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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Weekend


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17 Responses to “BYOB – Weekend”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    I am preparing the syllabus for a course titled Introduction to Motion Pictures, and I’m seeking suggestions regarding what to screen for students. Keep in mind: This is not History of Film — it is, as the catalog description states: “Introduction to the art, technology, economics, and social aspects of film.” I’m thinking of showing films that best represent specific genres and national cinemas — maybe a Bollywood movie here, a film noir there, and at least one French New Wave title — but, as I say, I’m open to suggestions.

  2. Pete B. says:

    For a film noir, what about 1940’s Brother Orchid with Edward G. Robinson? It’s one of my faves, but it doesn’t have a ‘classic’ noir ending.

  3. Luke K says:

    Here’s a list:

    I chose to go more modern as genre can be historical but will capture more relevance with college kids if it’s somewhat more relateable.
    SCI-FI: Minority Report. Asks cultural SCI-FI morality questions and many of the detailed prognostications like facial recognition, virtual reality etc are coming true. It had a strong social message too.
    -Blade Runner obvious great back up.
    -Gravity 3D if you want to touch the technology angle.
    Western: Unforgiven. Lots of genre touches but still plays well as a tale of revenge.
    -Searchers is a good back up.
    Animation: Spirited Away as it’s multi layered and a modern day Fairy tale.
    -Or The Incredibles as it’s got great family dynamics but more than ever ties into the superhero craze and deconstructs it a bit.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    Art: Bergman or Antonioni
    Technology: Citizen Kane/2001
    Class economics: The Rules of the Game
    Economics of film: Clerks or Mad Max
    Social Implications: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, or Midnight Cowboy (don’t do To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s still standard high school watching)

  5. Howard Curle says:

    I’ve been teaching film studies for 25 years. Forget relevance, go with strong humanist stories. Here’s ten: “Character”, “Crimes and Misdemeanors”, “Do the Right Thing”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “High Tide”, “Lamerica”, “Nowhere in Africa”, “The Return”, “The Station Agent”,”You Can Count on Me”.

    Howard Curle

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    Damn. Thought I was the only one who remembered High Tide.

  7. cadavra says:

    Opening night, show THE GENERAL. All four topics in one film. Plus one you’ve gotten them to sit through and enjoy a film that’s not only B&W but silent, the rest will be a cakewalk.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I have screened The General several times for students, and it almost always gets a good response.

  9. Scott says:

    Singin In The Rain is not just a great musical, but a good history lesson on the birth of talkies, and far more entertaining than those early talkies.
    Sure, its an obvious choice, but sometimes the obvious choices are the best.

  10. KMS says:

    Try to work in (many of) the following:

    – The General / Sherlock Jr.
    – City Lights
    – Duck Soup
    – The Rules of the Game
    – Pinocchio
    – Bicycle Thieves
    – Tokyo Story
    – La Strada
    – The Searchers
    – The 400 Blows
    – Dr. Strangelove
    – The Graduate/Bonnie and Clyde/Midnight Cowboy/They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
    – 2001: A Space Odyssey
    – Gimme Shelter
    – McCabe & Mrs. Miller
    – Walkabout
    – The Godfather 1 & 2
    – Chinatown
    – A Woman Under the Influence
    – Taxi Driver
    – Annie Hall
    – Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    – This Is Spinal Tap
    – Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
    – The Thin Blue Line
    – Die Hard
    – Do the Right Thing

  11. Glamourboy says:


  12. movieman says:

    I’ve been teaching a History of Motion Pictures class at a state university for 11 years. But it wasn’t until last fall that I decided to devote the second half of the semester to the New Hollywood era rather than attempt to cover “everything” (New Hollywood, French and German New Waves, the Sundance era, “contemporary cinema,” etc.) from 1964 to present day. I thought it worked out pretty well.
    I began with “Bonnie and Clyde,” then segued to “Medium Cool,” “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” “The Last Picture Show,” “Chinatown,” “Shampoo,” and “All the President’s Men.”
    This semester I kicked off w/ “The Graduate” and “Midnight Cowboy.”
    Next up? “A Clockwork Orange,” “Cabaret,” “The Conversation,” “Nashville” and “Coming Home.”
    I’m also including extended clips of other historically/culturally important films from the period like “The Wild Bunch,” “Easy Rider” and “2001.”
    One film that I’d love to show (but am deathly afraid to screen) is “Last Tango.” Considering the fact that one (female) student complained to my department head after I showed Fassbinder’s “The Merchant of Four Seasons” a few years back (she said it was “soft core porn”), I’m worried that “Tango” will have some timid souls running for the hills…and demanding my immediate termination.
    Kind of funny–but sort of great–that a 40-plus year old movie still has the potential to disturb/upset audiences. Particularly if they’re 21st century college students weaned on a diet of Marvel Comic Book movies, CGI ‘toons, YA “franchises,” torture porn and videogames.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    For the past several semesters, I have structured my Social Aspects of Film course as an overview of the New Hollywood era. Basically, 1967-80. The lineup varies slightly from semester — occasionally, I drop Rosemary’s Baby, Two Lane Blacktop, The French Connection, Nashville, Coming Home or Raging Bull into the mix — but I just about always show Bonnie and Clyde, In the Heat of the Night, Easy Rider, MASH, Harold and Maude — just to give them a good idea what freakin’ weird stuff got green-lit by studios back in the day — American Graffiti, Shampoo, All the President’s Men, Chinatown, Network and Rocky.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Don’t suppose anyone bothers to stay up this late anymore to post on this site but: I have to remember that some students have never seen a silent movie, or a black and white movie, or a western, before they see one in my class. Seriously.

  15. KMS says:

    The Conversation gets better every time I see it.

  16. SamLowry says:

    “Can you believe that Warner Bros. was hesitant to green-light ‘The Matrix’?”

    Ha! I can believe Warner was so hesitant to finance THE LEGO MOVIE that they sold half the profits to Village Roadshow.


  17. christian says:

    Joel Silver sent THE MATRIX script and storyboards to the game company I was writing for in 98 to see if we wanted to do a game – nobody cared except me as the the script was unique and the storyboards were incredible (which is how they sold the film)…Had we taken on the game…

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