21 September, 2009

The Ins and Outs of FAMU

This last week has been busy and this week looks even busier. I do enjoy getting into a regular routine though. That's when things start to feel more like home and less...touristy.

So, after returning from Cesky Krumlov, which was AMAZING as I have already pointed out and will continue to point out, I (along with all of the others in the film program) began classes at FAMU. We started off on Tuesday with Script and Directing with Pavel Marek, then we had Camera Works and Screenplay Writing. It was here that we started pitching the ideas for our final movies. This took me a bit by surprise as we had just started classes and we were already working on that final project. But, as I'm realizing time moves really fast and before I know it, it will be December and I'll be on my way back to the States.

Wednesday rolled around and we had more Czech class, which I absolutely adore. I know I've said it a million times, but I really love Czech and the way we are learning the language. Later that evening we began the Czech New Wave Film Series screenings. But, I go into that a little bit later.

Thursday consisted of Actor Studio, which I think is going to turn out to be my favorite class. Dasha Blahova is absolutely incredible. She knows what she's doing to make the class fun and interesting, while letting those of us who generally like to sit behind the camera understand what goes on in front of the camera. Take for instance the improv game she had us play at the very beginning of class. One of us was the parent, while the other was the child who wanted to borrow the car. The only stipulation here was that the only word the parent could say was "No". Let's just say you end up with quite a few different scenarios of how this scene plays out. But, it was so much fun. After Actor Studio, there was a long break before we once again had the Czech New Wave Film Series.

Friday came much faster than I expected and consisted of three classes, Script and Directing, Film Language and then the Czech New Wave Film Series. By this point, I still didn't have an idea for a movie.

And now, that you all have been waiting for so long to hear about...THE CZECH NEW WAVE FILM SERIES!!!!

Pretty much, over the course of three days, we watched five films that were made just before the Soviets came into what was then Czechoslovakia and censored everything. The five films on the list were A Shop on Main Street, Diamonds of the Night, Closely Watched Trains, Daises, and last but not least The Loves of a Blonde. They were all very good films and I would never have thought about watching them if it wasn't for the Czech New Wave Film Series. I would have missed out on these really important films. My favorite of which would be Closely Watched Trains. I thought that the story was easy to relate to and overall the movie was just entertaining...especially considering it is set during WWII.

The screening of these films was often followed the next day with a quick analysis/opinion/history lesson about the films we saw and the films we were going to see. I think it was structured well, and I really understand these films in their entirety. I highly recommend watching them if you ever get the chance. They are brilliant. Even the ones I wasn't so fond of.

The weekend came and went and it wasn't anything really spectacular. I did wander through the back roads of Old Town and bought the rest of my sisters birthday gift. I would tell what it is/post a picture, but I'm afraid she may be reading this and I don't want to spoil it for her. I think she'll like it though. I pretty much used the weekend as time to catch up with me time. Instead of spending it with a lot of people, I did things like update my online portfolio and things like that. On Sunday, though after going out for pizza with Steph, Shayna, Drew and Dave, I got to try homemade holushky ( I definitely spelled that wrong, but I did my best to sound it out). It was made by a Slovak friend that Liza had made and it was absolutely delicious. I only wish I could have had more, but pizza took up a lot of room.

So, this week starts class shopping. What I mean by that is picking out the classes I want to take as electives by sitting in on a lot of them and then making my decision. Yesterday (Monday), in addition to my regular classes, I sat in on History of Animation and Directing 1. I definitely think I'm going to take History of Animation...not so sure about Directing as it seemed to be a repeat of a class I am already taking with the same professor. On today's agenda (Tuesday), I am taking Central European Cinema, Acting Theories and Visual Theory 1. Don't know if I'll take any of them, but we'll see.

Here ends my post. I'll write more as the week progresses, probably about my decision on classes and such. I'm also going to try and update more frequently. Long posts are hard to write. So, don't touch that mouse blog readers, there's more on the way!


  1. It's cool that you have classes (seemingly) as enjoyable as your country. I sort of like the idea of class shopping, too.

  2. Glad to hear more about your classes!