Saturday, October 18, 2008

Intro to Film

Hey friends. I've been neglecting this site for too long. I'm glad Drew hasn't. I liked getting together over the summer a couple times, it'd be fun to do it again.

Anyways, this semester, in addition to my usual high school teaching responsibilities, I'm also teaching an Intro to Film class at SLCC. Here's a few things we've watched so far:

The Color of Paradise

I like to start the semester out with this one because it's so different from what most people have seen, being foreign and iranian, but at the same time it's so easily accesible, so I think right off the bat it helps to ease their prejudices against foreign film. Also a great example of a pretty obvious but power theme supported by all the film elements.

Annie Hall

I hadn't seen this in a while and it still does the trick. One student mentioned how he thought the whole film was the equivalent of the Audience being Woody Allen's analyst and him trying to explain Why to us. I buy that.

American Graffiti

I've basically got this whole film memorized now. It was interesting how after seeing it a lot of the students said they talked to their parents or uncles and aunts who said this is exactly what it was like growing up in the 60's. So I tried to think of a film that shows what it was like growing up in the 90's. I couldn't think of one that is similar to my life. I'd say the closest thing is Freaks and Geeks. What about you folks?

Pan's Labyrinth

I hadn't seen this film before I showed it to the class, so I got to experience it for the first time with them. I loved all the recurring themes of laying up treasure in heaven vs. trying to hold on to earthly treasure. The ending was initially frustrating but ultimately exactly right. I think he does a great job of getting an adult to feel what a child feels when they read or see a good fairy tale.


I think I've written about this one before. Still love it. On the surface, I love what it says about marriage, and the effort it takes to make it work, but how when you dedicate yourself to it it's the best thing ever. Beneath the surface, I think it's about our relationship with God. Similar to Punch Drunk Love.

Tokyo Story

Man, this film is slow. But it makes it that much more refreshing when after about a half hour a few of the characters start talking about real stuff instead of just small talk.

The Hustler

We were studying "acting" this week, and I thought it fitting to honor Mr. Paul Newman, one of the finest. I hadn't ever seen this film. I really liked the beginning and the end and a few parts in the middle, but overall it could've been trimmed down 20 or 30 minutes and would be great. But still, the ending makes up for all the boring middle parts.


Studying editing this week, and this is a great example of Mr. Stone using the editing to prove his point. Here's a question: If you believed everything in the films were true and really happened, which one is scarier: JFK or Rosemary's Baby?


Blogger Jordan said...

Your class sounds fun - great intro to film list (I remember being bored in the middle of 'The Hustler' too). Oh the days when watching movies was homework. To answer your question: Rosemary's Baby would be scarier than JFK if true.

I am less scared of sneaky government agencies manipulating world events and massive cover ups than I am of a the devil impregnating a lovely young woman with the help of sweet yet satanic old people.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

I guess it depends on how far reaching the sweet yet satanic old people's powers are, whether they would affect me directly. Because if what they were saying was true and JFK was trying to pull out of Vietnam right away, how many people got drafted and went over there because he died? But then again, the Satanic old couple could most likely have infiltrated the CIA as well and were behind both movie plots.

6:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home