I didn’t have any special expectations when I signed up for this class. It just sounded interesting because, while I rarely go to movies, if I do, I prefer funny films. I also like science fiction movies from the 50’s and early 60’s, but that’s another story. I will have an associate’s degree at the end of this semester, and then will continue on for a Bachelor of Liberal Studies. I am not going to school to find a terrific job or to advance my career. I am going because getting a degree is something I have always said I would do, and I am finally getting around to it. So, that means I can take whatever classes that interest me, rather than any particular subject. I also have taken every one of my classes online. At my age, I have no desire to go into a classroom with a bunch of young whippersnappers. Because of this, I kind of have a better idea of what constitutes a good online class than most students. This was a very good online class. I like the selection of movies every week, I like your lectures, and I like the idea of a blog.
I also like to write, so that was a nice surprise, being able to write every week. In your last lecture, you mentioned classes that were not much more than discussion boards. I will not mention names to protect the guilty, but I am taking a class like that now. It is a subject that sounded very interesting, but unfortunately, all we do is read a couple of chapters a week, make three posts on a discussion board for each chapter and have three exams. THAT’S IT. Needless to say, it is a boring class and I don’t feel like I am learning much at all. I also don’t feel like the professor cares much about it, either. So that’s why your class was great. Obviously, you do care about what your students are
As far as the movies, I have seen many of the older ones. So when making my selections, I tried to watch something different. The worst week for me was the gross-out movies. Sometimes, if I had not heard of any of the films, I would ask my son for a recommendation. He is 26 and has seen lots of movies. He recommended Borat, for which I cut him out of my will. I don’t care for romantic comedies, either, with one exception. Moonstruck was a wonderful movie. Other than that, I enjoyed most all the films, especially After the Fox. Hilarious movie.
The textbooks were not bad, the David Misch book was much more entertaining than the Geoff King book. To me, King took the subject a bit too seriously. I like movies but still and all, they are basically a source of entertainment and not something I usually watch for anything more than that. I have seen a few enlightening documentaries, but still tend to research the subject because the filmmaker may have his or her own agenda or bias.
My favorite lecture was Week 11, when the movie was Dr. Strangelove. I completely agree that you can get a sense of what was going on at any time in history by the movies that were being made. But especially from the mid-thirties and on through the early sixties. There were a lot of great World War II (The Best Years of Our Lives) and Cold War (Fail-Safe) movies, but Dr. Strangelove was one of the best. Even though it was topical, it still holds up and somewhat reflects things that are happening today. (Crazy Politicians for $1000, Alex)
As for the last question, this class has not really changed my view of comedy and culture, because I have always thought the two were intertwined. And I know this will make me sound like the creepy old lady with 43 cats, but can’t there be a bit of restraint in movie making? And not pander to the lowest common denominator? The Marx Brothers made funny movies, Jim Carrey does not. Don’t get me started. Congratulations on your PhD, and best wishes moving forward. May your journey be free of incident.