and Eve become not the first humans, but rather the first people by becoming aware of their world, their daily struggles, and most importantly their mortality. Deckard and Rachael’s fall from grace is similar in their discovery that they were built, but not to last. By the end of the film, they have become self-aware replicants, whose burden is the awareness of their four-year lifespan, and their journey into an unknown fate is the same as mankind’s after the story of Adam and Eve.

That they incur God’s wrath by refusing to live in blissful ignorance is echoed in Rachael’s line when she comes to get answers from Deckard, who tells her to go back to Tyrell.

“He wouldn’t see me.”

Shunned by her creator, and banished from the only home she’s ever known.

More on this topic: When a robot says 0 she really means 1