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June 1996, Week 2


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Chris Raymond <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 12 Jun 1996 11:53:41 -0400
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Rolf Brandis writes:
[one of the reasons we teach is our aesthetic, as well as
enthusiasm and unbridled love of cinema, its history and its influence on
the mores of our society.
In my opinion it would be akin to teaching Literature based only best
sellers or Art History on any era's best selling reproductions. Popularity
and box-office grosses more often, than not, attest to notoriety and/or
marketing acumen rather than more solid intellectual criteria.]
This seems to me like a reiteration of Ivory Towerism, that anything that is
popular is beneath serious study. While I have an Ivy League PhD (sociology)
I have not been an academic, just a "regular person." I did take two film
courses in college, on Hitchcock, and Politics in Film. The former was one of
the best courses I ever had, in any subject. It seems to me that students can
learn a lot from studying the "best sellers/box office winners"--like what do
their popularity say about the contemporary culture? Students also could
learn to critically analyze these films for what they "lack" from the
standpoint of film theory, the same way you can learn about advertising from
studying ads that you like, or don't like.
The point is: as my design prof says, a good designer can turn s--- into
gold. A good teacher can educate (to draw out) with any material. To dismiss
certain materials as too beneath critical thought seems elitist to me. IMHO.
Chris Raymond
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