Review Comment

Silent Cinema

June 08, 2008

Pena, Richard Silver_nugget
Silent Cinema

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

Like the other reviews said, this is primarily a history class. Not just a history of films or style, but literally a history of the country or culture that produced each film and the effects that they may have had on the filmmaker.

Some people may find that interesting, but others will find it very tedious. Strangely, all of the papers and the final focus on more traditional aspects of film. So unless you go out of your way to incorporate history and culture into your work, the lecture will have very little relevance on the rest of the course.

Still, the films were well chosen and Pena is truly encyclopedic in his knowledge of film. Not a class I would take if I wasn't a film major, but it's manageable.

Workload:

9 short (2-3 page) papers, which is actually pretty intense. A take-home final that had to be a minimum of 8 pages (some people wrote 18+). More work than your average film class.

January 26, 2007

Frankfurt, John Silver_nugget
Silent Cinema

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

Prof. Frankfurt is a nice guy who teaches an okay class. His interpretation of silent cinema isn't thought-provoking and doesn't evoke enthusiasm from his students, but was informative and a pretty good intro to silent movies.
His papers are sometimes annoying. The first two topics were so incredibly general. For the third archival paper, it was interesting to go see archival slides at the Rare Books Library, but no one had any idea what he wanted us to write because there was no precedent for the assignment. He is nice (slightly awkward) and responsive to student comments, but there's nothing to get worked up about.

Workload:

Readings and 3 papers. Not too bad.

December 10, 2006

Frankfurt, John Silver_nugget
Silent Cinema

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

This is not an easy topic to teach, but Professor Frankfurt managed to make the class casual and engaging. I really appreciated how he was so receptive and responsive to student comments; it was great to be able to voice personal opinions for once.

Workload:

Discussion postings. Two online papers (3000 words) that lets you site film clips watched in class. One paper (2500 words) on Nanook of the North looking through the Robert Flaherty archival papers in Columbia's library.

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