Review Comment

Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

January 16, 2018

Kalogeropoulou, Christina
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

The most boring professor.

Christina is really passionate about film and seems to know a lot about the study of it, but is a horrible teacher. Her lectures are long, hard to understand, and with very little focus. She often goes on tangents and (although she tries!) often fails to concisely and precisely answer students' questions. Her Midterm and Final prompts (which had 3 options each) ranged from too confusing and detailed to too vague. When you ask her questions, she goes on a long tangent and you're lucky if she touches upon the realm of your question.

A lot of participation is required to get a good grade, but she also doesn't call on people. You can technically go into this class and never say anything.

Genuinely a lovely and kind woman, but not a good professor and class experience.

Workload:

15% Participation
35% Midterm Paper (1000 to 1400 words)
40% Final Paper (1500 to 2000 words)

December 07, 2017

Kalogeropoulou, Christina
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

Christina is a wonderful person to converse with about film and about writing film, but not as wonderful a professor. Her lectures tend to be long and only interesting if you have a pre-existing interest in film. Don't expect to have a fire kindled in your heart or anything for the subject matter. I highly encourage you doing lots of reading on your own and watching video essays.

She also highly values participation, so be ready to speak consistently in class.

This year was especially hard because we had no TA. This meant that the class was submitting our first draft of essays. However, given this, I think Christina remained a relatively fair and kind grader.

Workload:

Average - ranges from 1-3 readings a week, a midterm paper, and a final paper

December 04, 2012

King, Robert Silver_nugget
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

I found Professor King's class to be a really painless way to get the introductory film course over with. He is definitely very knowledgeable about film history and theory and makes the lecture as engaging/entertaining as he can, considering the class itself is nearly 4 hours long. My main complaint about the class is obviously the length, but with film classes that's something you have to deal with. Overall I would highly recommend taking the intro course with him if he teaches it again (I'm pretty sure this is his first time teaching it at Columbia at least).

Workload:

Weekly readings that you don't really need to do, except maybe the film criticism articles. He covers most of what you need to know in lecture.

no midterm

2 papers, one is a shot by shot analysis and the other is a contextual critical analysis. Pretty painless.

Discussion section participation. Basically just talk in class and post in the discussion group on courseworks and you'll be fine.

Final, which he gave a study guide for.

Overall pretty easy, I think it would be really difficult to fail this course and definitely possible to get an A if you put the effort in on the essays.

April 11, 2012

Kim, Nelson Silver_nugget
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

I enjoyed this class immensely but that may be because I'm just really interested in film. Nelson's not the most captivating lecturer but he knows his stuff and dictates short discussions well after the movies. Plus his film picks are always good.

Listen to Nelson's analysis and comments after the movies and take notes and you can just skim the readings to do well on the midterm/final. My TA was AWESOME. All around very chill class.

Workload:

interesting readings if you're into film
easy midterm pulled straight from his lecture comments
scene analysis paper that's time consuming but fun
take home final

December 14, 2011

Regan, Marie
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

I have mixed feelings about this course. I had started to take it last year with a different professor but had dropped it after an absurdly terrible first lecture. This year, I needed to get it out of the way in order to take other film courses so I took it with Regan. On the one hand, Regan's syllabus was WAY better than the first professor, Regan clearly knows what she's talking about, she contextualizes all the films and movements, and she knows how to spark interesting questions about each and every film. On the other hand, Regan is a bit dry, her powerpoints are stuffed with information and she moves quickly, she responds a little negatively when students profess differing opinions in class (although granted, a lot of those kids were freshmen that rambled about their feelings), and her assignments don't allow for too much freedom. Overall, I'm glad I took the course, and Regan seemed just as good as professor as any to take it with. I definitely know way more about film theory and have plenty of interesting quips for cocktail parties and for family dinners when my uncle gets boring.

Workload:

weekly reading assignments but not too heavy, discussion section with a focus on participation grade, one paper for the semester, one midterm (fair, but tough), one take-home final paper (tough, but plenty of time to work on it)

May 03, 2011

Zwarich, Jennifer
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

Initial feelings toward Professor Zwarich was definitely a bit negative due to disappointment that she wasn't Korean or named Nelson Kim, but she ended up being a pretty good instructor who you could tell wanted students to like/enjoy the class (and her). The only thing is that a lot of the times she would read off long passages of really pretentious sounding quotes from the assigned readings for that week. I mean, come on, we're reading this already (sometimes). We don't need to hear it again via an audio version. Hence sometimes it was easy to not follow her during her speeches. She definitely conveyed her passion for the films she was showing which sometimes ended up being contagious. Overall a good teacher who tries hard and so deserves some commendation.

