Allegra Frank '15
Irvington, New York
Academic interests: Film Studies-related: music in film, gender in film, animation. I also like English and Psychology.
Hobbies: I'm the manager of Mount Holyoke's radio station, WMHC, so that pretty much consumes my life. I love being involved with such a cool community of fellow music fans. I'm also super into books, art, and pop culture references.
Favorite classes you've taken: History of World Cinema is a must, and not just because it's required. Seriously eyeopening in a lot of ways and it will alter your relationship with film. I was also a fan of Hitchcock and After, Contemporary Art and the Moving Image, and an Amherst course called Animating Cinema.
Advice for first years: Talk to everyone you can in the department! Don't worry about being obnoxious - just get to know people! Having conversations with professors or fellow Film students can have a massive effect on your engagement with your major and more importantly with film as a whole. Hang out in the lounge and go to our department "socials" to meet some awesome people and eat too many cookies.
Miranda Gontz ’16
Film Studies and Philosophy Double Major
South Pasadena, California
Academic interests: Anything and everything Film, but primarily audience/film relations, Classical Hollywood, and the French New Wave. Also Creative Writing and Philosophy.
Hobbies: Knitting, sipping tea, looking at cat pictures, watching movies, looking at my surroundings and imagining shooting a film there, outlining/writing/making/pretending to make films. I also am on the board of WMHC and work with Media Resources as a Videography Fellow!
Favorite Classes: All of the classes are wonderful, but I especially loved Philosophy of Film Theory taught by Tom Wartenberg and Women’s Experimental Cinema with Robin Blaetz. Both classes really helped me become aware of my perspective of film and helped me alter that perspective so that I could become a better student, film analyst, and filmmaker.
Advice for first years: Don’t be afraid to branch out! Take classes on subjects you know nothing about and acquire new interests. This is a safe place for you to discover yourself, so don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. And your professors are always here to help… always go to office hours! They are an invaluable resource and are never short on time to help you out.
Film Studies minor
Rhinebeck, New York
Academic Interests: Psychoanalytical film theory
Hobbies: reading Russian literature, jamming out to The Rolling Stones and watching Wes Anderson films
Favorite Classes: The diverse classes offered by the department are phenomenal. Highlights include Expired Horror?, a seminar on the birth and evolution of horror films, and The Moving Image and Contemporary Art which explored the boundaries between the fine arts and the cinema.
Advice for first years: College is a time to grow – socially and academically! Office hours are invaluable. Go to them if you need help or just to stop by and chat with professors.
Maya Robinson '15
Academic Interests: Everything I do not know. Mostly any field of study involving motion, rhythm, and/or history : film archive and conservation work & film production, music, astronomy, literature & creative writing. The social sciences are a draw as well.
Hobbies: A bunch of spontaneous obsessions and activities. I've been making these "mini-zines" as a way to document my hopping around abroad. I don't have a quality camera, but I love photography; I've developed a much more technical interest in it over the past two years (though it still boils down to point and click). I interned for WMHC radio last year and look forward to hosting my own show this coming fall. My procrastination in college is without a doubt related to my ability to spend hours listening to music, watching films/shows, enjoying my friends. The list goes on, I spend a good deal of time trying to develop work (concepts, portfolios, scripts, stories). This summer I'll break ground on my senior thesis.
Favorite classes you've taken: As instrumental as on-campus courses are to my academic career, I am extremely grateful for and fond of the courses I've taken off-campus. Thus far I've taken two courses at Hampshire (Kieslowski Meets Ozu & Film Workshop 1), both with Abraham Ravett who I would not hesitate to recommend. The benefit of going off campus is that I'm able to expand my network, environment, and resources relating to film studies within the Five Colleges and the Pioneer Valley : the family gets bigger. It's also really interesting to experience the approach/perspectives students and faculty have at the other campuses.
Advice for first years: Dig in. Thus far, when it comes to the film departments and personalities I have encountered, everyone is fully engaged with whatever they're studying, teaching, or producing. This creates a very vibrant support system and community. If you think film studies is your niche, don't hesitate to talk to people, ask for things, produce work and force us all to watch it, try to curate your own screening and discussion or production workshop. Use everything that is available to you. Consume and be consumed, a picture's worth one thousand words and in one second of film there's 24,000 of them, and the medium is always begging for new additions.