A review of a new reality series from the Independent Film Channel, Film School, makes the series sound irresistible.
I'm not a fan of reality television. I admit that I can watch a few minutes of some reality shows, but whatever appeal the Real World or Blind Date may have for me is burned off in about two minutes. I did enjoy about twenty minutes of the first episode of "The Surreal Life" second season recently, just seeing Flava Flav not recognize any of his fellow celebrity roommates. One of the highlights of living in NY for the last few years was getting to hear Flav give the "Geographic Traffic" reports in the mornings on 105.1 FM. He gave a memorable shout out to Robert Blake shortly after his legal troubles began, saying (as I recall): "To Robert Blake, who shot his wife with a Beretta... it's gonna be ahh-ite!"
Anyway, back to "Film School," which follows four NYU film students through their efforts to make student films. From the review, I'm delighted at the promise of watching vacuous, inarticulate, annoying cinema artistes flounder around hopelessly trying to negotiate the hazards of marginal film production and the even more treacherous terrain of their own pretentions. I never watched "Project Greenlight" in part because it was on HBO (which I don't get) and in part due to the "dream come true" frame of the series, as Miramax darlings (still?) Ben and Matt lift some dedicated visionary into the "real world" of film production. "Film School" strikes me as a work about what happens before the visionary is discovered, combined with an inside look at how college students work. I'll know more when I see it, of course.
Think what you will about jealousy or bitterness motivating my enjoyment of these would-be auteurs' humiliations (and they will be humiliated, as this is a reality show) but you'll be wrong. Despite my interest in film criticism, theory, and watching, I never for an instant entertained the notion of being a filmmaker. I want to make a movie about as much as I want to make a living as a pizza-chef: not at all. I appreciate that some of them exist, but I don't wish to join them. I'm a hater, and there's no room for jealousy in hating.
"Film School" premieres tonight at 10:30 and a review will be forthcoming.