Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Now The World Knows My Name. Well, Sort Of... Not Really... Something Like That...

I've been in South Hadley, Massachusetts since yesterday (Tuesday) morning, visiting Mount Holyoke College, where I was invited by Dr Zetta Elliott, an Assistant Professor at the school, to come and talk to her class about my feature-film, Beautiful Things.

I got a rather surprising, yet encouraging email from Dr Elliott about 3 weeks ago, telling me that my film was on her class curriculum this semester - a class titled, "Sex, Love, & Gender in Contemporary African American Cinema" - and within the email, she had a few questions for me about some of the choices I made in the film, in terms of style, content and meaning.

Her students would later watch and discuss my film as it relates to the class's core subject matter, and after a few more email exchanges with Dr Elliott, me making a trip up to Massachusetts, from New York, seemed like quite a good idea to both of us - a good opportunity to meet and talk to these students of hers who apparently had a lot to say about the film, as well as questions to ask.

I met with the class yesterday afternoon for about 2 1/2 hours, and was rather quite impressed with the investment each of them seemed to have made in the class itself, as well as the depth of their questions with regards to my film, and my thoughts on black cinema in general.

It was a genuinely rich, complex exchange between myself, the class, and Dr Elliott, and I'm elated to have had the opportunity to have been a part in it. The dialogue actually left me a bit flustered, but in a good way, because of the depth and breadth of the questions from the students and Dr Elliott, some of which I had never been asked before, and so had never really given much thought to... and some that were rather personal, that demanded a lot more out of me than I thought I'd have to give in their presence. Any opportunity that challenges you to think even deeper about the person that you are, and the work that you create and present for public consumption, is certainly worthwhile and should be relished!

Overall, it was quite an honor to learn that my film had become "required viewing" in a college classroom, especially one as learned as Mount Holyoke College. Dr Elliott plans on teaching this class again in upcoming semesters, and my film will be a part of the curriculum, and I think that's pretty fucking cool!!!! :o)

I'll likely write a more detailed recap of the time I've spent up here at a later date. I'll be returning to New York this afternoon. I'll return to my usual posting habits tomorrow, as well as repond to those who left comments.



  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    Soon it'll be a life of film festivals and lecture circuits...

    Kudso, Tambini

  2. Anonymous said...

    Glad that you were able to come, Mr. Obenson! It really added a new perspective -- being behind and in front of the camera during the film-making process -- to watching films. Best of luck in the future!

    Eve Crusto

  3. said...

    ... and Bentleys, Botox, and Billions.

    Remember the little people, will ya?

    Good going. :)

  4. The Obenson Report said...

    Thank you, thank you and thank you!

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