Saturday, June 2, 2012

UFO - University Film Organization

When I was kid I'd ride around the University of Oregon on my bike. I'd see these signs. They said "U of O Parking". I always thought they said "UFO Parking". I didn't think flying saucers parked there, but I thought they must have had a huge UFO research facility.

So, anyway, I went to a film festival staged by the University Film Organization here. UFO. Their logo is a flying saucer and a movie camera on a tripod.

Student films have improved since my day. Last time I had been to an event like that at the UO, most of the movies really were films, shot on Super8 and transferred to VHS tape. One ambitious production, financed by a local drug and alcoholism treatment center, used a Super 8 sound on film camera.

The movies they showed this time were much better made, shot on digital video. Decades of cruel  ridicule directed against student films seem to have paid off. There was only one suicide in the movies, and that was the result of a misunderstanding rather than the victim being consumed with angst.

I thought the movies were a little TOO well-made. They needed to be a little less perfect. I don't want shaky handheld cameras. But I don't think they were looking to the French New Wave or Italian Neo-Realism or British Social Realism for their inspiration.

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