Understanding the Power of Cinema

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Space is the most powerful way of conveying meaning on the screen

Roger Durling, the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) loves film. This conversation with Mark Sylvester delved into how this passion started as he gives us a Master Class in Film Appreciation. There was a lot of ground covered in this conversation, including:
  • Why he has watched Lost in Translation more than 20 times
  • His strong attraction to teaching and why (He’s been teaching Film Studies at Santa Barbara City College for 13 years)
  • Don’t ask him to choose between the Film Festival and Teaching
  • How he is the product of teaching opportunities
  • How a teacher from 1978 deeply affected his life until just a couple of years ago
  • Why he’s so passionate about young people gaining a deep appreciation for Broadway and how he funds an initiative that does just that at his former prep school.
  • His college days at Syracuse and his drama teacher – and the impact of him on his path in life
  • A deep dive into the Film Studies and other educational programs at SBIFF
  • Mark gives Roger a superpower: The ability to see things that directors do that no one else ever consciously notices.
  • According to Roger, great directors do this:
    • Understand the power of color
    • Proximic patterns (this is very cool, listen to hear his explanation)
    • Sound
    • Movement – who knew about left > right and right > left

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