Student Spotlight: Max Tvorun-Dunn

Submitted by Yuko Mera on

Double Major: Cinema & Media Studies and Psychology
Class of 2019
Hometown: Seattle
Next step: Graduate study in Culture and Communication at Waseda University, Tokyo

When did you know that you wanted to major in CMS?
I grew up with an interest in cinema, so as soon as CMS became a UW major I jumped on board.

What do you like most about the program?
My favorite thing is the media library at Suzzallo. Only once have I encountered a movie they didn’t own, and they promptly added it to their collection. I’m also a fan of how open the CMS program is, the freedom you have in choosing what to study.

You just returned from a year of studying abroad, first at the University of Amsterdam and then at the University of Bristol. How did that experience affect your sense of CMS as a field?
Cinema is of course a global phenomenon, so study abroad was an opportunity to experience international viewing methods and perspectives first hand. The close proximity to other European cities let me visit a number of important places in film history such as Cinecitta Studios, London’s Stanley Kubrick Archives, Turin’s National Film Museum, and dozens of old movie theaters in Paris’s Left Bank. Being on the actual shooting locations for some of my favorite European films (Caché, Last Year in Marienbad, The Third Man) also gave me a new sense of geography for them. And it was amazing to see how real-world locations get broken up and turned into filmic composites through cameras and editing.

You’re headed to graduate school next – in Japan! Why did you look for programs abroad? Why Japan?
I’m interested in how cinematic modes and styles get translated across cultures, and I hope to eventually work in media localization. Japan is a key example of these traveling styles. Think of Kurosawa’s give-and-take with the Western, or the rise of Yakuza films from film noir, or the international explosion of Anime.

Any advice for CMS majors who are interested in graduate study?
It’s never too early to start planning, and be aware that international schools have different deadlines than programs in the US.