It's officially October, so you know what that means! It's time to get ready for Advanced Registration or, in other words, spending hours looking for the absolute perfect classes which you will without a doubt stop doing the readings for after the first week. Let Film &TV aid your search: read these movie–focused (or –complemented) course recommendations and put your education in the hands of our contributors, aka unqualified strangers.
Introduction to Film, Forms, and Contexts (COMM 240/CINE 203): "As one of my favorite classes I have taken during my Penn experience, this communications and cinema studies cross-listed course can be broken down into 50% of listening to professor Paul Messaris tell relevant stories and absolutely riveting introductions for the other 50% of the class, which is watching informative and entertaining film clips. Not one moment goes by that I am not thoroughly enjoying learning about the ins and outs of the Hollywood and global film industries, and thus I would definitely recommend this class to any Penn student.”
Emily Hason (SAS '18)
Introduction to British Cinema (ENGL 295): "This is an awesome class that focuses in on the different aspects and eras of British Cinema including: Heritage (like old stuff), Bollywood, and and Social Realism. There is definitely something for every type of movie lover: Pride and Prejudice for those who love romance, The Fully Monty for those who love dramadies, Billy Elliot for those who love musicals, This is England for lovers of coming of age films, Slumdog Millionaire for any human, and Bend It Like Beckham for the girls who just want to relive their youth. It was interesting to be able to compare the British film industry with the Hollywood film industry and to recognize how long and big of an influence British film has had on present day film.”
Sophomore (SAS '18)
Introduction to Screenwriting (ENGL 116): "Besides the fact that you get to learn how to write a script, which in itself is amazing, the writing of scripts coincides with the reading of scripts and watching of films. With movies like Little Miss Sunshine, Goodwill Hunting, The Godfather and Rocky, the class was an opportunity to watch all of those films that old people (my parents) rave about that I had never seen. Not only did I walk away with the creation of an original screenplay, but also an eclectic and elitist palate of movies that I could talk about.”
Sophomore (SAS '18)
Freshman Seminar: Katharine Hepburn Films (CINE 015): My favorite Hepburn film we watched all semester was Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. That movie was the most socially controversial, which of course made it more interesting. The movie is about interracial marriage, which at the time was very rare, but it tied in well with recent headlines about gay marriage. I enjoyed the class’s seminar format because we spoke about the films and reading very informally, and it was also a really small group of students. Taught by Dr. Ahn, the class really focused on teaching us how to write about film, so it was a great beginner class for cinema studies students. “
Georgia Breit (SAS '18)
Introduction to Feminist Theory (GSWS/ENGL 096): "For my Introduction to Feminist Theory class last semester with Professor Melissa Sanchez, we had to write a paper based on a movie and a scholar we studied in class. I saw the movie Philadelphia on the list and decided to go with it, since I heard scenes had been filmed on Penn's campus in Fisher Fine Arts library. After triple–checking that my headphones were plugged into my computer, I actually sat and watched the film in Fisher. It was pretty cool to be sitting among the tables I was watching Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks studying at on my laptop screen."
Chloe Shakin (SAS '18)
Luso–Brazialian Visual Arts (LALS/PRTG 240): “We watched a lot of films like City of God, Mortu Nega, and Cinco Vezes Na Favela. It gives you a lot of perspective of Brazilian culture. But it also talks about other countries colonized by Portugal, like Angola and Mozambique. I took the class before studying abroad in Brazil and it helped me prepare a lot for the culture shock but also understand the role of the Portuguese colonization in a larger context.”
Nya Wilkins (SAS '17)
Italian History on Screen (ITAL 204): “This course takes students through the beginnings of the Roman Empire to present day through Italian films. Each week we were assigned a different film to watch on a specific era in Italian history as well as a short (seriously, it was really short) reading in a “textbook”. Watching the films (they were in Italian but had English subtitles) really helped to learn the subject matter, and I would recommend this class to anyone with an interest in film or history. Also, to be totally honest, it filled the Arts & Letters Sector and Cross Cultural Analysis Foundational Approach, so it certainly has its perks.”
Sophomore (SAS '18)