Tuesday, July 27, 2010

High School film studies textbook

I've had plans to update my intro textbook review. I've started the reading of newer editions but have not got around to writing anything up yet.

But a recent comment raises an issue that a few folks have emailed me about: what about a film studies textbook for high school classroom use? There does seem to be more high schools with a film-studies curriculum (en encouraging trend). That said, to my knowledge there are still no textbooks geared toward the secondary market. From what I gather the authoring and approval process for secondary ed is much more involved than even the college textbook.

So, given the current possible textbooks, I'm not even sure what criteria make for best adoption in the high school classroom. Clarity of writing and restraint in abstract vocabulary, I imagine. Beyond that I couldn't say which pedagogical approaches will be similar, which different.

This problem raises the question what role those of us in higher ed should be promoting film studies at other levels. I know there's been some talk in SCMS of this, but am short on specifics.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Robert Redford and Warren Beatty


Just a note to announce that I have an essay on Robert Redford and Warren Beatty in the latest volume in Rutgers' Star Decades series, Hollywood Reborn: Movie Stars of the 1970s. In short, I read both stars' image against the conflicted ideology of American liberalism in the 1970s, one which both looks back nostalgically to the consensus of the previous decades and aspires to radical critique.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A plea

Can we put a moratorium on titles for books, essays, or conference papers punning on the homonym "real" and "reel"?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The City Montage, take 2

I blogged already on the way that one Hollywood feature, Humoresque, borrowed its montage sequence from The City. Well, currently TCM is showing The Killer that Stalked New York (1950), an exploitation-noir take on the contagion thriller - a sort of low-rent Panic in the Streets. And if I'm not mistaken, it too lifts footage from The City. It's fascinating to see the extent of Hollywood's borrowing of documentary style - far more even than canonical histories discuss - and the undoubted impact that the 1930s documentary made on Hollywood.