Review Comment

Intro to study and theory of film

April 05, 2011

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

I had a nightmare with this professor in it--an actual nightmare. I think this sums up Marie Regan as well as the course. I would strongly advise those considering not to take it. If you must, in order to fulfill a requirement or take other film classes, so be it. This was by far the worst class I have taken thus far, because she takes such an interesting subject and completely sucks the intrigue out of it. It is not a good foundation for film courses and can often cause students to deplore the subject as a whole.
She is not open to interpretation in class discussion, (though discussion is a vital part of your grade) and she will intentionally go out of her way to disagree with you despite you reiterating her own interpretation. She also has maintains clear favorites. She will blatantly insult a student for their contribution in class and moments later, praise another student who she favors despite them voicing the same thought. She is a stickler about the theory and her demands are unrealistic and unreasonable. Overall, the exams are not too hard, so if you must take this course, take it at Columbia so that you can interact with the TA instead of having to directly deal with her.

Workload:

An oral group presentation (be prepared: she will hammer you if there are errors), a paper--15% of grade, a midterm- (not too difficult because you are given choices: study the theory!), final paper- 6-10 pages

December 14, 2010

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

I agree with the previous poster. Marie Regan certainly makes this class challenging - but ultimately, it's extremely rewarding and engaging. Now, I'd like to offer some sage advice:

1. Know your theory. Really.
2. Talk to her during the break or after class. You might be shaky and start to point to yourself and say your name before you talk (out of habit), but in all actuality, Professor Regan is very approachable and she always listens carefully to what you have to say. Once, she even gave me inspirational advice about film making. True story.
3. Still don't understand interframe narrative? Look it up. That's why God invented the internet.
4. Print out the lectures beforehand and save yourself from trying to write down every little detail. This will allow you to listen to Professor Regan's lectures, which are always interesting and very well organized.
5. Sit in the middle. Don't ask. Just trust me on this one.
6. Enjoy the films! This class provides a really wonderful sampling of different types of cinema and Professor Regan's commentary is helpful in digesting some of the more abstruse elements of the films.

Overall: Don't let CULPA scare you. If you love film and you want to learn more, let Professor Regan be your guide. She's extremely knowledgeable, occasionally funny, and she always keeps the class on their toes.

Fin.

Workload:

Weekly theory readings, 1 theory presentation, 1 paper, 1 midterm, 1 final paper. Always interesting and definitely doable.

October 04, 2010

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

Are the other reviews jokes? Don't take this stupid class. Yeah the material is really good, and you'll probably walking away from the class knowing a lot, but GUESS WHAT, that happens with most COLUMBIA classes (if not all).

I'm kind of scared of her seeing this review and tracking me down. That's the kind of fear she's instilled, and I'm not even a wimpy kid.

Here are a list of grievances against her:
1. She always mentions the "columbia" class being "so" much better.
2. She comes in late and says, "the library had trouble finding the movies"--external blame, instead of "sorry I'm late." It's your fault your late, not the libraries.
3. She kept us 5 minutes after class because SHE came in late.
4. Her answers are yes or no to non yes-or-no questions.
5. She CLEARLY knew NO ONE had any idea what interframe narrative was, and she whisked her hair in the air and said, "make sure you all know exactly what it means."
6. We had presentations. She didn't tell us explicitly how long they had to be, and right before we had to present, she said, "You have 3 minutes."

Workload:

6-8 hrs of work per week

January 02, 2007

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

Do not take this course with Professor Regan. Before the class, I was considering a major in film and Regan completely killed that ambition. While she knows her stuff, she takes film theory way too seriously and the class ends up being a complete bore. Her grading scale is terrible. Even my TA told us that Regan would be only happy if everyone got an 84. Thus, she gives A LOT of B's. This was my lowest grade this semester, among classes including advanced econ and calculus. Furthermore, while a few of the films are interesting, the two you have to choose from for analysis in the final 10-page paper, which constitutes 60% of your grade, are unbelievably terrible foreign films. Also, this class is only 3 credits, but the course itself is 3.75 hours long plus an hour of required TA recitation per week. That's much, much more than any other 3 credit class, or even 4 credit for that matter. DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE. It will only kill your love of film as well as your GPA.

Workload:

Loads of pointless theory reading which you have to give a presentation on during TA sessions. 5-6 page paper, recitation presentation, midterm, 7-10 page final paper.

