Review Comment

Introduction to Film Studies

February 13, 2018

Gaines, Jane
Introduction to Film Studies

As a film major, I assumed taking introduction to film studies would be a great, easy class. Taking this class with Professor Gaines completely ruined the course for me. Every aspect of her course is incredibly disorganized and incomprehensible. Her powerpoint slides are illegible, her lectures never have a main point and are always scattered that I lose track of what she's saying within the first 5 minutes. I believe she means well and knows so much about film but is unable to teach it in a comprehensible way. She also makes incredibly racist comments in every class meeting and puts every students in an uncomfortable and inappropriate position. Her assignments seem like they should be easy, but neither she nor the TA's are able to actually explain what we are supposed to do, which ends up hurting everyone and leaving the students in the dark about what work we are supposed to be doing. A huge disappointment. Do not take a class with this professor.

Workload:

4 Papers, and a midterm (that's basically a final)

November 20, 2002

Engel, Lawrence
Introduction to Film Studies

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

I came to Columbia University with the intention of majoring in film. Alas, I took the Intro to Film course taught by Larry Engel. Dare I say this was the worst experience of my life. He rambles for hours, especially when he has a new made-for-TV movie in the works. He has the ability to ruin the most touching and affecting scenes with his stream-of-consciousness commentary. Additionally, Larry hates everything. He is one of those igonorant intellectualls who believes that old is good. This is coming from a man who claims to never go to the movies anymore. He will lull you to sleep with his stories and self-aggrandizing anecdotes. Stay Away. Stay Far Away. Not only his teaching style is bad, you will learn nothing about the history of the movies, and his lectures on the meaning of films are completely vague and superficial. If you want to get anything out of the class you must do the reading. And there is a lot of it. He teaches movies as if it were math. You will actually have to graph scenes of movies, and analyze them in an essay. Depending on your TA, the discussion sections vary in quality. HATE is the only word that can describe my feeling. If you are interested in Film Studies, take the course offered through the English department at Barnard.

Workload:

2 Midterm essays - easy but painstaking. A final 10-page paper.

December 31, 1999

Engel, Lawrence
Introduction to Film Studies

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

Some like him, others don't. He tends to ramble a lot. Slightly arrogant. He assigns an extreme amount of reading, but by the end of the semester, he even stops reading it. Midterm and Final are both take home. Much of how much you like this course depends on your TA.

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