I've always been interested in films, ever since I saw 'Pinocchio' around the age of seven. After I retired from IBM, I decided to take a more academic interest in the subject. I spent a happy year studying for an A Level in Film Studies and then moved on to a two-year part-time MA in History of Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck College, University of London, which I completed in Autumn 2003.
For the A Level I had to write several essays. Here are two of them:
- This essay, Sound Lies, was the first I'd written since I left university in 1964! It's an examination of the 'realisation' sequence at the end of Bryan Singer's film 'The Usual Suspects'.
- Apocalypse Then is another reading, about the opening sequence of Ingmar Bergman's 'The Seventh Seal', which made a deep impression on me when I saw it in Brighton, aged 16, soon after its initial release.
I wrote quite a bit for the MA too of course:
- I wrote Monochrome Memories for the 'Case Studies in Media Production and Interpretation' module. It's about the slow introduction of colour film.
- Small Triumphs, Big Disasters was written for the 'Living Apart Together: British Film and Televsion 1960-1982' module. It compares British science fiction films and TV programs.
- For my research report, I wrote Compute, Model or Draw?, an examination of the impact of CGI on animated feature films.
- I wrote Twisted Tales, an essay on cognitivism and narrative distortion, for the 'Media, Technology and Culture: Theory and Practice' module.
- For my dissertation I wrote What is it like to be a Robot?, an examination of the depiction of artificial/machine intelligences in science fiction films. Be warned, this is a large (300k) HTML file with embedded images.