>Having used both the Bordwell-Thompson book (Film Art: An Introduction)
>and the Giannetti book (Understanding Movies), I would suggest the latter.
>It's been my experience that students find the former dry and hard to
>relate to, in that it uses films they've never heard of as examples (of
>camera angles, sound techniques, etc.); the latter uses more current
>movies (Titanic, etc.) and seems to connect film technique to issues the
>students care about.

        That's where we step in as instructors.  What I do is show
students clips from the films *Film Art* also uses, so that they can
make a connection between what they read at home and what they see in

>While it's important to introduce students to "the classics" in a film
>*history* class, in a intro to film class different issues are often at
>center stage.  For my money, it's much more effective to use a James
>Cameron film as an example of a long take than "Magnificent Ambersons", at
>least to a group of restless freshmen....

         Daniel Isaac Humphrey

        I believe this strategy can lead to developing the notions
about what film studies is all about described below.  This is a
recent message I received from one of my students, regarding the
final paper.  I am convinced that thinking of film primarily in terms
of *Titanic* (the flick coming soon to a theater near you) rather
than *Magnificent Ambersons* (the film analyzed in a scholarly
journal) could be one of the reasons for the pervading anti
intellectual stance that is so pervasive among film students these
        Furthermore, notice the mode of address and the salutation.

        Hey Gloria,
        I have decided i will be writing my final paper about the
Teen Comedy Genre, using American Pie as a basis for my thesis: That
critics, and scholars expect way too much intellectually when it
comes to these films. I think that the over analysis of teen films
has gotten out of hand, but i do plan to analyze the film myself, in
my own unique way, without trying to read TOO hard between the lines.
        You should enjoy it
        Thanks alot.

        Gloria Monti


gloria monti, ph.d.
program in film studies
223 humanities instructional building
university of california, irvine
irvine, CA  92697-2435
phone: 949-824-6576
e-mail: [log in to unmask]

3/9/1990: Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as surgeon general, the
first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the job.

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