Indie Film Director To Teach VES Course
Well-known indie film writer and director Hal Hartley will teach Visual and Environmental Studies 150: "Film Production: Intermediate Studio Course" next year as a visiting lecturer.
Hartley visited VES 50: "Fundamentals of Filmmaking" earlier this year while his films were screened at Harvard Film Archive.
"I was impressed with him. He was insightful and helpful, and I am excited that he is coming to the department and teaching 150 next year," said Zadoc P. Angell, a sophomore in Winthrop House.
Hooker Professor of Visual Arts, Alfred F. Guzzetti, who teaches VES 50, contacted Hartley through Dick Rogers, the former chair of the film department at SUNY at Purchase, where Hartley used to be a student.
The direction of the VES 150 course varies with each year's visiting director. This year, Mani Kaul, a noted director from India, teaches the course.
Although Guzzetti has not spoken to Hartley in detail regarding his approach to the course, he said he anticipates Hartley will give out mini-scripts to his class with the assignment of having people realize them.
Students said they anticipate that Hartley will bring the original perspective common to his films to VES 150.
"He is a young, hip New York guy--an important indie film guy for his generation. It will be neat to have someone like that on the Faculty," said Daniel J. Luskin '01, a student in VES 50.
W. Couper Samuelson '02 said Hartley will provide a rare perspective as an independent filmmaker who is also relatively well-known.
"He's a fiction filmmaker. Most of the visiting professors have not been. He knows how to negotiate the industry and has a perspective on that of being successful," Samuelson said.
Guzzetti also noted that Hartley has achieved success without artistic compromise--"an uneasy thing to do," he said.