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April 1994


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"Gloria Monti (GD 1995)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 13 Apr 1994 22:19:19 -0400
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>  Monti is right. Not only any French film course, but any course on film
> history could use a couple of weeks on Godard. But why not 4 films, 2
> each week in a double screening so that you could get *A bout de Souffle*
> *Vivre Sa Vie* *La Chinoise* or *Made in The USA* and one of the 80s
> masterpeices as well: say *Sauve Qui Peut* or *Hail Mary*(comes with the
> seminal short by A.M. Meiville (sp?)
        My preference, when teaching classes on national cinema, is always
to screen two films per week rather than one.  I do believe that in this
case, more is more.  It worked very well for the class on Italian cinema
that I taught a few years ago.  Unfortunately, the norm seems to be only
one screening per week--with that in mind I recommended two Godard films.
But I couldn't agree with you more: 4 Godard in 2 weeks would be ideal.
        Does the person who's putting together the syllabus agree?  Could
that be done?
        Aside--since you are writing from WEEG.  When I took Film Noir @
Iowa with Marc Vernet (1985) he also had two screenings per week.  Again,
it worked wonderfully.  I would then say, two screenings for National
> As for the original post on this thread which said that the poster found
> that students didn't like Godard, I always thought that part of the job of
> the film scholar in the university was to teach students how to see films
> that they initially resist. Why show them what they want to see? What does
> that theach them? Well it can teach them stuff about the cultuire from
> which those films emerge and thats all to the good; but surely our job
> invovles teaching the students how to see certain thinga that are not yet
> visible to them ( and how to hear what is not yet audiable to them) At the
> level of the relation between the students and the film text we ought to
> be broadening a few horizons by presenting difficult material. This might
> not be a popuylar veiw, but I think that what is at stake here is at the
> at the heart of what we do.
        *Two or Three Things* was shown this week to the students taking Film
Theory this semester.  I heard some giggling--maybe out of relief after
being inundated with classical film theory&silent cinema, I don't know.  I
heard comments such as "weird."  But--as Louis says, it is our jobs as
educators to show them things that maybe they had not seen before, to make
a difference in their ways of seeing (pardon the quote, I couldn't
resist).  And Godard is such a unique example to illustrate questions of
ideology, apparatus critique, sound, etc.
        But then again, Godard's films have shaped my view of cinema.
        Louis, if you want some live stories about Godard@the Venice Film
Festival (1993), I'll e-mail you privately.  Don't want to clutter the
list with my heroes.
        The question remains about the pedagogical importance of devoting
some serious time to Godard in a course on French Cinema, though.
        Gloria Monti