Jour de Fete, a film showing just blocks away from Berkeley High School (BHS), at the University of California (UC), Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), is the perfect excuse for BHS students to cross the street, and interact with art. Watching the film by famous French filmmaker named Jacques Tati, surrounded by others who were there to experience the art, I was able to just discover the film as it was shown. Without being guarded about the meaning, usual advertising and other things that come with the mainstream media, nothing could distract from what turned out to actually be a relatively funny film.
Jour de Fete is not a modern film, but rather one that plays on timeless ideas from the black and white era of film. The film was showing at BAMPFA as part of a film series called Comedy as Choreography, which continues with more of his films through November 30. Throughout this film, Jacques Tati highlights the funny moments through music and his own dance-like steps. But along the way, he also weaves in a message about comparing yourself to others that provokes thought.
Outside the theater, there is plenty more to see. Each gallery is divided and has unique art pieces done in many different ways. Once you have admission (which is free for BHS students) you can go anywhere in BAMPFA’s galleries, film archive, study center and even their cafe. Currently, Edie Fake is painting a mural on the wall adjacent to this hangout spot, which gives museumgoers the fabulous opportunity to see an artist at work in real time. The mural will officially open on November 20.
Another exhibit called Strange displays dozens of pieces in all different mediums. Some are collages like “Man o’ War” by Ray Johnson and then others are more traditional like Harald Metzkes’s “Die Botschaft (The Message).”
BAMPFA, in comparison to other museums in the area, makes a point of featur
Students who visit BAMPFA can immerse themselves in many different types of art, while also getting an intimate and informative perspective of their own community.
ing exhibits that community members can relate to, similar to the Oakland Museum of California. BHS students might find these exhibits the most attractive, including a current exhibit featuring art from San Quentin Prison, called the “San Quentin Art Exchange.” Students who visit BAMPFA can immerse themselves in many different types of art, while also getting an intimate and informative perspective of their own community.
BAMPFA has even more to offer, as below the bigger galleries is an art lab where people of all ages can make their own art, and above the galleries is the museum cafe. For BHS students, every artistic interest can be explored. Even after you have spent a couple hours there, you still want to come back for more.
Often times, many of us at BHS have packed schedules that don’t allow us to go many places outside of our extracurriculars. However there is so much that the Bay Area has to offer BHS students, both of which can be found in an abundance at BAMPFA. With BAMPFA being so close by, there is easy access to these things and more.
Art is a wonderful world full of many interpretations. While many parts of our lives are structured, museums remain to show us all the possibilities there are for exploration. So, stop by BAMPFA and see our world through art.