SONO STANCA

Buon giorno, readers! Or rather buona sera, as it is currently about 12:30 AM over here. I’m writing now because I feel that if I don’t write now I’ll never get around to it.

Le Giornate del Cinema Muto is over. What a week. I loved being so thoroughly inundated in this whole new world. The people I met there were so interesting; each very passionate about the festival in his or her own way. For example, one of the talks I went to was about the relationship between theater and silent film, and how acting techniques — especially those related to gesture — as well as set design from the Victorian style did indeed carry over into silent film. (This was probably my favorite of the presentations I went to, mostly because it felt the most relevant to me, having come to this festival more from a theater perspective.) And guess what? That day, I happened to wear my Yale sweater to the talk. The guy running that talk — David Mayer — looked at me as soon as I sat down, and asked, “Is that a genuine Y?”, to which I over-enthuiastically gushed yes several times. Guess who graduated from Yale in 1950, as a member of the Saybrook college? That’s right. I talked to him for a bit after the talk and he gave me his email/business card — and he even had a copy of his notes from the talk he gave delivered to me today! As a collegian, I have to write a paper inspired by some aspect of the festival; I’m pretty sure I now know what I’ll be researching and writing about over the next year!

Speaking of the Y-bomb, whenever I explained to people that I had just graduated from high school, and will be going to Yale next year, they would ask me if I’d talked to Charlie Musser. As I learned, he’s a well-known and established film guy who also happens to be the director of Film Studies at Yale. Coincidentally, he was buying books at the Film Fair today, during my shift! I couldn’t help but introduce myself — and he was so nice! Turns out his daughter is a senior at Yale right now, and she almost took Directed Studies (the program I’ll be in next year). He told me to write to him if I have questions about anything film-related at Yale — what a chap. I must say this friendliness seems to be characteristic of Yale people… hmmm, not a bad thing!

The final film I saw was “The Wind”. If you somehow get the chance, go see it. Lillian Gish is the best. The film is so full of beauty, Mojave-sands-flying-around-powered-by-seven-fans and gender norms. (I’m also thinking of writing my paper about representations of women in cinema… Lillian Gish, Clara Bow… If I’m really crazy I’ll somehow combine this with the theater angle? Who knows.)

I’ll add pictures tomorrow — sometime after the celebration for Cinzia’s birthday! The plan is for relatives to come over, at which point we will all eat together, most likely for several hours. Why am I not surprised… A dopo!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “SONO STANCA

  1. Joanna Callenbach

    Anya – Dica Buon Natale a Cinzia per me, per favore! She is a New Year’s Eve baby (more or less) like your unlce Steve — supposedly the most popular time fo year to be conceived!! At least according to radio heresay. Love to see pictures — what an experience the festival was! And Yalies were there too — a bonus! Tua mama

  2. So, on the topic of acting techniques and silent films, I wonder if there is a yin and yang thing there; in other words, just like Victorian theater informed the acting in silent films, can one get clues today from the silents on how to get the most from gestures, facial expressions, and little non-verbal mannerism to inform a character who might not say anything in a play, but the audience needs to know something about who he/she is? Maybe…I hope Toby is reading this, and you might have some suggestions. And on the Y connections you seem to be making in Italia, how boola boolisima is that! Happy bday to Cinzia!

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