Mike comments...

> i'm troubled at least as much by the tone of the message
> initiating this thread as i was by the original article


There is certainly a condescending tone in the article's conclusion
describing a Branigan lecture but overall there's an acknowledgement that
if you're aspiring to make splashy entertainment for general audiences,
this is not the place to be... but I'm not so sure about that.

Just a few days ago I conversed with a former film student who graduated
from a technical college that only taught the basics of production,
essentially honing its students to produce mainstream entertainment. I, on
the other hand, graduated from a program primarily concerned with the kind
of theory stressed in this article. Turns out, at the time, we grew to
depise the one-sided approach of our programs, and yearned to explore "the
other side." So, a few days ago, instead of debating which focus was
better -- or defending it as superior -- we realized instead we yearned
for the alternatives our respective schools couldn't offer. That, in
retrospect, we wish we had a broader education.

If there's one weakest I've witnessed in academia is its tendancy to
overly defend one's particular discipline, often resorting to character
assassination to dispel the disciplines of others because they can't
adequately articulate why their approach is of more value, instead of
embracing all approaches and learning a little bit from every direction.
To me the ideal film school would be one that offered an intense education
in the practical as well as the most radical theories.

At the end of the day academia is about opening our minds, not closing
them. And even if your aspiration is to make a creature feature about a
giant squid, it still helps to have a creative mind that is open to fresh
ideas. Hopefully that's not just me who believes that.

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite