Enough is enough. For the last 100 years the Feature Film has enjoyed a stranglehold on the hearts and minds and billfolds of filmmakers and film viewers. We have lived features, breathed features, dreamed features. And where has this unconditional devotion gotten us? Transformers 1, 2, 3, and 4. We have thrown trillions of dollars at the feet of the feature and in return we have received turd after soul crushing turd. And yet, even still, we hope to be invited to the party. “That party is stupid,” we say, “But I want in. I will be the exception. I will give anything to make features. I will give my family. My life. My soul. Hire me.” And so we talk about feature directors. We rank the best features. When we show clips in class to demonstrate tracking shots or unbalanced looks, these clips are from features. It is all we can think about. Enough is enough.
This class will be a place of peace, of refuge, of safety from the tyranny of the feature. We will focus on the small, the intimate, the homemade, the transcendent. Think Neo-Realism. Think The Well Tempered Clavier. Think Emily Dickinson or William Carlos Williams. Think Minor Threat or Please Please Me. Above all, think about this. It is time to purge our souls of the great-and-spaciousness of Hollywood thinking, to baptize our imaginations, to be born into new worlds where experimentation and DIY work ethic is the key.
Overblown productions, farewell! Soul crushing conformity to mass market demands, adieu! No glory lives behind the back of such. And holy, personal expressions of pure cinema, love on; We will requite thee, taming our wild hearts to thy loving hand!