I watched Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust twice yesterday. I read an interview with her and bell hooks (who spells her name without caps) talking about what the film meant, who was its intended audience, and its aesthetic. Before reading this interview (that I couldn’t put down) I watched Daughters right after I woke up that morning. It was cold and I was wrapped up in a quilt drinking a coffee in an empty house. I felt virgin to the day, fresh to day-to-day struggle and innocent to tainting decisions of maturity. Eyes just opened, I lent them to the screen and became a part of the story.
I am a college student, and this semester (the first of my sophomore year) I am taking the first of many major-related courses. Among those are Intro to Film and African American Cinema. My first few weeks in these classes (that I take back to back) I was flooded with multiple films to watch, names of directors and actors and film eras, and an ocean of technical terms I had never heard of before. Immersed in a foreign world, I tried my hardest to push against the pressure and swim to the top to catch my breath. Now that I’m steadily floating along, all those names and terms that used to be bitter and sour in my mouth now are the sweetest. I give myself cavities talking so much about film.
My repertoire of movies is very green and as my passion for film started growing a few years back, I’ve been trying to expand my knowledge of what I’d like to call the “A list” of movies. I had to ask my friends to make lists of suggestions that they believe to be notable films, since the only background I really specialize in is low grade romantic comedies, which I’d like to say, hold some merit in the industry. But moving away from cheesy one liners, actors chosen for their body instead of their talent, and predictable plots, and working to recognize and appreciate film as an art form is what I’m ultimately trying to accomplish within the next year.