Nov 29, 2007

Casper the Friendly Host

Years ago, so long ago it seems like another lifetime, I went to USC Film School as a production major but got sidetracked by journalism and music. The film classes I tended to enjoy most were about watching and thinking and writing about movies, not about how to expose film properly and cut "coverage" across an imaginary 180-degree line...I get bored just typing these words... I took at least four classes, and crashed many more, taught in the capacious Norris Cinema by the inimitable, irrepressible Dr. Drew Casper, an ex-Jesuit priest and an inveterate Hitchcock and Doris Day freak with encyclopedic knowledge of film and film theory. How great to catch up with him again after all these years, and realize how much he influenced my tastes. Though I already knew before I went to film school that Notorious is Hitch's best, I didn't know much about the Catholic iconography in his films (particularly Vertigo and The Wrong Man). Nor had I yet discovered the might-as-well-be-secret joys of Calamity Jane and Love Me or Leave Me.

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