Although I have always considered myself a cinephile, this course has widened my appreciation for other elements of the art. For example, I have come to acknowledge sound as a more crucial aspect of film. Once believing sound was nothing more than an enhancement of what it is the image is communicating, I now see sound as having its own profound effect. A moment that comes to mind is when we watched an excerpt from Halloween in class with and without sound. What a crucial role sound played here to create the mood so important to the horror. I also came to better appreciate the role genre plays in explaining a film. Although I have held to my belief that a film can be pretty much independent from any genre association, I now see the cultural and critical importance of categorizing films that are readily classifiable.
In terms of a favorite film, what seems most memorable to me is Contempt. I think I picked up on more important cinematic concepts here than I did in any other film. Although I was already familiar with Godard, Contempt was a film that I might not have ever seen, and the unique aspects of his cinematography and staging are techniques I do not see myself ever forgetting. To name some other films just for the sake of relaying my general enjoyment of them, Modern Times, Hugo, and Spirited Away quickly come to mind.
Least favorite is a little more challenging. Obviously, the American version of Pulse is an easy response. As I mentioned in class, I personally did not care for Rosemary’s Baby. I enjoy many aspects of the horror genre, but this film basically took every aspect I don’t care for and compiled it into one film. I didn’t like the satanic realism, the odd imagery, or the discomforting ending. But I can definitely notice the film’s general achievements.
All in all, it’s been a great semester. Definitely my favorite class so far, and I look forward to further studying film here in the future.