24 August 2012

From Prof. Deanna Kamiel, The New School for Social Research

"Just wanted to say, thinking about Purchase after the Senior screening last night... It's more than a school and a curriculum. Watching the films last night from the distance of 2 years of close contact, you see it's a film culture of its own, like the film cultures of the past -- the French cine clubs leading to the French New Wave -- or the more recent present: Hong Kong or Iranian cinema. Purchase is its own national cinema within American film. It may have been modeled in part on european film schools but it gets its heart from the American landscape. That combination of pure cinema in play with locale (regional New York) and everyday Americana is original and, it seems, once again, a new energy in film, at a time when film as a medium and a form is reshaping itself in this current moment of technological transformation.

Of course this is what Purchase does and has done since its inception, thinking of the work of Hal Hartley and Nick Gomez and the independent New York cinema of the 80s and 90s; or the ground-breaking cinema studies scholarship of Tom Gunning; or the intensely precise arts of cinematography, editing and film writing that give Purchase its signal imprimatur within the New York film profession. One thing is clear when watching Purchase films: they are not derivative, they are not films about other films. They have something to say about the way things look and sound from the point of view of young kids who apply a sophisticated cinema apparatus to their own nascent lives. In terms of style, particular current trends like rapid jump cutting micro-montage are not copied but instead incorporated into a larger vision.

There's a directness to Purchase films -- about people and they ways they behave -- that strikes an immediate chord in audiences. We trust what we are seeing and what we are seeing is undeniably new. A Purchase film is a grand experience -- the beauty of the new."

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