a variety of postings over the months convinces me that others on the list have
students not unlike mine and that we share certain pedagogical problems . . .
that encourages me to ask for feedback on a bibliographical matter . . .
in my intro to film course i often assign research projects so students can
develop more familiarity with some corner of cinema than an intro class can
provide . . . problem is that ive been pretty unsuccessful in finding print
resources [books and journal articles] on the right level . . .
virtually all my students take "intro to film" as one option for a soph level
required humanities course, after which they tend to go their own professional
ways . . .none of them are film [or lit] majors, and almost none are even
liberal arts majors . . . they have very little liberal arts background and
close to no experience reading any of the kinds of discourse that characterizes
serious work in the field . . .
. . . the stuff i wish they could read--say the kind of stuff that generally
appears in CINEMA JOURNAL, WIDE ANGLE, FILM QUARTERLY, even SCREENis totally
beyond them . . . even parts of the bordwell or kawin textbooks drive them
crazy . . . as a result they tend to find mass market books, often full of
glossy pictures and anecdotes, that offer precious little in the way of
criticism, history, or analysis . . . what I'm looking for are suggestions
for works that can be taken seriously as part of a study of cinema while still
being accessible to a starting student whos willing to make a concerted effort
. . .
perhaps an example will help: on the topic of "women and film" [or feminist
criticism] i have tried to assign penley, doane, linda williams, etc [knowing
in advance that de lauretis, silverman, bergstrom would never fly] only to find
eventually and dismayingly--that even such relatively more accessible writers
such as modleski and even e.a. kaplanwhose book is meant precisely to introduce
such students to complex issuesare largely unintelligible except to the very
best of my students . . . the kind of book they CAN read is rosens POPCORN
VENUS or haskells REVERENCE TO RAPE but both of those books are by now two [or
more] critical generations old . . .
. . . so here, after this windy pre-amble, is my question cum proposal: can the
members of this list help put together a kind of basic bibliography for cinema
studies that will serve the needs of beginning non-specialist students? . . .
if we can do that--and no one else volunteers to do the book-keeping-- i will
gladly keep track of the suggestions and perhaps post them to the list with
up-dates as seems appropriate . . .
some categories in which i myself hope for helpmerely exemplary, very sloppily
arrayed, and included just because i happen to have used them in my classesare
listed below . . . but other suggested categories as well as suggestions for
books and articles in them, are very welcome, as are comments about the project
as a whole
silent film / screwball comedy / film acting
feminism and film / high vs. low culture
auteur theory / film and video / montage theory
westerns / suture / continuity & continuity editing
soviet film theory / film noir / the movie musical
documentary / cinematic narration / genres
slapstick comedy / romantic com. / melodrama
gender issues in cinema / film &/vs. drama
voyeurism / horror films / the "apparatus"
p.s. i suspect that it makes the most sense to post all responses to the list,
but if anyone needs to contact me off-list I'm at
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