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Tuesday, January 20, 2004  

Neat Stuff
I just got the inaugural issue of the UCSC Film and Digital Media Alumni newsletter, and there are some items of note that I thought I would share. First off, one of my favorite theory professors from my time at UCSC, Shelly Stamp, has been awarded a grant by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Professor Stamp often taught a class on Film Noir that was notorious for its dense lectures and horrible location, but it had a screening list that made it one the harder theory classes to get into, and she was the best prof. to take any Silent Era classes from. The $25K award given by the Academy's Film Scholar Program will be used to finish a book about Lois Weber, "a female director of the silent-film era who became the first and only woman granted membership in the Motion Picture Directors Association, a precursor to the Directors Guild of America." It is great to see the very talented faculty of the Film and Digital Media department at UCSC getting this kind of recognition, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Academy is actively supporting scholarly writings. I was beginning to think the days of informed film thinking was being killed by popular reviews and industry gossip.

The newsletter also mentioned a new exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum that focuses on the "Ant Farm" art collective from the Sixties. The Ant Farm was the group responsible for the Cadillac Ranch in Texas and was co-founded by UCSC FDM Department Chair Chip Lord. Chip is an old-school experimental video guru and another brilliant mind that I had the pleasure of learning from in his Intro to Production and Documentary Filmmaking classes. If your in the Bay Area between now and April I highly suggest checking out the exhibit.

And finally, a couple of people who were students when I was running the Check-Out lab at UCSC have short films running at Sundance this year! So here is to hoping they make it big and remember the guy that bent all the rules to get them gear when they needed it.

posted by JMV | 1/20/2004 04:27:00 PM
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