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Amy Harper brought up some good points, I'd like to add:
 
I studied Latin American history through films at UCLA in one class and I
must say that it was fabulous because it at the very least raised the issue
of culture rather than memorizing a series of war dates (a practice I
despise).
 
The best history class I ever took was the history of costumes from
antiquity to current day because we talked about why people wore certain
clothes.  The reasons why defined a great deal about their life styles and
what was and wasn't a necessary part of their life and in this class we
understood the history of civilization more than if we had studies what
wars took place.
 
Ideally, films are able to offer this sort of insight into our lives which
is why it is so important for designers to do their research correctly.
 
I realize I've tangentialized this whole thing, but hopefully the points
are valid.
 
 
 
Amy Harper wrote (in full):
 
>  As a film history student I took two Hollywood Cinema survey classes. One
>did include more popular movies along with critical successes. The other one
>was primarily esoteric classics. I enjoyed both but at the same time I also
>took American History classes that concentrated on the same period and was
>always surprised by the overlap in themes between the two. For example, a
>study of popular movies of post-World War I movies and post World War II
>movies according to Taves suggestion would have been a class I would have
>eagerly signed up for as opposed to the choices usually given. I was
>disappointed as a student because the film classes I frequently took
>dismissed Hollywood since these movies are made for profit rather than
>exploring the tension of a business that creates what may be art. I suppose I
>was more interested in the business than top ten lists of artistic
>masterpieces. Another idea for a class that may appease both sides could be a
>study of the directors (Stroheim to Wenders) Hollywood imported for art's
>sake and how well they fared in the business. Anyway, I believe that a class
>about popular movies isn't about venerating public tastes, but an essential
>part of cinema history especially for Hollywood.
>
>Amy Harper
>Look It Up!
>Indexer
>Milwaukee, WI
 
Sincerely,
 
Mark Allen
Xantherboy
 
****XANTHER
****http://www.directnet.com/~xanther/
 
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