Film Workshop by Davis DuBose-Marler

Every Sunday morning, I drag myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of nine thirty and get ready for the seven and a half hour time commitment otherwise known as “Film Workshop,” taught by Ronald Chase and mentored by SotA artists-in-residence Jesse Filipko and Isaiah Dufort (the Great).

The workload and demand for quality are high. Yes, Film Workshop can be stressful at times and has definitely given me nightmares about 3D uses of space and visual concepts, but it has also provided with me with a new understanding not only of film and how to analyze it, but also with a new way to see works of literature. Sure, the visual aspects don’t really apply, but as far as critique goes, the methods are very similar. There’s still form versus content to consider, as well as the pacing and subject matter.

As much sleep, hair, and sanity as I’ve lost through the workshop, getting to work with so many young artists from their different backgrounds has been a great experience for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a high pain tolerance and/or a passion for new artistic experiences.

Davis DuBose-Marler, class of 2017

Art & Film – Tarkovsky Essay Contest

One of the earliest units Creative Writing delved into this semester was an “art unit” taught by Ronald Chase, where he helped us understand the changing landscape, subject, and techniques of art, and taught us ways in which we communicate about art. Why use, “I just don’t like it very much,” when you can go much deeper into the composition and specify? “This blank canvas may attempt to communicate a blank and slightly saturated view of what art has fallen into, but fails because it is, in effect, a blank canvas.”

The unit concluded with an essay contest in which we were to enter: the 2012 Tarkovsky Essay Contest, involving a short essay on any of the Art & Film movies we had seen and wanted to write about. The lucky winners were: Abigail Schott-Rosenfield, 11th grade, Tarkovsky Prize winner; Frances Saux, 11th grade, 2nd Place; Midori Chen, 11th Grade, 3rd Place; and Bailey Lewis Van, 10th Grade, runner-up.

A link to all of their essays can be found here. Congrats to the winners and all other C-Dubs who entered!

SF Galleries Speed-Viewing

by Abigail (’14)

I had no idea there were so many galleries downtown! And all free!

For any parents reading this who don’t know what I’m talking about, last Saturday the C-Dubs were taken at hyperspeed through San Francisco’s art world by Ronald Chase, creator of Art and Film. As a culmination of the unit on art criticism Ronald taught on Thursday and Friday, we visited twelve galleries in less than two hours, practicing our new analytical skills.

 Ronald’s explanations of each room helped with the dizziness of consuming so much art at once. The experience was first-hand, which, as he pointed out, is the best way to learn. I especially enjoyed finally seeing one of Andy Goldsworthy’s mud-walls in person. It had more substance, the clay looked thicker and more impressive, than in books. You know it’s real if it’s in a gallery, especially with something as tactile as Goldsworthy’s pieces. At the same time, it felt more fleeting: photographs preserve things as they are, but mud cracks and changes.

On the first day of class, Ronald said that it takes ten to fifteen years for an artist to develop a style of her own; that, to be a strong artist, one must have outside support for the first years. It reminded me of a quote from Robert Frost: “The poet, as everyone knows, must strike his original note sometime between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five…School and college have been conducted with the almost express purpose of keeping him busy with something else till the danger of his ever creating anything is past.” One of the reasons I appreciated Ronald’s unit, and his whole program, is that it increases the danger of our creating things.

In closing: I think we can all agree that Ronald, and the parent who made our picnic lunch on Saturday, have our undying gratitude for feeding us. Starving adolescents tend not to be the best of listeners or thinkers, and the food more or less assured our complete interest and participation…am I right, or am I right?

Cine/Club – Art&Film for Teenagers

For all the new students coming in, Art&Film is a great, free program for teens that we’re required to attend twice per marking period. Hosted by Ronald Chase, it offers screenings of classic, foreign, and art films, along with either a short film or a cartoon before the movie and a group discussion after. Cookies and sparkling water are offered in the lobbies before we enter the theater.

Art&Film is hosted at either the Randall Museum (199 Museum Way) or the Dolby Screening Room (100 Potrero Ave). Arrival at 6:30, film at 7:00, unless otherwise specified.

Subscribe to the Art&Film email for updates on the next CineClub screening and opportunities of free tickets for the SF Symphony, Opera, and many other shows. To subscribe, visit the Art&Film website or simply fill out a card on your next CineClub visit.

-Midori