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August 1995, Week 1


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"Mark C. Pizzato 962-5883" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 4 Aug 1995 10:40:02 -0600
text/plain (32 lines)
RE: video/film debate, another angle
Now that the debate on using video to teach film seems to be simmering down, I'd
like to ask a related question.  I sometimes show entire films in my classes,
then go over parts of them again with students to analyze more closely.  A
colleague in my dept. says he never shows entire films in class, because it eats
up too much class time.  He has students find the video and view it outside,
then bring it into class and point out parts (and explain the rest) for other
students.  While my colleague teaches more history of film courses, and mine
focus on fewer films, I'm thinking of adopting/adapting his technique.
Any success stories, other techniques, or strong views on showing entire films
vs. certain parts in class?  Of course, the videotape makes showing parts much
easier, and gives better access for students outside class.  But, aside from the
aesthetic loss in using video, are students missing the whole (moving) picture,
when we stress partial analysis?  I do both now; but I remember a great film
class I took as a Notre Dame undergrad (taught by Donald Costello) 15 years ago,
in which only whole films were shown (mostly Fellini) and then shown again in
parts.  As I recall, we met beyond the scheduled class time to do this.  I'm
afraid that won't work with my own students today.  Is it more postmodern to
show only parts, disseminating petit recits, and comparing pieces that exceed
the borders of "whole films," as opposed to the high modernist ideal of the
well-wrought urn, in which all pieces are intregral to the art work?
Mark Pizzato
Univ. of St. Thomas
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