Workload:

Midterm, paper, final paper.

July 25, 2010

Kim, Nelson Silver_nugget
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

Nelson is an awesome guy and one of the best lecturers I've had here so far. He knows the films and readings extremely well and is always able and willing to answer questions in class. Each session generally begins with some background on the film movement being discussed. We then watched a film and talked about it. Despite the fact that the class is nearly 4 hours long, I was rarely ever bored and I always looked forward to coming to class. This course is not only an awesome introduction to the film major, it is also a fantastic course for anyway who enjoys watching films. Professor Kim helps you truly appreciate quality films and enables you to watch movies in a new, more critical, and more fulfilling way.

Workload:

moderate amounts of reading every week that are necessary if you want to get anything of the discussion sections
1 5-page shot-by-shot analysis of a scene that is genuinely fun to write
midterm with ID's and short essays
non-cumulative final with ID's and essays

May 02, 2010

Kim, Nelson Silver_nugget
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

Professor Kim was a really great lecturer. Not at all egotistical, just straightforward and informative. Which is not to say he's a dry professor, just that he definitely lets the films do the entertaining. He's also really approachable and friendly. The workload is pretty light. There are weekly readings which are pretty lengthy, but not all are necessary. The ones at the beginning are important to your understanding and some of them are mentioned on the midtem and final, but as the semester goes on they get less and less important. The midterm is fair, and the final isn't cumulative (!) which is awesome. Plus, the movies we watch are excellent. I'm gonna miss this class.

Workload:

One 5-page shot by shot analysis, one midterm, one final. All of these are graded by your TA. No surprises.

January 05, 2009

Regan, Marie
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

For an introduction professor, Regan knows her stuff well. She came to class with a well organized lecture each time to contextualize the film and what we were supposed to get out of it, followed by great discussion points after the film had ended. She could be a little condescending, but she was decently entertaining and chose an appropriate syllabus that really covered all the major topics of cinema, which is often tough to do in only 13 classes. Apparently she was a rough grader on the first paper, though she didn't look at the finals.

Workload:

weekly theory readings for section, midterm, 7-page paper, 10-page paper

January 13, 2008

Regan, Marie
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

This is an amazing and stimulating class, whether you are into film or not. The class made me think differently about writing, reading, and obviously film. This class introduces students to ideas and ways of expressing ideas in a thoroughly new and exciting way.

Professor Regan is one of the most well-prepared teachers I've ever had. Every lesson is well-organized and she adds little anecdotes about all that she teaches to enhance students' understanding of the material and to help remember it.
She is more than willing to speak to students after/before class about material covered in class or about assignments. She is truly passionate about what she teaches and her passion and energy is contagious. This class made me consider a career in something related to film.

Workload:

Not too bad at all - 2 papers and the midterm exam. There is weekly reading which TREMENDOUSLY enhances the material so if you want to make the most out of the class and understand everything a lot better and deeper, do the reading.

May 26, 2006

Khaja, Jameel Silver_nugget
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

I recommend this class without hesitation. Having little knowledge of the history of cinema, I took this class purely for fun, and it was a great decision. Jameel has the ability to make an otherwise dry lecture about the business structure of movie studios into something fascinating. He always opens up the class to discussion, and he doesn't care if your favorite movie is an obscure French film from the 1960s or "Wedding Crashers." I never felt like I wasn't sophisticated enough for this class, and I picked up some new favorite movies along the way. I learned so much in this class, and it has completely changed the way I watch movies. The films he selects for viewing in class are, for the most part, really entertaining and/or interesting, and they get better as the semester goes on. My one caution: this class is NOT an easy A. I think it is a pretty easy B+ though. Regardless of your final grade, this class is definitely worth it.

