My name is Dhruv Krishna Goyal, and I am currently in my second semester at NYU to complete my Master’s Degree in Cinema Studies.
Having seen films as nothing more than a hobby throughout my childhood, I never thought I would plan on studying it to this extent in college until I was subjected to the Ludovico experiment of Electrical Engineering in undergrad. The numbers and algorithms that initially seemed harmless soon stopped making sense. In frustration, even desperation, I turned to the world of cinema, looking for something more than just entertainment. It replied resoundingly in the form of inspirational films like Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan (2010), existentialist films like Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line (1998), and surrealistic internalized narratives like Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966). However, I refused to properly hear that sound, instead choosing to complete my major in Economics at NYU.
I did take some classes to complete a minor in Cinema Studies, which indicated my growing interest in the medium. I got exposed to international cinematic styles that I deeply resonated with, positively re-evaluated my love for Indian cinema, and realised questions regarding cinema’s medium specificity by sampling some readings from writers like Tom Gunning. These courses, working in unison with the films themselves, further opened my mind to the different lenses through which one chooses to view cinema.
The Master’s Program, specifically film theory, champions this type of study that relies on comparing these critical perspectives without a hint of condescension. It encourages a nuanced approach to film viewing and critiquing, which I find most productive. Through this course, I hope to enhance my understanding of these theorists’ diverse perspectives and how these interact more with contemporary texts vs. canonical ones.