Krishna Mysore

Krishna Mysore
ET Ourn

Krishna Mysore `24 was obsessed with film before he arrived at Grinnell College. His obsession only intensified while at home in the Philadelphia suburbs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. When he began taking classes at Grinnell, however, there was no formal department or program for those who wanted to study film. Over the next four years, that changed significantly. 

“My time here basically has been the emergence of the concentration, even though Nicky [Tavares] and professors have been putting in work for years,” he said. During his second year at the College, Grinnell faculty approved the creation of a film and media studies concentration.  

After the concentration was formally created, Mysore was hired as its first student employee in 2022. As the film studies technical assistant, he organizes, manages and oversees checkouts and returns of film equipment, also providing support to department events like Wednesday night screenings of visiting filmmakers’ work. 

You definitely saved the class production.

— Ethan Nelson to Krishna Mysore `24

As we spoke, Ethan Nelson, digital media equipment manager, ducked into the Bucksbaum classroom. “Thanks for your help today,” he said to Mysore. “You definitely saved the class production.” 

After Mysore was hired, Nicky Tavares, assistant professor of studio art and department chair of film and media studies, soon approached him to revive the College’s film club after a COVID-induced hiatus. Along with Kate Guiney `23, Mysore worked to organize weekly screenings, collaborating with the film studies faculty to host filmmakers on campus. He remembers the 2023 visit of Violet du Feng, realized through a partnership with the Chinese, Japanese and East Asian studies Student Educational Policy Committee, as a particularly proud moment. “It was really cool to do that as a club, to bring a real filmmaker and have a Q & A afterwards,” he said. 

As film studies and Film Club programming have increased, Mysore said he believes that the number of interested students has grown. “There’s a community to engage with now, as compared to three or four years ago,” he said. “Being involved with the rise of more film culture on campus has been very important to me, I do take pride in that I helped that.” 

Films are like my whole life.

— Krishna Mysore `24

“I’m not much else,” Mysore laughed. “Films are like my whole life. I guess I’m a math major. I love math.” Mysore’s decision to study abroad at the Prague Film School in the fall of 2023 helped clarify his interest in both film studies and mathematics. 

“Study abroad at Grinnell is what made me realize I like film more than math, or I didn’t want to pursue math in a research way,” he said. Mysore had originally applied to a mathematics-focused program in Budapest, Hungary before realizing that he was more interested in the Prague Film School. “It was so much more built-up, the infrastructure and the support –– it’s very historic,” he said. 

On the overlap between film studies and mathematics, Mysore said, “I really like avant-garde, experimental film, shorter film, like stuff you’d see in a gallery.” He added, “In that realm, math has a ton of historical influence. A generation of experimental filmmakers studied math in school, and the concern with formal structures and abstraction ties in there.” 

He added that the processes of film analysis and pure mathematical analysis are not dissimilar. “I really like pure math,” he said. “Writing proofs, you get to come up with this argument that’s for certain, and in the humanities, obviously, you can’t know for certain, but it is about writing arguments.” 

Mysore’s involvement in film and media studies has even influenced his personal life. Mysore met his girlfriend, Lucia Finkelstein `24, in an film course, GWS 395: Studies in Film Theory, and said that some of his best memories of his time at Grinnell have resulted from film-driven road trips. “Around spring every year, usually it just happens that it’s in spring, me and Lucia or a couple of friends drive to Minneapolis or Chicago to watch some rare screening of a movie,” he said. “There and back in one night, it’s always a fun time.” 

Outside of film studies and mathematics, the men’s tennis team also served as an influence on Mysore’s Grinnell experience –– despite the fact that he is not a tennis player. “I was never on the tennis team,” he said. He explained, “In spring one, when the first years came to campus, I lived in the same dorm, Kershaw, as the men’s tennis team of my year, and I became friends with them.” This unexpected connection to the tennis team provided more of Mysore’s favorite memories, including frequent die-playing in his second year. “Die League can be a fun way to meet people and bond with them,” he said. “I think that my greatest takeaways have definitely been the people that I’ve met.” 

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