Review Comment

Intro to the study and theory of film

December 08, 2010

Regan, Marie
Intro to the study and theory of film

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Honestly, I don't think people are fair to Professor Regan. This may be an intro, but it's a 3000 level class... you should know that it's going to be harder than your average intro when you sign up for it. And yes she requires a lot of specificity, but that just makes you more prepared. You have to listen very very carefully in class because detail is very important, but she made makes most major topics very clear, and is available during the breaks to clarify things. I agree she definitely should have explained the presentations better. And to future people giving presentations in this class: know your theory REALLY well, because she will grill you on it if she doesn't think you know it.

So be warned - this class is very very hard, for sure. Be prepared to put in a lot of hours for each paper, and to learn a lot of detail. But if you're willing to work hard, this can actually be a really fun class.

Also she has never once mentioned how much better the columbia class is. I have no idea where the person below me got that.

Workload:

1 paper explaining theory in a (at least this year) fun-ish modern movie, 1 midterm, 1 final paper on theory in a pretty dense film.
3-8 hours per week, depending on whether or not you have a paper.

November 15, 2004

Regan, Marie
Intro to the study and theory of film

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Okay, in terms of scheduling, this class meets only once a week, but for four hours. There were times when I wondered if I would make it out alive or awake. That said, Professor Regan does give a five minute break either before or after the feature film and generally looks the other way when you sneak in food as long as it is not too noisy or offensive. Now as for the class itself: the movies are great, a really wide variety, and the professor does seem to really enjoy and care about what she teaches. Discussion can be painful at times, but this class was overall a pretty good experience. Professor Regan is pretty fair grader, but she takes off if your paper or test does not cover all possible aspects of the questions - in other words, she likes answers to be very thorough.

Workload:

Not too bad. Weekly readings, one minor oral presentation, a paper, a midterm, and a take home final. Definitely doable.

November 11, 2004

Regan, Marie
Intro to the study and theory of film

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

unless you think film is your life and are willing to put up with people who think it is, do not take this class. Despite seeing some good movies, this class can become more of a pain than anyone would think not only because half the class are know-it-alls but because prof Regan apparently expects everyone to be like that. She grades really hard and sometimes just seems to be out to get you.

November 08, 2004

Regan, Marie
Intro to the study and theory of film

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I picked Prof. Regan's class based on the relatively good reviews on CULPA and boy was I mistaken. As a non-film major who is nevertheless genuinely interested in film, I found the actually screenings genuinely interesting, but Marie is insufferable! Maybe she has changed her teaching style since the previous reviews, but she talked to us like a kindergarten class. She started the first class by lecturing us on how she always starts the class on time, not because we have a lot to cover, but because we college students need to learn time management skills! Maybe it's the jaded upperclass(wo)man in me, but I was genuinely insulted by the way she treated us like kids. the discussions are usually atrocious, not because the students aren't trying, but because she limits the discussion to calling out lists of the formal elements we have discussed in class ("okay, kiddies, who can spot an iris shot?"). Some of the readings are interesting, but be prepared for pomo hell with the film theory. All in all, I could have gotten the syllabus, rented the films myself, and been none the worse for it.

Workload:

Short paper, midterm, take home final. Not particularly hard, but be precise, as she tends to be inflexible with the grading.

January 02, 2003

Regan, Marie
Intro to the study and theory of film

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I totally disagree with the previous review. Upon enrolling in her summer course, I found Regan to be extremely endearing (she had never before taught at Columbia and started out nervous but quickly unraveled into a captivating, enthusiastic lecturer). In fact, I'd rank this couse as probably the most fun course I've taken at Columbia, HOWEVER I have never before taken a film class and was watching all the movies for the first time. Also, I had a crush on Regan, who bears a resemblance to Julianne Moore. Nonetheless, if you are a Barnard student looking to fulfill an art's requirement or if you are just looking for an entertaining (albeit challenging) course this is an excellent, fufilling class to take. I loved almost every minute of it.

Workload:

TOUGH but worth it. I took the class in the summer so had enough time for all the loads of work, but perhaps it would seem unreasonable during a normal semester

November 07, 2002

Engel, Lawrence
Intro to the study and theory of film

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This is the second worst class I have ever taken. The only redeeming quality of the class was that half of the films he showed in class (when he wasn't shouting over them) were pretty good. Larry is an accomplished documentary filmmaker. He obviously isn't doing that well or he wouldn't be "teaching." He ruins movies. He ignores narrative in exchange for analyzing the "syntax" and "grammar" of film. It's crap. He had a teacher when he went to Columbia named Stefan Sharff. This man is the basis for his entire spectrum of ideas on film. Engel doesn't have a creative thread in his body. In my opinion, he rips off Sharff's book in class all the time. He assigns tons of reading and gives the worst essay questions for exams ever. I feel so bad for anyone who takes this class after this semester because they will have to depend even more on this horrible film analysis tool called the Deconstructor. This crappy tool takes apart movies and analyzes them based on a number of pathetic aspects that really are just a figment of Larry's imagination. Basically, this class sucks. I was going to be a film major until I took it. Now I am going to major in Biology because at least I won't ever have to deal with Larry Engel again.

Workload:

2 take home essay exams (8-12 pages each) and a final "project", basically another 10 page paper. Garbage. Tons of reading that no one ever does and there is no need to, they don't relate to class at all.

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