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April 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 8 Apr 1994 15:44:35 CDT
Message of Wed, 6 Apr 1994 14:41:09 CST from <[log in to unmask]>
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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On Wed, 6 Apr 1994 14:41:09 CST Ralph Drexler, BHC F/S said:
>I've been looking for a replacement.  I've looked at Cook's A HISTORY
>OF NARRATIVE FILM (Norton, 1990, 2nd ed.) and at Thompson &
>Bordwell's FILM HISTORY: AN INTRODUCTION (McGraw-Hill, 1994, 1st
>ed.).  Does anyone have a recommendation beyond the aforementioned?
>Other comments?  As is perhaps obvious, I would like to maintain a
>historical approach.  My text choice is due April 15th.   -- Ralph
Cook's and Bordwell/Thompson's are the most thorough, I think, Ralph.
I haven't used B/T (since it just came out last month), but I have
taught Cook a few times.  My only problem with it was getting through
it all in a single semester.  When I first started using it in an Intro
course my students' test scores plummeted.  I've come to expect this
when I first incorporate a new text and I usually ascribe it to
the lack of test files on that book in the fraternity and sorority
houses.  But when the scores remained low in subsequent semesters
I came to the conclusion that the text contained too much material
for students to absorb in a single semester--or at least it seemed so
for students that were just starting out in film studies (most of
whom were not film majors).
I've switched over now to Douglas Gomery's MOVIE HISTORY:  A SURVEY
(Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth, 1991).  I'm not entirely satisfied with it.
I worry that it might contain *too little* info.  Still, you might
want to check into it.  Gomery is a good historian and that comes
through, I think, in the text.
It really depends on the level of student you're dealing with.  For
film majors who are sophomores or above, I'd go with B/T.  For
freshmen (or even high school students) and non-film majors,
Gomery might be a better selection.
          In our country we have those three unspeakably
          precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of
          conscience, and the prudence never to practice
                                  --Mark Twain--
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