My high school, Tilden High in Brooklyn, was your typical underfunded, overcrowded urban public school. However, I have say, that school made me love movies. I don’t mean the typical mediocre, run of the mill plot, type movie, but loving the art of making movies, loving the story behind the story. Learning about people like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin—silent movie gods, was exciting. How back then, the censors were so strict, couples on screen could only kiss for three seconds, tops. Making movies was an art form– the plot, the symbolism.
This weekend I remembered my days in film class. My teacher, whose name I no longer remember, taught me all this. This frail man who drank coffee as if it was water, opened my eyes to the beauty of movies, and I never looked at the screen the same. I became a critic and never allowed for bad acting or a bad plot again.
I have been watching Turner Classic Movies (TCM) all weekend, classics, oooh sweet classics: Citizen Kane, Shop Around The Corner and others. Those movies took me back to that little classroom in an underfunded, overcrowded urban public school and I thank you teacher coffee drinker.