Columbia University School of the Arts adjunct directing faculty member Ramin Bahrani–who also majored in Film Studies as an undergraduate at Columbia (CC '96)–is featured in an article by chief critic A.O. Scott on the resurgence of realism in film in the March 22 issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Scott visited Bahrani's graduate film directing class this spring at School of the Arts and writes: "His insistence on the tiniest details of camera movement, expression and composition was a reminder to [his students at Columbia]–and also to me–that transparency, immediacy and a sense of immersion in life are not the automatic results of turning on a camera but rather effects achieved through the painstaking application of craft."
Bahrani's films include Goodbye Solo, which will have its theatrical release in New York this Friday, March 27; the award-winning Man Push Cart, about a Pakistani immigrant who runs a coffee cart in New York City; and Chop Shop, which follows a brother and sister in Willets Point, Queens, an area of auto-body and tire repair shops known as the Iron Triangle. Bahrani was recently the subject of a Filmmaker in Focus exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.
Also featured in Scott's article is Anna Boden, who also graduated from Columbia University with a Film Studies major (CC '02). Boden's newest film Sugar, which she made with collaborator Ryan Fleck, is about a Dominican baseball star recruited to play in the minor leagues. Sugar was nominated for both the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year, and also for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. Boden and Fleck's previous film, Half Nelson, was nominated for an Oscar and received over 20 additional prizes and nominations.
Scott cites both Bahrani's and Boden's films as "small movies from relatively young directors [that] are setting out to expand, modestly but with notable seriousness, the scope of American filmmaking."