Review Comment

International Film History 1960-90

March 04, 2008

Sarris, Andrew
International Film History 1960-90

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

Andrew Sarris is about 200 years old. sometimes he closes his eyes mid-sentence and we wonder if he just passed. he is an intelligent, accomplished film reviewer, but it may be time for him to hang the towel on being a professor. hes actually pretty funny sometimes, but definately visibly disabled by his age. classes consist of one movie viewing, a break where most sudents would leave, and then he would read some of his own reviews and others' reviews of the film to the class. some of the movies are pretty good, but some are really boring. the midterm paper and final papers arent too bad, and the grading is generous.

Workload:

one midterm, one final. easy grading.

June 17, 2004

Sarris, Andrew
International Film History 1960-90

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

The reviewer who referred to Sarris as a "dotty old man" is on the right track, but Sarris is actually a "dotty old man" who knows film and knows what he's talking about. Though the class should actually be called European Film History instead of "international", the types of screenings were varied and well-chosen. Sarris is a unique teacher in the film department because his expertise is critical, rather than historical or practical. He looks at films differently from the other professors in the department and I was glad to have a professor who didn't gush over a film for it's beauty but would announce to the class why/why not he liked a film. Yes, he rambles, and yes, he's hard to hear and sometimes incoherent, but you have to respect him and his opinions and he's sometimes very funny. He encourages class discussion, asking our own reactions to the films screened.
At the end of the semester I was unsure whether I had actually learned anything: I don't think Sarris changes the way his students look at film/react to film/make films. Instead he voices opinions and acts as a sounding board for his students opinions. There is no reading for the class (not necessarily a plus, as reading would have provided me with some direction and feeling of accomplisment). Discussions were laid-back and sometimes included screenings at the TA's discretion of material from outside Europe.

Overall, the main flaw from the class is it's lack of direction. The TA basically said "go write a paper about film." There was no rhyme or reason to any of the films screened and no overall messages or themes Sarris tried to impart. But I'm willing to overlook all that and take more Sarris classes because he is a legend, has been around forever, and the few nuggets you get from him are brilliant.

Workload:

Two 5-8 page papers "on film." NO readings.

May 20, 2003

Sarris, Andrew
International Film History 1960-90

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

Although I DO think Prof. Sarris is a living legend, I am inclined to agree with what others have said. He doesn't really teach so much, just basically asks us: "How many people liked the film? Why/why not?" Also, practically all of the films are French, despite the fact that this is supposed to be an "International" film history class. However, I did find professor Sarris to be very insightful (at times) and was awed by his vast knowledge of Cinema. Also, in terms of the T.A., I had an AWESOME T.A., who totally made up for the lack of world cinema in the actual class. He would teach us and show us films from practically every genre, including Hong Kong Cinema, Latin American cinema etc. AND he even allowed us to write on any of the films we saw in his T.A. session, if we didn't like the ones we saw in class. Overall, I'd give this class an A, because the T.A. was awesome and because it's worth it to take Sarris' class just to say in 30 years that you studied under him.

Workload:

Pretty easy: one Midterm paper 5-7 pps. and one final paper 8-10 pps.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3202: International Film History 1960-1990 Richard Pena 2006 Spring R / 10:00- 1:45 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3202: International Film History 1960-1990 Richard Pena 2005 Spring / 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3202: International Film History 1960-1990 Andrew Sarris 2004 Spring M / 1:10- 5:00 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3202: International Film History 1960-1990 Andrew Sarris 2003 Spring M / 1:10- 5:00 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3202: International Film History 1960-1990 Andrew Sarris 2002 Spring M / 1:10- 5:00 PM 1
FILM / FILM FILM FILM W3202: International Film History 1960-1990 Andrew Sarris 2001 Spring M / 1:10- 5:00 PM 1