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October 1994


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Shawn Levy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 21 Oct 1994 07:37:27 -0700
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On Fri, 21 Oct 1994, Randy Riddle wrote:
> I'm sorry Patrick, but are you discounting Welles extensive stage and
> radio experience from his preparation for making films?
> It seems to me that many filmmakers of the past (Welles, Sturges,
> Coppola, etc) had a more more well-rounded liberal arts education, often with
> more knowledge of classic literature, theater, music, or film
> history itself, than alot of the young filmmakers I'm seeing today.
But is there something inherent in that 'well-rounded liberal arts
education' that will result in a good filmmaker?  Truffaut didn't finish
high school and debuted with "The 400 Blows."  Chaplin had a damn sight
less schooling than that (though, of course, extensive stage
experience).  The point that Patrick was making was that nothing about
the age or experience of the filmmaker is relevant in judging the film.
I mean, Michael Crichton was an MD and experienced novelist when he
directed "Westworld," which, interesting though it might be in certain
lights, ain't "Reservoir Dogs" by a long shot.  If we're only going to be
allowed to pay focused critical attention to a certain class of works,
and if that class is defined by the life experiences of the directors of
the films, then we haven't gotten much beyond 19th century pedagogy.
                        |"I'm a multi-faceted, talented, wealthy,
      Shawn Levy        | internationally famous genius.  I have an
  [log in to unmask]   | IQ of over 190.  People don't like that."
                        |                       -- Jerry Lewis