We all know how to watch movies. But have you ever considered why movies can be so effective?
The new Friday-evening Minds and Movies Series at UBC Okanagan is intended to build a deeper appreciation for the art of movie-making and the pleasures of movie viewing as participants journey through a selection of motion pictures from around the world.
Presented by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, the adult, non-credit Minds and Movies Seriesfrom Mar. 6 to Apr. 3 offers movie buffs an opportunity to explore a diverse selection of foreign films – English subtitles included – alongside an expert in the cultural field.
Kicking off the series on Mar. 6 is Robert Belton, Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and associate professor of art history, who in three easy lessons will share his expertise on how to truly appreciate a film.
“When people say they understand a movie, they usually mean that they were able to grasp the plotline and stitch together the various scenes and edits into a coherent narrative – an illusion of a more or less continuous story unfolding in real space and time,” says Belton.
“Most of us are content with that coherence, but others make a game out of spotting continuity flaws – for example, soft drink labels that change from one brand (Coke) to another (Pepsi) in the shot and counter-shot of a conversation,” Belton says. “These flaws and other observations reveal that movies are not real but constructed.
“Understanding a movie in a larger sense, then, means coming to terms with its ‘constructedness’, which is a matter of both technical necessities, like editing, and the ways that social relations give context to the meanings of films.”
In the weeks following Belton’s appreciation class, film lovers will gather to watch the movie magic unfold before their eyes, enjoying films from Japan, France, Spain and Germany. Every class presented by UBC Okanagan faculty will include a brief introduction to the film – accompanied by popcorn – and an open question-and-answer period follows the evening’s flick.
“Learning more about technical necessities enhances enjoyment because we can now appreciate that this isn’t real – it’s a wonderful piece of art,” says Belton.
Anyone interested in taking part in the Minds and Movies Series can download a registration form fromwww.ubc.ca/okanagan/continuingstudies. The course fee for the Mar. 6 Film Appreciation course is $35. The fee for each of the four films is $10 + GST. To reserve a seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Tia-Maria at 250-807-8177.
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