Classes are back in session, and it’s weird to be a senior. But somebody’s gotta do it, right? So I’m sure you’re wondering what classes I’m taking this semester. Well, here they are.
Dance for the Camera: Blending dance and filmmaking, this course teaches how to create Dance for the Camera films, an emerging genre. We watch different types of dance films from Fred Astaire to modern dance to movement on camera and look at the relationship between filmmaker and choreographer. From this we create several different projects throughout the semester.
The Actor in Hollywood: What is a star? How does a star develop? (Sounds like an astronomy class, doesn’t it?) This class is built around studying Hollywood stars – specifically John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Stewart, and Jack Nicholson. By reading many of their films and developing our own research based on one of the four, we learn about many aspects of what makes a star a star and what details of performance contribute to this idea.
Anthropology of Media: We live in a mediated society. We all have cell phones, iPods, listen to the radio, go to the movies, watch TV, use the internet. This course is designed to discuss how these things work in our daily lives. Part history, part current events, part future speculation, we debate our mediated lives. In the end, we complete an ethnography based on some media topic of our choosing. One of the coolest parts is that our research projects are published on the class website which is publicly searchable. Last time the class was taught, many of the projects came up in the top 5 of Google searches when someone typed in “Anthropology” + [topic keywords].
Brain Myths – Folk Psychology: Folk psychology is a field of study based on the mental processes of common sense. Here we discuss both scientific and popular notions behind common sense and why we believe certain myths (specifically about the brain). Our first class consisted of a discussion on the myth that we only use 10% of our brains.
Lost and Found Film: Delving into another emerging genre, orphan films, we explore old footage and create new films from those. Every week a project is due. By using archival footage and music/sfx, we can turn something nobody sees anymore (like many educational films such as “How to brush your teeth” from the 50s) into something different. A lot of class time is devoted to ruminating on ideas of is meaning discovered or created.
So far, so okay with these classes. But time to get down to work. Until we meet again.