Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Heartbreak and Beginnings

Reel One: Over at the Rewatch, we're only covering a single episode this week. That's not Standard Operating Procedure, but the episode in question is "The Body" and it deserves to be seen and discussed as a solo. For my money, it's just an amazing hour of television. One of the truly remarkable things about this episode (and the remarkable things about this episode are legion) is how realistically it deals with the real-world issue of loss. Many people hear the name Buffy the Vampire Slayer and, based on the title alone, dismiss the show as teenage fluff. That's a shame, for at its absolute best, Buffy is amazing, outstanding, and in this case, gut-wrenching. I'm especially proud of this Rewatch week as my husband and I teamed up to write part of the post. Read and tell me what you thought of our approach.

Reel Two: The film class had its first meeting yesterday; an occasion that was marked by an (fortunately mild) earthquake. Seriously - I just hope we're not working our way through the plagues this semester. It takes more than a seismic event to stop my film class, so we just carried on. Aside from that, it was a pretty standard first day; nothing really - wait for it - earth-shaking. (Yuk, yuk.) The class is small, which should make for interesting discussions with plenty of time for everyone to chime in. We collected ideas on what exactly is science fiction, discussed rules&regs, went over a list of terms which ranged from "Han Solo" to "montage," with a few clips to illustrate. The students contributed and it looks like it's shaping up to be a good class!

[Full disclosure about the quake - I didn't even feel anything. Very strange - the students on the left hand side of the class felt it; those of us on the right hand side didn't. The class is also on the ground floor, which probably had something to do with it. We'd moved to a different classroom once I realized that the original room didn't have window blinds - not good for an afternoon film class!]

Coming Soon: So what happens next for the Scoobies? Everything has changed, yet life keeps spinning forward. Buffy and her friends must attempt to re-set their lives following this loss and the transitions will be hard. In class, we'll work with the core terms from the first chapter and see if we can't wrestle the terms to the ground and pin them there. There's a bit of early film history to cover and then we're off to the movies!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to School!

Sorry that I missed a week - it's been a busy time, what with getting ready for the fall semester and having some badly-needed (and quite uncomfortable) sinus work done. While I've been dealing with syllabi, Blackboard links, and saline irrigation, things have been a-brewin' at the rewatch. Let's check in, shall we?

I'm two weeks behind there - shouldn't happen again. What that means is that you have two posts to catch up on for Buffy's Season Five and things are popping! First, Bryan Curry tells us about Riley's departure and the Big Reveal about Glory. Click here for that post. Then, in this week's post, two talented writers take on Dawn being the Key (knowledge that is most definitely not welcome!), ask us some questions about what it means to be human and show us what cruelties uncaring Fate can bring. Click here for that post.

Next week, the Rewatch takes on a flat-out masterpiece in an episode titled "The Body." That's all I'll say for now, other than to tell you that it's a heartbreaker, for it's not about death as much as it's about loss, which can be much, much worse. Next week, I'll resume the "Reel One/Reel Two" format as we get back to what's happening in the film class.

See you at the concession stand!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Body Language

Reel One: Over at the Rewatch, things are heating up as Spike can't decide if he loves Buffy, wants to viciously murder Buffy, or (quite possibly) both. Joyce is sick and Buffy discovers that there are some things that Slayer strength just can't fix. This week's commentary is in the extremely capable hands of Rhonda Wilcox and is well worth a thoughtful read. She focuses on the nonverbal aspects of the episodes being discussed and she'll give you a few things to think about. Pour a cup of coffee and pull up a chair, won't you?

Reel Two: I'm (slowly) getting the syllabus together for the fall film class. I want to switch out a few films from last semester - I'm sticking with the same focus this semester, then I'll probably switch. The hard part is knowing that you only have a limited number of weeks and so much to choose from! Alas. It'll get done, but I'll still fret that something wonderful was left off. Part of my own body language these days is the protruding and bitten lip as I consider what stays and what just has to go.

Coming Soon! A project that I've had on the back burner is finally moving to the forefront. For those of you who are local, expect to see a new show on TV19 after Labor Day devoted to movies. While it will include reviews and comments about new releases, we accept that there are so many other outlets for that sort of information, so we're planning to use about half the time to discuss movies that have some sort of link to the new releases - as an example, we might talk about Cowboys & Aliens (warning: the link contains sound) for the first segment, then have a round robin of favorite Harrison Ford flicks after the break. That sort of thing. I'm looking forward to it and I hope to see you in the lobby!