I just want everyone to know that someone really excellent died last week. I missed his funeral because it was my anniversary and I'm kind of pissed off about it.
Gus Blaisdell, my favorite film professor, the best teacher I ever had, the person responsible for making me see cinema as an art form, died of a heart attack last Wednesday.
Tall and lean with a full beard and disheveled hair, Blaisdell was teaching Images of Women in Film and International Horror Film this semester, Jaffe said.
"He loved to perform," Jaffe said. "He had a great theatrical flair, a great presence. People just found him interesting to look at and to be with ..."
Blaisdell was considered an intellectual in a broad sense because he had formally studied and worked in a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, literature and visual arts such as painting and photography, Jaffe said.
"He had a passion for a variety of subject matter," Jaffe said. "He could bring them all to bear on a particular film or body of films."
Jaffe said Blaisdell was extremely articulate and had a remarkable memory, including the ability to remember shot-by-shot sequences of films.
Gus was a really, really excellent teacher. I'm pissed off that I'll never get to take his Stanley Kubrick class. (Ha ha, sniff...Just kidding Gus...) I'm sorry I made him keep playing I Spit on your Grave after he was going to turn it off because it was so awful. I'm sorry my paper on The Bicycle Thief was so half-ass. I'm sorry I shaved my Mohawk, I know he liked it. I'm sorry I never took him up on his offer to show him my poetry. I'm sorry I made the cellophane of my candy wrapper crinkle during the movie that one time. I'm really sorry he made us read all that Stanley Cavell (ha ha...just kidding again, Gus).
Next time you're at a movie and someone's cellphone goes off, or their bratty rugrat starts squealing, or their stupid digital watch beeps, throw your shoe at them in honor of Gus.
He would've liked that.