November 07, 2002

Engel, Lawrence
Intro to the study and theory of film

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

This is the second worst class I have ever taken. The only redeeming quality of the class was that half of the films he showed in class (when he wasn't shouting over them) were pretty good. Larry is an accomplished documentary filmmaker. He obviously isn't doing that well or he wouldn't be "teaching." He ruins movies. He ignores narrative in exchange for analyzing the "syntax" and "grammar" of film. It's crap. He had a teacher when he went to Columbia named Stefan Sharff. This man is the basis for his entire spectrum of ideas on film. Engel doesn't have a creative thread in his body. In my opinion, he rips off Sharff's book in class all the time. He assigns tons of reading and gives the worst essay questions for exams ever. I feel so bad for anyone who takes this class after this semester because they will have to depend even more on this horrible film analysis tool called the Deconstructor. This crappy tool takes apart movies and analyzes them based on a number of pathetic aspects that really are just a figment of Larry's imagination. Basically, this class sucks. I was going to be a film major until I took it. Now I am going to major in Biology because at least I won't ever have to deal with Larry Engel again.

Workload:

2 take home essay exams (8-12 pages each) and a final "project", basically another 10 page paper. Garbage. Tons of reading that no one ever does and there is no need to, they don't relate to class at all.