Here is my first post in quite some time. Back in January when I started this blog I thought I would be able to maintain regular posts during the school year (after all, I had completed my graduate studies while working full-time). However, that has not proven to be the case.
This week has been midterm exams and, since I don’t give midterms in my classes, I’ve had some free time and no grading to catch up on. So, a new post is on the way.
This past week has seen the start of a new school year, and while it’s an unwelcome end to vacation time, I always look forward to reconnecting with students as they move up a grade and welcoming new students to my classroom. This year I’ve changed my non-credit film discussions classes to a more formalized credit project studies course called “Elements of Film”. I’ll be leading two groups of students (one in grade 11 and the other in grade 12) through a basic introduction to aspects of cinema in discussion-based seminars with the goal of each student producing a quality piece of film criticism at the end of the semester in June.
Here is the basic outline of the course:
A: Elements of Film Production
- composition & cinematography
- design & sound
B: Elements of Film Authorship
C: Elements of Film Criticism
- auteur theory
- other perspectives — genre, psychoanalytic, cognitive, gender, gay
Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, dir. Orson Welles)
The 400 Blows (1959), Jules et Jim (1962, dir. François Truffaut)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964, dir. Richard Lester)
The Graduate (1968, dir. Mike Nichols)
Harold and Maude (1971, dir. Hal Ashby)
Mean Streets (1973), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990, dir. Martin Scorsese)