Workload:

A midterm paper (on a movie we've watched in class) and final paper on any movie from the last five years. A photo project (basically a movie storyboard). Four "rants," which are basically a two-page journal describing youor first impression of any movie we've watched in class--really easy to do. Also, class attendance and attendance at discussion section are mandatory. It looks like more work than it is--take this class.

July 26, 2004

Engel, Lawrence
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

Not a fan of this class. I took this class hoping for, well, an introduction to the study and theory of film. Instead, I got a bunch of film snobbery wedged between movies that were extremely hit or miss (and occasionally a 3 hr 45 min nap). These movies are not all appropriate to an intro class, but we watch them because Larry wants our generation to see them (he tells you this on the first day of class). I want to be a film major, and I couldn't stand the other film majors in the class. Larry caters to the 3% that already know everything you're supposed to learn, and calls on the same 4 kids as they snicker over the absurdity anachronistic mis en scene! hahaa! The class is just really impersonal and NOT a good introduction to the film dept. Discussion sections are hit or miss, but mine was actually awesome, thanks to Daniel Falcone (loved him!).

Workload:

Just a few papers. There is so much reading, probably about 200 large pgs per class, but don't do it. Just read through it for the papers. Some work on "the deconstructor",which is the most worthless and tedious thing ever created. Grading is not necessarily hard, but is certainly arbitrary. It is hard to get an A, but also hard to work very much. Bs seem pretty standard.

May 22, 2004

Engel, Lawrence
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

What an amazing class. Professor Engel, by far, taught the best class I had all year. Provided, I am a film major, but I think my love for the class stands far beyond my love of film. Essentially, Larry is extremely passionate about cinema and it shows during the screenings. Although he does talk over the films, he chooses times with very little action and usually adds quite a bit to the impact of the film. From day one, Larry hopes that he'll change the way you see film and I can faithfully say that by the last class, he certainly accomplishes that goal.
As other reviewers have stated, it's the TAs and not Prof. Engel that grades your work, so getting a bad TA can be deadly - then again that can happen in your other classes as well. If you're not interested in majoring in film, then just Pass-Fail the class - if you are, then just be sure to follow up with your TA and let him or her know about your interest in cinema.
Going to class every day was a pleasure unmatched by the rest of my schedule.

Workload:

A deceptively large amount of reading. If you're in a bind, you can skip over the Cook book (history) and read the extremely interesting Theory book that will basically help you with the essays. (Although the Cook book is better). If you do that, then there's not a lot of work.
I had to write 3 1,000 word essays in 1 week (not as bad as it looks)
A 1,000 word essay. 10 - 15 page final paper.
Film journals.
Yes, there is a lot of work, but if you like film enough, it won't be bad.

May 19, 2004

Engel, Lawrence
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

Larry Engel is a professor with great potential who somehow insists on being boring. He doesn't really "teach" so much as he projects movies and draws out a cliche' or two before and after the films, drawn straight out of the readings. However, in the one or two instances when he does analyze a scene he has his moments of brilliance - unfortunately, these moments were rare.

The class is not hard, the reading is vastly doable, and sitting in a room every week watching movies (most of which are great, except for his odd choice of the bride of frankenstein) can barely be considered a torture. Even if you are taking the class for kicks and do not intend to be a film major, you can easily both have fun and get an A.

The man has an obsession with Alain Resnais. When I took his class, he used three Alain Resnais movies as the "main movie" for the French New Wave class, the Experimentalist/Avantguard film class and the Documentary Class. While Resnais is a highly eminent director, his work can hardly be considered "emblematic" for each of those three movements/traditions ... so at the end of the semester, do yourself a favour and watch more films to get a broader picture of the New Wave and Experimentalist film.

Basically: Fun Class because of the Material, but a Passive and Mediocre Professor

Workload:

Weekly readings that seem heavy but the theorists are fun, and you can skim the "history" textbook - goes by quickly. Three take home exams. "Journal" entries for each week which are a pain but not particularly difficult.

