“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
SWETHA REGUNATHAN IS CURRENTLY A 2ND YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:
Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I consider New York City as my home, though I grew up in central New Jersey. My town was chartered in 1669. It was quintessentially middle-class: trailer parks next to split level homes, strip malls. Paradoxically, it was very diverse and very xenophobic at the same time. Men and women used hair gel daily.
What or who is inspiring you right now and why?
Right now I’m finding inspiration in wildlife photography and environmentalism, the history of the late 1990s and early 00s, and classic Wall of Sound hitmakers, like The Crystals and The Ronettes. There’s a concept in Henri Bergson’s philosophical writings that I've been turning over in my head a lot. It’s the idea that consciousness is based entirely on change. In other words I am not the same person I was ten minutes ago; I will never be able to relive the same moment twice. I’m really interested in exploring this “buildup” of experiences that constantly reinvents, hinders, and destroys us. I'm reading Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. I turn to her whenever I’m in need. At heart, I really believe in poetry. This is why I still watch Terrence Malick’s films. Sometimes a girl needs bald, unapologetic spirituality. I love the films George Washington and Upstream Color for these reasons. But this is also why I find a lot of smart, well-written comedies so inspiring (like Veep, Silicon Valley, 30 Rock). To me poetry is all about weird and wonderful juxtapositions. Things that don’t belong together. It lets us see ordinary life in radically new ways. Good comedy does this all the time.
What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
So far, my most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film was shooting my 2nd year film. I remember pausing to think about where I was just two years ago, doing something my heart wasn't really in, and feeling resigned to the thought of having to do it forever. I saw my cast and crew around me, carrying heavy lights and laughing and giving everything they had for my film, and I felt so grateful I could die.