The way movies ought to be shown

The U Division of Film Studies will present screenings of the graduate advanced film production class this Friday in the Old Fine Arts Auditorium.

The screening is titled, “Persistent Visions” for a reason.

Students from the yearlong course will show films that they have made in an environment of complete artistic freedom.

“The teacher (Brian Patrick) would suggest things, and either you took his suggestions or you didn’t,” said senior Paul Johnson, a double major in film and theater.

“He would say, ‘I don’t think this is a very good idea’ or ‘if you do it this way it may be better,’ but we were persistent and did what we wanted, and we were allowed to do that,” he said.

“At any other school, especially at BYU, I wouldn’t have been able to make any of the films that I’ve made in college because all of them have been thought (to be) provoking and controversial,” said Johnson, whose emphasis of study is documentaries.

“I love socially relevant films, period,” he said.

Johnson’s taste gravitates toward bringing to light important social and political issues that the public is generally not aware of.

“A lot of the fluff that Hollywood spits out can be interesting at times if you just want brainless entertainment, but I really like films that make you think,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he believes his film, “Blue Moon,” reflects these ideals.

“Some people have said that it’s confusing; some people say that it’s mysterious,” he said.

“Blue Moon” — a film about a young man’s struggle with being himself — is a film Johnson hopes will cause viewers to stop and think. He wants the audience to take time to reflect on the issues presented in his film, as opposed to mindlessly moving on to the next film presented.

A common response Johnson gives viewers who seek specific answers about “Blue Moon” is, “Well, what do you think?”

“I didn’t want it to be so blatantly obvious. I just want it to make people think and feel, and if it makes them think or feel at all, it’s interesting. It’s open to interpretation,” he said.

Johnson said that the films that make up “Persistent Visions 2007” will span a wide variety of subject matter, ranging from issues concerning religion, war, an anti-stereotypical portrait of suicide, Buddhist self-actualization and a film critic who is chronically over-critical in every aspect of life.

So don’t miss this opportunity to see an array of truly “Persistent Visions” tonight.