December 08, 2002

Engel, Lawrence
Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

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

Disclaimer: You should only take this class if you want to be a film major. Larry, the professor, announces this the first few days of class, and it is entirely true. This is not neccessarily a hard elective, but you will look at films in new and powerful ways. Anyone should appreciate the amount you learn in this class, but only other film majors who took it with me actually did. This is essentially Film Hum. Upon entering the class, persevere through the initial "go away" classes where Larry tells everyone to leave because you're going to hate it. Stay in class and learn to see films in a new way. I came to Columbia College as an incredibly well (privately) artistically educated student as I ran my high school's Art club and Film Forum that nearly, solely showcased experimental films. Most of my friends and family told me that I was way, way, way too critical of films. I knew movies like Minority Report, Annie Hall, and others were terrible trash. In Larry, I found a kindred spirit who made me even more critical and analytical of films. Instead of just critiquing and analyzing films in terms of individual images and narrative content, we learned how to analyze films at their unique core: sequences of moving images. The lectures and the readings skim over film history and mainly focus on cinematic techniques and theory. Every lecture is a new discovery, and Larry brings a wonderfully and sorely needed critical perspective to these films. With the possible exception of nouvelle vague films, he is never entirely complementary or critical of a certain film genre or film. He realizes early films have problems but that they also display their potential and the basics of filmic techniques. He acknowledges certain films that are brilliantly constructed and gives those due credit. As he intertwines his lectures with film theory, the class and film showings generally follow the outline of film history from Lumiere to Godard. Although he is out of town quite a bit, he and the T.A.'s are always responsive to questions and helpful with any problems. Larry and the T.A.'s even invite the entire class to Nacho Mama's several times throughout the semester! Last but certainly not least is the Deconstructor. An incredibly invaluable and underrated tool, the Deconstructor allows students to "deconstruct" film scenes shot by shot and analyze them through various cinematic qualities. Do not listen to those who say this is like science or math. Film students have been analyzing films shot by shot ever since the early 20th century days of the Russian film school. With the Deconstructor, students take part in this grand tradition in an accessible and painless manner. The people who say the Deconstructor reveals nothing about film say that literary devices reveal nothing about literature, that music keys and theory reveal nothing about music, and that semiology as well as artistic theory reveal nothing about the visual arts. Sometimes a piece of art is just a piece of art, and sometimes a piece of art has an underlying grammer or theory that unlocks untold ideas. In Larry's class, you unlock those ideas. My only qualm with the class is that only two lectures are dedicated to experimental and documentary films. DO NOT MISS THESE LAST TWO CLASSES!!!! Stay at Columbia for Thanksgiving and hand in your paper late because they are amazing. If you want to take a class in which you will learn and have fun, take Intro. to Film with Larry. EXCELLENT JOURNEY!!!!

Workload:

Grading is done by the T.A.'s who generally seem to lead interesting and slightly off-topical/topical discussion sections. Don't worry, you'll have a great time and learn something that wasn't necessarily discussed in class or in the readings. The workload is extraordinarily light. Readings are heavy, Heavy, and HEAVY, but they are incredibly interesting and thought provoking. If you don't want to do them, you don't have to read as all assignments are take-home. Two take-home exams, the first consists of two 1000 word essays and a scene analysis using the Deconstructor. The second consists of another 1000 word essay and a rather brief scene analysis not using the Deconstructor. The final is essentially left up to each individual student. Make a film, write a paper, or Deconstruct a scene; it's all great fun so it doesn't matter that it takes a little time.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film 2012 Fall M / 2:00- 5:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Nelson Kim 2012 Spring R / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Nelson Kim 2011 Spring W / 6:00- 9:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Marie Regan 2010 Fall R / 2:00- 5:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Nelson Kim 2010 Spring R / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Marie Regan 2009 Fall M / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Nelson Kim 2009 Spring M / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Marie Regan 2008 Fall M / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Marie Regan 2006 Fall M / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Jameel Khaja 2006 Spring M / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Lawrence Engel 2005 Spring / 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Marie Regan 2004 Fall R / 1:30- 5:15 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Lawrence Engel 2004 Spring T / 2:00- 5:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Marie Regan 2003 Spring M / 9:30- 1:00 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Marie Regan 2003 Fall M / 9:45- 1:30 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Lawrence Engel 2002 Fall W / 9:30-12:00 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Frederick Strype 2002 Spring M / 9:30- 1:00 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Lawrence Engel 2001 Fall R / 9:30-12:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film 2001 Fall F / 9:00-10:00 AM 0
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3001: Intro-Study and Theory of Film Joseph McElhaney 2001 Spring M / 9:30- 1:00 PM 1