Paul the intern’s seventh week at the press club

Dear readers,

Paul the intern here to give you my weekly low-down on press club news and more!

The picture above was taken on my way to Cinéma du Parc on Saturday, what a crowd!

Our Student Planning Committee is making significant progress; Katrya Bolger just published an op-ed in the Gazette, so congratulations to her!

Celine Cooper, who is on the board of the Montreal Press Club, mentored Katrya, so a big thanks to Celine.

You can find a link to Katrya’s story below. Here’s a little Q&A we had on what it was like writing her first big op-ed.

Q: Did you come across any challenges while writing the piece?

A: Satire is such a dynamic and diverse genre that I couldn’t touch upon all its facets in a 600-word piece. At the same time, I wanted to stress the principle of social betterment as the common thread linking the diverse texts that I touched upon, as I think it’s key to understanding what the op-ed is getting at: comedy as a productive diversion and relief from the stiffness of the status quo.

Q: Do you see yourself writing more op-eds in the future? Or are there other areas of writing that you would like to explore?

A: I would love to write more op-eds! Writing provides a really wonderful platform to explore ideas that I’m interested in, fully formed or not. It gives me the space to steadily and thoughtfully go about giving more shape and structure to how I see the world. In terms of other types of writing, I come from a creative writing background so I would like to retreat back more into that type of writing because it’s good to keep improving both the intellectual and aesthetic content of your writing style.

Q: How has some of your prior writing experience helped you on this piece?

A: I have experience writing op-eds and reviews for various publications, including Graphite Publications and Hysteria Feminist Periodical, among others. These experiences have taught me how to critically forward an argument by being both pointed and nuanced in your approach.  Also, my own academic writing has helped inform how I go about reading and discussing texts. As a Cultural Studies [McGill] graduate, we are taught to be literate in interpreting texts, be they literary, visual or filmic. And this I think has really lent to my impulse to critically study and dissect texts.

Q: How does it feel to be able to reach such a wide audience through writing for the Gazette?

A: It feels incredibly gratifying! The press club has been super generous in helping guide me towards this place where I can have my ideas exposed in a very established print publication like the Gazette. It’s given me the drive and momentum to seek more platforms and broader audiences to write for as it would for any aspiring writer.

You can find Katrya’s op-ed here: http://montrealgazette.com/entertainment/opinion-satire-helps-us-understand-and-evaluate-the-news

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Katrya Bolger

 

What was I doing at Cinéma du Parc on Saturday?

I decided to go check out a film, as I’m always on the lookout for exciting stuff that I think might interest MPC members!

Crystal Morelle’s The Wolfpack is a documentary about the lives of seven siblings raised in a four-bedroom Lower East Side Manhattan apartment, confined to its very walls by their father for fourteen years.

The boys, Mukunda, Narayana, Govinda, Bhagavan, Krisna and Jagadesh, and their sister Visnu learn about life through film.

Pulp Fiction, The Dark Knight, Reservoir Dogs. These and many others are their only taste of the outside world besides what they can see from the windows of their housing project. Creating elaborate costumes, they reenact scenes from the films as a way to expend their energy and creativity.

That is until one day in January 2010, 15-year-old Mukunda decides to leave the apartment on his own for the first time to wander the streets below.

What ensues changes the Angulo family forever.

Moselle came upon the idea for the documentary while a student at New York’s School of Visual Arts. She came across the six long-haired, peculiar-looking brothers one day as they were making their way down First Avenue in Manhattan; she wanted to find out more.

The documentary explores the boys’ past, finding out about what it was like to live in such a way for so long, interviewing them, connecting with them; and then shows us their present, seeing them interact with strangers—something still new to them.

Watching the film, I had one question for their father: “How selfish of you for imposing such a lifestyle on your children?” You expect them to be horribly maladjusted human beings, incapable of normal human interaction given such an abnormal childhood.

But then, you see as the film goes on that when their father inevitably is no longer able to suppress them and they become free to roam the streets of New York City—wander parks, go swimming on Coney Island, go see late-night movies—they’re surprisingly similar to most other gangly, awkward teenage boys, just with a penchant for gangster movies and leather jackets.

Most of all, the film raises questions about the true and real effects of being raised on television and movies; something, you realize, is not unique to the kids in The Wolfpack.

It’s a fascinating film that I would highly recommend. Moselle has brought a fresh new take to the documentary genre.

That’s it for another edition of my blog, see you next week!

Paul