January 12, 2010

Regan, Marie
Intro Film History & Theory

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

In terms of the course itself, this intro to film course covers film history from its beginning around 1893 up to the present. It's complement the history part with screening of important films and adds major film theories from Bazin, Doane, Mulvey and many others that provide insights and enrich the course materials (everything from heavy philosophical theories about the nature of cinema to how it plays on and mimics some of our psychological-cognitive processes to feminism and racism.) It's like Masterpieces of Western Art but with films. This course changed the way you view films and help you become an active spectator. Half the semester covers the works of early filmmaker such as Miles, Porter, Griffith, and Eisenstein and the second moves to more modern films including world cinema.

This great learning experience is of course dependent on professor Marie Regan. On the one hand she is very knowledgeable about the course material and certainly makes the classes engaging and interesting. On the other there is very little real dialogue. She is fixed in her opinions and don't respond to question and ideas that she didn't thought about before. It could be very frustrating, especially if you find this subject interesting as you are forced to this one-way style of learning. She The TA will do all of your grading and their discussion sessions clarify and expand the lectures and especially the theories. Some of my friends said that it was a waste of time. My TA was Livi Newman and was amazing in every respect.

Overall:
I had a great time in this course and actually learned a lot of stuff - even with the small drawbacks of professor Regan it is highly recommended.

Workload:

Anything from 10-60pg of reading a week - the theories could sometimes be difficult to understand
One 7-8pg paper
One in-class midterm - multiply choice and four essay questions
One take home final 8-10pg
Medium Workload - got an A