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Activities - 13/10/2011

 

27 Times Cinema - The Portraits - Terah Noll - Utopia - Toulouse - France

 

Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

Hi. I'm Terah Noll, I'm 19 years old and am currently studying in “classes préparatoires” in Toulouse, France. My major study focus for now is art history but that will probably evolve. I'd like to adapt the knowledge I've gained on artistic heritage to cinema. 

How long have you been going to the cinema?

 I've been going to the cinema for as long as I can remember, the first movie in theaters that truly impressed me was Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke. I'm lucky enough to have parents that are interested in cinematographic culture. They would take me to the cinema, as well as outdoor showings as often as they could. Unfortunately though I never had the chance to be in a school that offered a special film program.

Why do you like cinema? 

I feel as though cinema is a very personal art form, first of all in the sense that it's as if the filmmaker was recreating his own vision but also in the way that it affects me. It's kind of like I'm sharing their mind. Even if it is a crafted vision it's visual which makes it all the more like a “trap”.
I become emotionally invested in film more than I do in other media. I think it's because films offer a complete world, may it be far-fetched and fictional or eerily real, it's like a new home you're allowed to live in for the length of the film. In a book you can control the speed you read it, the characters voices and sometimes even figures, things you can't do in a movie, I find that this obligates the viewer to find new ways they can fit in this media, to figure out how they can receive it with out modifying it. The viewers have to let themselves in to another's imagination. I myself find that you're freer to simply feel.

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer?

I'd have a hard time really defining what types of cinema I prefer simply because I'm attracted to many different genres. If I had to settle on one kind of film concerning the plot lines I would say I'm much more sensitive to coming-of-age stories, stories about transition always appeal to me. But I also tend to enjoy on the same level energetic movies with overly positive storylines and bare films that offer raw emotions.
The movies that are important to me are those that represent stepping stones in my discovery of the world of cinema and all it contains. Charlie Chaplin's The Kid is the first film I was passionately in love with. Then when I was in middle school I watched Peter Jackson's Lord of the Ring Trilogy, these films represent two turning points; the first one being that it was the first time I preferred a film over the book, hence discovering that film and books were completely different ways of telling a story and that the craftsmanship of a media was just as important as it's story. Secondly being heavily invested in the films I watched every behind the scenes segment possible and consequently discovered the extent of filmmaking, from producers to costumiers. Other movies that have a special importance to me are Gus Van Sant's Elephant, which opened the door to independent cinema for me, Cristophe Honoré's La Belle Personne because it was the first contemporary French film that I saw other than mainstream ones and it revealed a whole different part of French cinema to me. I would add Dr. Strangelove just because I vividly remember seeing it as a child and probably not understanding it but loving it nonetheless, just for the powerful images it had.

What are your 3 favorite films?

I can't be sure that these are my definite favorite films but they do represent quite perfectly the genres of film that I love:
Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu (2010)
Tomboy, Céline Sciamma (2011)
Singin' in the Rain, Stanley Donen (1952)

Do you participate to film forums online?

I don't participate in film forums per say, I like to hang out on Mubi.com though I always find it interesting to confront my ideas of a film with those of other people. It's mostly reading others' comments though and less “debates”. I don't have a serious blog where I post about films, I used to have a blog where I would sporadically share my impressions on movies that had had a particular impact but I had to delete it because of time issues. 
 

What do you think of European cinema?  What does European cinema represent for you?

It was not until I recently moved back to a city that I really had access to European cinema. I often feel that European cinema is more emotionally raw than other films. Then again the truly great thing about it is that it's so diverse. There's literally every kind of movie, it can be seen as a whole and at the same time each country gives a different feel to their films. To me when I see a European film it always seems much “closer to home”, I feel like I can understand it more than say a South-American film because I participate in at least a tiny part of the culture.

Do you feel European? Do you travel often in Europe?

I especially feel European when I'm out of Europe, because I find myself using the phrase “in Europe we” much more often. I also feel European because it seems so easy to travel inside of Europe, the borders hardly existing anymore, it broadens travelling horizons a lot. I travel at least once a year to a different European country although I've sadly only been to western European countries. The only European country I've lived in is France but until I was ten I lived in the United States.

 Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema?

I'm representing the “Utopia” cinemas from France. What I like the most about this venue, besides the awesome programming they offer, is definitely how they decorate the theater to make it feel so welcoming. There's not the high-ceiling, bare wall, anonymous and austere feeling that most theaters can have. Each theater is decorated in a unique fashion with old posters, painting replicas, vintage lamp shades, it gives the space a familiar and welcoming feel as if you belonged in the theater and at the same time you feel like you've just discovered a beautiful little treasure. And when I think about it that's the feeling I'm looking for in a film so it's pretty awesome that I already get it from the venue. I'd also like to highlight the fact that they bring back movies after they've been out for a while, a couple of months sometimes which is great in case you missed it the first time.

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