Grades were posted; I just completed the 1st semester of Howard University’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA M.F.A) Film program. In this golden age for diverse stories and digital expansion, this is an exciting time to study cinematic arts at THE MECCA, which happens to be sole HBCU with the program. I have a tremendous amount of respect for each student in my cohort and truly feel like I found my “tribe” aka crew. Although there generally isn’t as much of an emphasis on grades in graduate school for creative arts (since more importance lies with your completed body of work), I am proud of the perfect 4.0 GPA I secured this semester. It is imperative that I maintain solid academic standing since I’d like to teach courses in the future, and for now, have hopes of securing a TA slot and competitive internship positions in TV/film/media. This semester was remarkably challenging, but incredibly rewarding.
During winter intermission, I’ll be in New Jersey and New York completing freelance projects. Reach out for bookings and collaborations.
Some of the aspects I appreciate most about my MFA program is the emphasis on global perspectives, along with the screenings of international films. In my film history and film analysis courses, I became increasingly familiar with Pre-Classical Cinema, Soviet Montage Theory, German Expressionism, French New Wave, British Cinema (among others). I enjoyed learning more about Italian Neorealism; which is often heralded as “the Golden Age of Cinema” and one of the most important movements in film history. Italian Neorealism provided viewers with a with a realistic depiction of life in post-war Italy. Some of the distinctive features of this movement include the use of non-professional actors and filming on-location. I admired the emphasis on bare-boned storytelling devoid of the fluff and grandeur popularized by its American cinematic counterparts. It gave a dreary scene of the everyday conditions experienced by normal citizens in the aftermath of a fascist regime.
Although highly regarded as one of the most influential film movements, there isn’t much discussion about the origins and stylistic influences of Italian Neorealism. Personally, this movement struck me as a documentary-hybrid of sorts. I pitched this topic and completed a research paper to explore the factors that contributed to the popularization of this cinematic language, while drawing parallel to documentary film.
The films were created to appeal to our sensibilities with harsh reality and an emphasis on humanity. There are undeniable similarities between documentary film and Neorealism. It can be argued that both are visual mediums which provide an accurate depiction of life. For my research paper, the works of Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica were screened for primary research, and various sources were utilized to demonstrate the correlation between Italian Neorealism to Documentary style film. Both can be deemed anti-Hollywood film styles derived from political and social circumstances.