I really learned a lot more in this class than I expected to. I had always watched movies, but after taking this course, I feel like I can really appreciate the value a movie has. I feel like I can look at a film and analyze it stylistically and thematically.
My favorite movies we watched in class in no particular order were Contempt, Modern Times, Spirited Away, and A Clockwork Orange. I felt like these films all had a great balance between stylistic importance, diagetic importance, and thematic importance. These films all opened my eyes to how different elements of a film can come together to send a message, usually sent by the director. These films also made me realize how political filmmaking is. All of the films we watched in class had some sort of inspiration behind them that had something to do with current events, or history, or personal trauma of the writer. My eyes are now open to the world of possibilities and inspirations that go into making a movie.
Particularly, I found it interesting to discuss a certain topic in class, and then have an example of that topic in the film we would watch. All of my favorite films in this class also helped to bolster down our lessons in my head. For example, for Contempt we studied shot spacing, and the brilliant shot spacing of the film really helped me to understand the lessons.
Also, watching foreign films in this class inspired cross the actual borders of film into other countries and cultures. Since watching Yojimbo, I watched several other Kurosawa films, and since watching Contempt, I was inspired to use another french film for one of my papers.
All in all, I really appreciated the values that this class has to offer. I learned a lot about all aspects of film, and even improved my writing and organization skills, from the three papers.