As you may have noticed, it has been almost two weeks since my last entry. This can be attributed to the fact that beginning college in a place as unfamiliar and complicated as New York City takes time away from writing new posts daily. And, as I have learned over the course of the past three days, classwork must always take priority over journaling.
That being said, I want to express my great affections for New York University and the Tisch School of the Arts. In just two weeks, I already feel as if the city has shrunk, as I am becoming more familiar with Greenwich Village with every passing day. I have a basic understanding of the subway system, and, most importantly, I am comfortable in the environment of Third Avenue North, the great apartment-style towers which hold a large number of NYU freshmen.
Since last week's overwhelming yet incredibly helpful Welcome Week (which included a Presidential Welcome at Madison Square Garden and a greeting from Tisch alum and Rent star Jesse L. Martin), I have seen only one new film, Spike Lee's Passing Strange: The Movie, at New York's IFC Theater with some fellow film students. I would love to devote an entire post to the film, but for the sake of brevity, I will only say this - if Passing Strange is playing in your area, go out and see it immediately. It is one of the best movies Spike Lee has ever directed, and one of the best films of the year.
Speaking of Spike Lee, next week I will be attending Remembering Michael Jackson at the Cantor Film Center, where, according to The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, "an exciting panel of scholars, writers, artists and executives will consider the legacy of one of pop music's greatest icons." The panel includes writer/director/producer Spike Lee, Village Voice journalist Greg Tate and New York Press cultural critic Armond White, among many others.
The idea of sitting a few feet away from one of my favorite filmmakers is a thrilling one indeed - so much so that I will be attending the Jackson discussion despite my relative indifference toward The King of Pop's music career. Fortunately, it's an experience that will come around frequently at NYU; already, most of my professors are actors and filmmakers who have worked with the finest people in the business. Professor Peggy Gormley, who teaches my Performance Strategies Lecture, was the producing partner of Harvey Keitel, and she has had large roles in many movies, including Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale (2005).
The Tisch School of the Arts is hosting a production of William Shakespeare's Othello later this month, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Iago. Needless to say, I already have my ticket reserved and the date marked on my calendar.
When I haven't been in class or studying intensely at my dorm, I have been exploring the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television building on 721 Broadway, which is full of framed movie posters directed by Tisch alumni. Of course, when said alumni includes Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Joel and Ethan Coen, Spike Lee and Ang Lee, among many others, there are literally hundreds of posters in each hall.
Tomorrow, I am planning to catch a screening of Mike Judge's Extract with some other film students after my six-hour Sound Image class. I will share my thoughts on the film in a later post.