Over the past couple of weeks, in the midst of all the back to school hubbub, the words of a former student keep coming to mind. In the concluding paragraph of his final exam for my Modern World Lit. 500 class last year, Phillip T. perfectly, without any prompting, articulates the need for innovation:
“In [the film] Baraka, there are literally no actions which impact anything. There is no story to move forward, there is nothing exciting going on in any shots of the streets, other than the everyday. Maybe this is a bit of a reflection on life: its just a series of pointless shots showing the same things happening over, all of it moving in general directions, maybe highlighting certain objects, but ultimately, nothing has a bearing, and eventually, all of it comes to an end, and nobody can say anything to change it. That is the very essence of the absurd and is visible in every Modernist piece we’ve read. It’ sort of like the way that I’m sitting here in these classrooms day after day, listening to endless lectures on topics, briefly highlighting things which then fade, moving onto something else, completely unaffected by the last, none of which will have any serious effect on my later career. And just look at the ridiculous hustle and bustle surrounding colleges and jobs, everybody trying to earn as many of those little green slips of paper as they can, hoarding it all up until the day they are thrown into a hole in the ground like everybody else, from the least to the most successful. Now that’s absurd.”
Thanks for the inspiration Phillip!