English/Film Studies Personal Statement
Books and films mediate and inform our lives. It seems to me that stories are the chief means by which we make sense of that within us and around us. Stories are assemblies of text; texts permeate everything. I believe a deeper understanding of the ways we interact with texts can only broaden our understanding of nature, culture and one another. This belief comprises a singular component in my desire to study literature and film at university.
I have, of late, carefully considered the work of structuralist and poststructuralist writers in conjunction with landmark texts, such as ‘Lord of the Flies’. Their thought has led me to consider the absence of archetypical female characters in William Golding’s novel and meditate on some of the many important, provocative contentions of feminist theorists.
I enjoy reflecting on the manner in which different sign systems divide up reality in different ways. Accordingly, I would very much like to investigate formally how medieval literature and the medieval mind compare with their contemporary equivalents.
My experience of cinema has been dominated by American films. I have long been enthralled and challenged by the father figures in the oeuvre of Paul Thomas Anderson.
Harmony Korine’s provocative, dysfunctional America, too, has long captivated my interest. I marvel at how such distinct, disparate visions have issued from one nation and I am keen to learn how historical, social and technological forces have factored in their creation. I am keen to further my enquiries, too, into how films influence the worlds they purport to represent.
I have also written, directed and produced several short films. I am very proud to note that the last of these films to be completed was selected for screening at this year’s Edinburgh Bootleg Film Festival. By June this year I will complete my current project, a short film about a couple’s problematic weekend.
Working with scripts and collaborators has developed my capacity to organise my thoughts and present them coherently. Composing successive drafts of screenplays, alone and in conjunction with others, has refined my ability to write with a specific goal in mind.
Work in the hospitality industry and in Oxfam shops has well prepared me for academic study. In my working life, I manage deadlines successfully within the boundaries and codes of the workplace; for example, planning and merchandising a summer book festival offering.
Books and films are in my future. Another singular component in my desire to study literature and film at university is my belief an undergraduate degree will better my chances of gaining employment in the arts sector. I am a limber reader and I am quite ready for the challenging digest I expect of the modules ahead.
My excellent academic performance at school and my assiduous, conscientious nature both stand me in fine stead to contribute to the life of a higher education establishment.
Above all, the enormous growth I have experienced during my collaborations with others makes me very excited by the prospect of learning from those with whom I share my university life.
I applied in April 2013 to study English Literature and Film Studies at Hull University; this is my personal statement. I benefited enormously from reading the statements on this website as I was drafting it. Studential: thank you very much!