January 22, 2006

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

Well anyone who grew up with little social life and was splayed out stationed on their parents couch with a bowl of cheetos and blockbuster will relish in the papers and readings! Congrats to you guys!
Anyone else who actually enjoys films (and life) and enjoys being able to have their own opinions will most likely be over taken with dread time and time again. That said, there are some great films watched in this class (Rear Window, The Celebration- I think it was called, um I think there were like 2 others they slip my mind while I deal with the rage of this being my lowest grade this semester). The rest of the films are artsy indulgent hell. Most likely the films picked for the finally paper will reflect an annoying filmmaker smarmy wonderment- but don't worry you'll only have to watch the incomprehensibly boring slop about 5 times to gather the details).
The T.A.'s are pretty much the kind of people you would think would be TA's for a film class.
Regan is a good teacher, she is a bit icy but so knowledgeable. She goes over what she wants you to know before every class repeating people and inventions. She is pretty much always interesting to hear so that's the plus. But she never seems excited or happy so it can be monotonous.

Workload:

Not bad, the section readings were a pain unless you have no opinions of your own and love reading about others then you'll love 'em!, 1 short paper 4-5 pgs (I think), one long paper 7-9 pgs. If you can tolerate the film student attitude and focus above boredom take this class. If these people annoy you when you see them on campus avoid this class like the plague.

April 19, 2004

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

This 4 hour long class was extremely enjoyable, not only because of the wonderful films we saw in class, but because of Professor Regan's ever interesting lectures. Though the class is always very large, about 50 students, she runs it like a seminar. Everyone has ample opportunity to share their views. The readings, though copious, were enthralling. Though she did pick certain "unoriginal" films such as Citizen Kane, we also saw many films I'd never heard of. We went through everything from the silents, to expressionism, to genre films, to the french new wave and italian neorealism, to the avant garde movement, to the modern d.v. phenomenon and we ended with the Danish Dogma movement. If you're going to take an intro to film class - TAKE HERS!

Workload:

A 5-7 pager early in the semester, in class midterm, in class quiz and 7-10 page final paper. A LOT of reading, but not all necessary and it's really interesting reading anyway.

December 08, 2003

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

Marie Regan is the only professor I have had in 2 years of Barnard and Columbia classes that has made the time and money I've spent here worthwhile. She is engaging and engaged with her material, she knows the films she discusses well - both in technique and in history; she is open to students' comments and still manages to keep the class moving at a good pace (for a 4 hour class this is VERY important). AND, though teaching 2 classes of something like 50+ students, plus pursuing her own interests outside of class, she still managed to know the names of almost everyone in my class of ~80 people by the end of the term (which is not to say she will coddle you, she expects the work to get done on time).
The exam questions (which apparently previously were unreasonable) seemed to me quite reasonable, and I only felt constricted for time on one of the 2 in-class exams.
I would recommend this class to anyone interested in starting to study film, and this professor to anyone interested in taking a class that will be worth your time and effort.
Before taking this class i had NO faith in professors at this university; now I know there's at least one good one out there.

Workload:

reasonable; it may change each term - we had 2 exams and 2 essays (the final exam was a take-home essay)

November 18, 2003

Regan, Marie
Intro to study and theory of film

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

I was just browsing and happened to notice the comments from the first reviewer (starting "Serious film students..."), and like the other student who reacted to that review, felt I should add a few words. (I took the class apparently at the same time.)

I also disagree and feel this person was *way* too harsh. The one major flaw was the exams: too long. She needed to work on that aspect, but that's easy to fix.

As for the criticism that the films we saw were "redundant," this is totally bogus. It is an *intro* class--this is the one where you're supposed to see these basic films and attempt to analyze them carefully. (It's the *other* classes we take in the film department that are "redundant." The more advanced classes repeat the basics much more than they should.) On the other hand, what's the problem with seeing a film more than once and getting a different perspective on it?
As for discussion, keep in mind that the responsibility for good discussion really is the students'. I thought that the chemistry was terrible in the class that summer, and, trust me, getting students to talk can be an impossible task. And, in any case, I never heard Marie Regan say "So, what did you guys think?" and leave it at that, like so many other professors in this department do. (And that's all the discussion we get out of them!)

And, as for the workload, what's up? It's a summer intensive course! You're supposed to work hard (15 weeks in 6). I think the diary is an excellent way to make sure we do some active thinking about all the films we saw. There were no specific guidelines, but that's OK--it was supposed to be our thoughtful reactions.

I really felt she was an engaging and interesting speaker. She really seems to know her stuff and did a much better job of presenting it than most of the professors I've had in this dept. (Her model is clearly Richard Peña.) Of course, this was my first film class, so I was reading things I'd never read before and seeing films in a new light, but like I said, it *is* an intro class. And now that I'm a jaded film student sick of the rotten teaching in this department, I'm nostalgic for class with Marie Regan...

The only thing that I felt could have been sharpened was discussion of theory (especially contemporary theory), but I haven't seen anything in this department yet that suggests *anyone* is cutting- edge in that sense.

Workload:

A good amount, but basically fair for a summer intensive course: biweekly reading assignments; diary (one entry per class), midterm in class; final take home (too long. Future students should try negotiating a reduction)

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