In regard to the posts about teaching film courses undergraduates might
actually get involved with, I'm in the middle of a course which is turning out
quite well. I've structured it around Howard Hawks and genre, first showing a
genre film from recent years and then a Hawks "predecessor." This allows the
opportunity to talk about cultural constructions of gender, nationalism, the
way genre conventions are influenced historically, etc. You get the picture.
To the list: Memphis Belle Air Force
Aliens The Thing
Miller's Crossing The Big Sleep
Silverado Red River
and then two films which are part of "dead" genres, the musical and the
screwball comedy: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and His Girl Friday.
Of course, you have to foreground the fact that these films, although often
dealing with "otherness," there isn't much cultural diversity in these
films--there's the danger of alienating your African-American, international,
Hispanic, Asian-American, etc. students. Anyway, sorry to go on about the
class, but I'm ecstatic. Hell, they even enjoyed Air Force. Go figure.
D. Matthew Ramsey