For Would-Be Scorseses, the Streets Are Truly Mean
by Virginia Heffernan

Independent filmmaking, as it comes across in "Film School," has two parts: hysteria and logistics.

The New York University students in this reality series, which begins tonight on IFC, spend their time cursing, sulking or crying as they work on their master opuses, beginner films that they hope will win awards and kick off careers. When these directors-in-training are not distraught, they're preternaturally focused: on filling out financial aid forms, getting their printers to work, gauging light, making a menu for a fund-raiser and, of course, scouting, casting, rehearsing, shooting and editing.

Four film school students are at the center of the show, though one — I won't say who — winds up dropping out before the series is over. (It's painful.) The four are Barbara, Vincenzo, Leah and Alrick, intense auteurs all, charming and feverish.

Leah is an artsy American who wants to make a movie based on her own angry, cold relationship with her disabled mother.

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