If you had to teach Film 101: An Intro to Film.....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dome Vongvises, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    May 13, 2001
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    I just got done with film class, and the thing turned out to be more of an English class than anything. Teacher was one of the coolest people I've had in awhile (read, I've had some nasty professors and this teacher was a breath of fresh air), but damn was he a hard grader.
    Anyway, if you had to teach an introductory film course, what films would you pick to teach? Please the category, the film, and the reason why you picked the film.
    A Lesson in Editing:
    The Passion of Joan of Arc
    - I've only seen two silent films in my entire life, and this is one of them. The "inquisition" scenes were extremely well-done, and the reaction shots between the judges and Joan of Arc excellently captured the emotional energy.
    A Lesson in Cinematography:
    Lawrence of Arabia
    - You'll quickly learn why David Lean fell in love with the desert as you watch this classic. An important lesson of using a complex character and setting him against a gorgeous, desert backdrop.
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    - I've seen this movie only once (I still haven't given it a second chance.....yet), so I'll be brief. I was so severely disappointed with this movie that I can say I hate it. But even then, I have to give props to the cinematographer. Beautiful compositions, especially the "ballet" of the spaceship (still boring though).
    A Lesson in Mise-En-Scene:
    Singin' in the Rain
    - What better way to teach about acting, costume, and setting than this backstage musical. Funny thing, this movie would also be a lesson in sound, too.
    A Lesson in Sound:
    Star Wars
    - This movie is often overlooked for its pioneering efforts in the use of sound. This film is a lesson in how "offscreen" space is enhanced and expanded.
    A Lesson in Genre Conventions and Iconography
    Rio Bravo
    - A sheriff, an ole mine prospector, and an evil ranch hand lend themselves to an old Western classic. Now where's that tumbleweed that's supposed to roll by.....
    List away people [​IMG]
  2. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Mar 14, 2001
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    This is a cool topic, but I'm leaving on vacation today and don't have time to respond in detail right now. But I know I'd include The Apartment, Rear Window and The Godfather at the very least.
  3. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Dec 11, 2000
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    A Lesson in Offbeat Scoring
    The Third Man
    A Lesson in Pandering to the Masses
    A Lesson in What Happens When You Drop Acid While Writing a Screenplay
    Santa Sangre
    A Lesson in How to Justify Nude Scenes
    La Belle Noiseuse
  4. Chris_Anders

    Chris_Anders Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 3, 2001
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    Here we go:

    A lesson in Mise-en-scene

    Do the Right Thing: Spike Lee's movie is filled.

    A lesson in Cinematography:

    The Quiet Man: This John Wayne Flick about an American Boxer in Ireland is just plain beautiful.

    A lesson in Editing:

    Exotica: Atom Egoyan's terrifically well put together movie is a prime example of edited storytelling

    A lesson in sound editing:

    Castaway: Purely for the fact that there is not much speaking and the sounds of nature have to tell the story. The idea of less is more would apply here. Still a new movie so not very much thought has been put into thinking about it.

    A lesson in everything:

    Citizen Kane: The best movie ever made. Period. There are so many ground breaking techniques here that the whole movie practically scene by scene could be taught a whole semester alone.

    There you have it. All IMO.
  5. Chris_Anders

    Chris_Anders Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 3, 2001
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    Almost forgot,

    A lesson in utter crap and what you get when a Scientologist makes a movie:

    Battlefield Earth: Sets new standards for "bad." Right up there with "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and any Bruckenhiemer and Bay film.
  6. paul o'donnell

    paul o'donnell Second Unit

    Jul 19, 2000
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    Editing and adapting real life events:
    Orig Screenplay:
    Gotta be Chinatown really [​IMG]
    and for everything else there's:
    Citizen Kane
    Well done to Chris there for the mention of the Quiet Man, masterful cinematography.
    And I'm a film student and it is hyper boring IMO [​IMG]
  7. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

    Feb 22, 1999
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    The first film I would show to a class is:
    Seven Samurai
    I also agree with these suggestions:
    Lawrence Of Arabia, Citizen Kane
  8. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Nov 21, 2001
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    Well, haven't really haven't had time to think too much, but I'd use "Psycho" for camera angle, "It Happened One Night" for pacing, "Pink Panther" and "James Bond" for opening titles and use of a theme song, and "Memento" for editing. Oh, and what was that other Orson Welles movie, oh yes, "Touch of Evil" for use of shadow.

