Disclaimer:The following is the opinion of me, myself and I (Gabriel Basile). Not of The Little Hawk as a publication. With that in mind, please send all hatemail (or lovemail) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROTIP: If you read the print version like a good boy or girl, skip down to where I put all the star things. Should be easy to find.
Once again, the City High Film Festival has attracted many high school students, their parents, and film fanatics. Being a huge fan of cinema and a high schooler, Film Fest would seem to be the perfect event for a person like me, and in the past it has been an enjoyable experience, even though it seemed as if some things were a little off. This year however, the things that were off were much more numerous. Any master of arts such as myself and others who attended felt the same. From the MCs to the judging to the allowance of some films over others, this year’s Film Fest was not something to be proud of.
Let us first address the core problem with Film Fest, the only constant from year to year; Art Club. First off, I have nothing against art club. Being the Arts and Entertainment editor, I often feature members of Art Club. That being said, the fact of the matter is that they do not represent the entirety of our school. Other students should judge and admit films, perhaps a random selection of students or members of the drama department could take over.
The point is, all of the Art Club members are coming from the same direction and diversity of viewpoints is desperately needed here. This was clear during this year’s festival when the best picture award was given. A roar of displeased audience members overwhelmed Opstad with shouts of anger as “El Libro Perfecto” was awarded the best picture trophy. What about “Deshi Basara,” the incredible Batman film that took a year to create, or “Teenagers in Love?” These deserved much more credit but got snuffed and the only reason I can think of is due to poor decisions from the judges, again looping back to Art Club.
Okay, next topic. Spanish movies. They need to go. This closely ties in to the acceptance of some films into the festival; if there were diverse judges the poorly made Spanish films wouldn’t make it in, which is for the better. In addition, there is conflict with making a movie for an assignment and just for fun. There are always requirements for the Spanish classes to use a certain number of this type of verb and so forth. Film Fest’s movies should be for fun and shouldn’t be restricted like this. Because of these restrictions, many Spanish films seem to be much less entertaining, so why were they allowed in the festival in the first place?
***** And now for my opinion on the MCs. I’ll first address what I believe is the problem with the Film Fest MCs. First off, the script they follow is dull and unfunny. They need to focus more on quick quips rather than long three minute segues. There’s a point at which I start to get bored of the concept of the film before I even see it. I’d like to know a little about the upcoming film like the director or actors, not the whole plot. Secondly, all of their “improv” was blatantly, well, not. It was obviously scripted and it is one of my personal pet peeves when people pretend to improvise but they’re really reading straight from a script. Third; this year, at least, they didn’t know when to stop. I would have been fine sitting and waiting patiently rather than seeing two people chase each other around a stage endlessly. Future MCs need to know how to read a crowd and know when the audience is tired of their hi-jinx.
So the solution. I think the answer lies within the student populous and/or in the drama department. Those from the drama department are used to being in front of people and can read an audience much better than most people attending the school. This change would also solve my pet peeve of “pretending it’s improv when it’s really not” as these people act often and are superb at it. I also know many film fanatics in our school who would be happy to MC and could keep the segues short but sweet.
Finally, I had the great pleasure of being part of “The Boxers,” a group of eight students dressed as two rival boxing teams which was looked over in the costume contest. After we realized we weren’t being called to the stage, we decided to take things into our own hands and present ourselves. We climbed onto the stage and the two boxers (special thanks to Matt Lee and Michael Gloer!) started to brawl. Other contestants stood back in suspense, a space was cleared for the fight, the audience cheered, the lights even dimmed in the crowd and spiraling blue lights surrounded the fighters as they went at it (another special thanks to whoever was working in the booth!). Everyone went along with it. Well almost. I heard the two MCs screaming to each other “what is going on!?” However, I can’t (and am not) blaming them for this. I would be surprised if I were playing a show and some random person stormed the stage, too. I just think the drama students would be better at adapting to situations like that.
I don’t mean to offend anyone who worked on the festival, but as a huge fan of cinema, I feel like we could do much better. I ask all of you reading to tell Art Club that something has to change. I can say that the festival has to change, but I’m only one person. If you agree with me, please help being back one of City High’s greatest events of the year. Let’s bring back a fun and entertaining Film Fest!
Email Ms. Harper, the Art Club advisor: email@example.com
Email Mr. Lestina, director of the drama department: firstname.lastname@example.org