I very much appreciate Susan Crutchfield's suggestion of _Psycho_ as a text
that's a good compromise between classical and contemporary, us and the
Do other people have experiences of this middle ground?
My own experience is that when students see _Citizen Kane_, most have the
reaction "so what?" They literally ask me "Why is this film such a big
_Vertigo_ can also be a letdown. A recent group of very well-educated
undergraduates at an elite liberal arts college found it impossible to
identify with Scotty because he is so clearly a misogynist. All the
psychoanalytic arguments in the world couldn't convince them: they didn't
On the other hand, a colleague suggested using _Edward Scissorhands_ to
teach and analyze mise-en-scene, and that worked wonderfully.
Edward R. O'Neill
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