    Now, why don't we go into what we would choose to use in class for examples of "How not to do it."
  9. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

    Feb 6, 2001
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  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    May 16, 2001
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    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    No real order...here's what I'd show to teach about film:

    Sherlock Jr. (silent comedy)

    Napoleon (editing, silent epic)

    Lawrence of Arabia (everything)

    Fantasia (animation)

    Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs (animation, voice acting)

    Citizen Kane (everything)

    Help! (musical comedy)

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (comedy)

    Vertigo (everything)

    Arsenic and Old Lace (comic timing, acting)

    Hollywood (The documentary)

    The Csbinet of Dr. Caligari

    Modern Times

    City Lights

    Ben-Hur (silent and 1959 versions)
  11. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

    Aug 10, 2000
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    Jaws - a lesson in the use of music to create suspense
  12. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Well, if it's MY class and I wouldn't have any stodgy administrators telling what to teach...here's what I'd go with:
    Young Frankenstein
    Fight Club
    Raising Arizona
    The Godfather
    Dark City
    Natural Born Killers
    The Blues Brothers
    Annie Hall
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Extra Credit: Starship Troopers
    Call it "Modern American Film Studies that will foster a LOVE for Cinema 101".
  13. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

    Dec 21, 1999
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    Kalamazoo, MI
    Real Name:
    After re-watching The Limey for the umpteenth time this weekend, it would make a wonderful example of how to use unconvential editing to tell a story.
    Also, The Year of Living Dangerously, Suspiria, and Risky Business are varied ways the director uses color.
    Let us not forget Eisenstein's Potemkin for the famous montage sequence.
    Films to discuss in general:
    The Exterminating Angel
    Europa, Europa
    Man Bites Dog
    The Blood of a Poet
    Un Chien Andalou
    The 400 Blows
    Mean Streets
    The Seventh Seal
    Billy Madison (just checking to see if you were still reading [​IMG] )
    I feel like I'm in film school again! Does that mean I can defer payment of my student loans again? [​IMG]
  14. Joe D

    Joe D Supporting Actor

    May 21, 1999
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    This was a lot harder to do than I thought.

    Well, a semester has 15 weeks (for me, which includes finals week) so I'll pick 15 films for each week.

    1st Week - Screenplay

    Chinatown would be my pick, probably the best written film ever.

    2rd Week - Screenplay Continued

    Being John Malcovich. Most movies run out of ideas half way through, but this film was as inventive in the end as it was in the beginning.

    3rd Week - Acting in one role

    Patton is an obvious choice, George C. Scott gives what I consider to be the perfect acting job.

    4th Week - Acting by the entire Cast

    Lawrence of Arabia would be my choice, this film has an incredible cast, while many would choose this as Cinematography, I think that each actor in this film gives a knockout performance that supports the film.

    5h Week - Visual Look

    Brazil is my choice, From the claustrophobic offices to the dream sequences, Brazil has a visual look primarily from sets.

    6th Week - Visual Look continued

    Dark City. Excellent sets along with an incredible lighting job and camera angles.

    7th Week - Visual Look Continued

    Blade Runner, Director's Cut. Creating mood by the visuals. This is a classic

    8th Week - Visual Effects

    Starship Troopers. Out of any film, I think that the CGI in the film blends with the live action the best. The Bugs have character.

    9th Week - Sound

    Star Wars. From Darth Vaders breaths, to the blaster sound, and the greatest sound ever, the Lightsaber, this movie has it all in the sound department.

    10th Week - Music To Enhance a Role

    A Clockwork Orange, Alex and his Beethoven obsession are a great. What a way to enhance a character.

    11th Week - Music to Create Mood

    Manhunter, while it's not appearing on any critics lists for anything, I think that this film has excellent music that works great to get into the mind of Will Graham.

    11th Week - Music to Create Suspense

    Psycho. I think that this film doesn't need explanation for this choice, this film wouldn't have been the same without the score from B.H.

    12th Week - Editing

    JFK. This film I couldn't even imagine editing. There is so much going on, and Oliver Stone and crew(including Ridley Scott's editor these days, Pietro Scalia) do a wonderful job of getting the viewer into Jim Garrisons head.

    13th Week - Cinematography

    Apocalypse Now, I watched this movie again the other weekend, and I was just stunned at how great the film looked.

    14th Week - Character

    Raging Bull, this movie has character. Jake La Motta is an asshole, and the film doesn't shy away from it.

    15th Week - Directing

    Citizen Kane. Enough Said.

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