Sunday, 4 January 2015

Yr3 Week 11 (Thurs 18 Dec - MDA3200 Film Theory - Iranian New Wave and Feedback)

Today marked the final screening of 2014, and to go out, we saw the Iranian film A Separation (2011), a low key drama dealing with a divorcing couple and in the process, affecting those around them including their cleaner and her family. Despite a premise that has been the basis of many a hackneyed rom-com or sappy daytime TV Movie, the film is fairly serious and often sombre, with many shades of grey in its morality (the husbands, for example, both are at fault, one excessively proud, the other something of a foul tempered lout) and an ambiguous ending over what the final result of the custody battle for the child is.

The film is part of a movement called the Iranian New Wave, birthed in the late 20th century and now in its second generation,which like its French and Italian counterparts some decades earlier, subscribes to an idea of very low key, unflashy presentation, often creating more of a ´window´ on the lives of what seem to be real, relatable people.

As for the seminar, it amounted to another quick chat on the next term (more on that in the New Year)  and then Sharon talking about our responses to the module feedback sheet from last week. The complaints I´ve raised in the past on this blog such as the repetition of old ideas and films, as well as the lack of an actual ´critical´ element to what is supposedly a module all about criticism and analysis, formed what seemed to be the class consensus. She attempted to counter argue, in a very mild and modest manner, that the year had yet to be finished and that we should just wait to see how everything plays out in the end.

While Sharon does seem nice and her claim not entirely unsound, I really can´t stomach what feels more like an excuse for missing the point of the module and instead recycling old material. We have had two and half years of the same things, and frankly, we should not have to wait another couple of months for an outcome that not only have we been over in past years, but which again, is not related to the actual point of this course (being able to think and discuss critically film and our own work). She has expunged many different and legitimately interesting ideas, but failed to put them into a context that actually requires dissection or any sort of analysis, being little more than glorified ´this is like this´. By this point, I am very hoping for some kind of shake up or re-evaluation of the module to ensure that we can get back on track.

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