Friday, September 29, 2006
Voila! The fourth-year review is submitted!
From the introductory narrative piece --
Cinema is rife with elements that come in threes. We talk constantly about classic Hollywood movies operating under a “three-part structure,” we venerate epic trilogies like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings or Krysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors films, and several notable films from the 1990s to the present play with the narrative structure of the triptych, as in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Milko Manchevski’s Before the Rain or Alejandro Gonález Iñárritu’s Amores perros. In all of these cinematic situations, however, the crucial section is the middle. With the dazzling theatrics characteristic of an opening and the climactic finale still to come, the “middle” section in each of these permutations of three seems to hold the danger of lagging, making the piece as a whole uninteresting or, worse, irrelevant. In the examples I list above, however, the second section is often the most interesting section when held under closer scrutiny, providing convincing information to propel the narrative forward, even when the viewer knows the film is not yet complete. I view my progress toward tenure in the light of these cinematic examples and hope this portfolio, the second of an anticipated three, provides evidence of the continued rapid momentum of my teaching, scholarship and service.