UFVA Wrap-up and Ryan Coogler

One of the things I have always enjoyed most about the annual University Film and Video Association Conference is talking with colleagues.  I become reinvigorated about teaching and filmmaking, learn so much, and just enjoy socializing.

During the conference I tweeted something about the plenary speaker – Peter Debruge, features editor and senior film critic for Variety – and composed my first post on my phone.  Those are likely to be infrequent!  The screen is so small!  The WordPress app can be a little wonky!

The talk was generally good, but Debruge said several things that irritated me.  One of them was that he didn’t like Fruitvale Station because it didn’t seem like a narrative to him.  I looked online but can’t access his initial review since I’m not a Variety subscriber.  I wish he had explained the remark, but he didn’t.

Curiously, later on, Debruge said that the most important function of film is to make us feel something.  Hmmmmm…  I cannot reconcile these two comments.  But, you already know how I feel about Ryan Coogler’s feature debut.  It satisfies me as a narrative, and I most definitely felt something when I saw it.

After the plenary session, I was chatting with my friend Linda Brown, USC Cinematography professor.  She told me about meeting Coogler when he joined her class and following his progress as a film student through graduation.

I won’t repeat what she said because they are personal stories, but I hope he remains as focused and humble in the wake of this film as he was as a student.  Time will tell, I suppose, about those attributes, but his talent, from my perspective, is intact.

Ryan Coogler


One Response to UFVA Wrap-up and Ryan Coogler

  1. Hi Mary –
    I haven’t seen this film (though I want to when I have a chance), but I did find a piece featuring Peter Debruge that I think explains his point and is an interesting point of view on these types of films:

    Also here is the link to the Variety review, which is not by Debruge. I don’t have Variety either so I think you should be able to read it. I can usually get to the reviews if I go through google to find them as opposed to searching the Variety site.

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