I think it makes sense to restrict NC-17 films or films that push the limits
of R to upper levels, bu to exclude R-rated films entirely is extreme
overkill. I felt the same way as many of these students when I first began
in college. The only R-rated films I had seen at the time were _Glory_ and
_Schindler's List_. If the students aren't exposed to these films, they'll
be too ignorant of the field to have learned anything. Another film my intro
professor finally decided to exclude was John Woo's _The Killer_, which I've
still never seen. He replaced it with _My Neighbor Totoro_, because this
class period was to study sound.
Thomas Morsch wrote:
> Dear all,
> as a teacher at a german university, it is interesting for me to follow
> this discussion and to learn about the differences concerning teaching.
> Actually, I was surprised by the fact, that american teachers have to
> take such issues into consideration while planning a course.
> Concerning this issue I would take a strong stand for academic freedom.
> No one is forced to join my courses and all students ar grown-ups - so I
> see no reason to restrict my choice of films to PG-rated movies.
> Especially, this would make impossible to teach anything about
> pornography, horror or similar genres. And it would also exclude films by
> Carolee Schneeman, Kenneth Anger, Nagisa Oshima, etc.
> Actually, a student who complains about including films into a course
> that display graphic violence, nudity or that contain explicit language
> (the majority of movies beloning to one category or the other) seems to
> be the equivalent to a medical student who refuses to treat burnt
> victims, because it is "too gross". This would be ridiculous.
> This may sound a bit naive and it certainly shows that, up to now, I have
> been largely unconcerned with this issue. But I would like to hear other
> opinions advocating a greater sensibility concerning these issues.
> Thomas Morsch
> Film Dept.
> Freie Universitaet Berlin
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu
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