Student Reflection #13

I think that this class has greatly changed the way that I look at movies. I find myself paying a little more attention to what the movie is trying to say and trying to figure out what the agenda of the movie might be. I have learned from taking this class that you have to watch a movie and understand what time period that the movie is being made. With a movie like Sullivan’s Travels you know that the movie is made as America is working thru the Great Depression and trying to reason with the difficulties that the country having. The movie was a message for everyone to learn to laugh again despite the difficulties going on. This movie would have been really hit home for people going to the theater to see pre-World War 2. When watching these movies you have to try to judge them from the perspective of the events occurring at the time the movie is made. If you take a look at the movie Election the United States was going thru a presidential race of its own. It’s kind of ironic that the real election results were contested and so were the ones in the movie. I think the key to understanding some of these movies is understanding the events that are taking place in the world while they were being made.

Another important thing that this class taught me is that comedic parody aren’t always just making fun of other types of movies. I didn’t really think of the fact that a Parody isn’t really just making fun of a movie that they are actually paying tribute to them. When I think scary movies that the Wayans brothers made the reason that these movies are being made was because they enjoyed horror movies and are paying a sort of tribute to the genre. In class we watched Blazing Saddles the reason that the movie was made was because westerns were so popular Mel Brooks probably wanted to show his take on the genre. I have always loved sci fi movies and when I was a kid I thought Space Balls was making fun of the movies that I loved. I never really thought about the fact that some of these movies are in some ways paying homage to the very movies that they are spoofing.

The last thing that I will take away from this class is the way that a movie is structured. I had not really thought about the fact that most of the movies that I had watched were set up very similarly in a group of sequences. And that most of the American films were all set up the same way. I found it fascinating that most movies had 12 to 16 minute sequences. I think that the class has changed the way that I view some movies I am quicker at trying to spot the agenda of the movie than I was before. It was neat to watch some of the older movies and really appreciate the work that the actors had to put into them. I didn’t really realize just how talented some of the silent picture film actors were and how much time and effort that they needed to put into their craft to tell a story. Before I took this class I had never really considered the way that comedy could change over time. Something we may consider hilarious will not be considered funny generations from now. I didn’t realize how much culture and events shaped comedic movies and how much they are intertwined.