Film and Television History

Glutton for punishment that I am, I've started a new Open University Course: AA310, Film and Television History. I've jumped in as the course won't be available after this year (though I hope it is replaced). It's early days, but I'm loving it. The course started with the different schools of film theory, the aesthetic, social, economic and technological. For that unit I had to watch Citizen Kane (great), Cape Fear (60s, great, 90s not so good) and Titanic (never seen it before, was awful). There was a great tutorial the other weekend, and I particularly enjoyed the coffee break, geeking out about Tarantino, 'West Wing', 'Firefly', 'Dexter', 'Ice Cold in Alex' and so on. Almost nothing that got 'never heard of it' responses.

I've spent much of today writing my first essay for the course (due midweek), and from a choice of two, I wrote about 'Titanic'. I had a lot to say - and I could have said a lot, lot more.... and that's without putting in the bits about the predictable formulaic crapness of it (on the contrary, the formulaic nature of it is part of the reason it did so well)

The next unit is 'Hollywood' - i.e. the business of Hollywood, the studio system (and its demise), the rise of 'New Hollywood'. I shall have to watch John Wayne (Stagecoach), Bette Davies (Now, Voyager) and Marlon Brando (The Godfather) I will watch Rear Window, Jaws and Fargo.

As always, my main concern is one of 'time', fitting it all in. The OU is my lowest priority, day to day, except perhaps when an essay is due.

It's a shame the OU can't work out a way to spread a course out for those of us who want to do the course but find it tricky to keep up (at least until the summer holiday hits). I'd happily have a 60 point course spread over two years, (Feb -> Oct in the following year). Slightly tricky, as they've have three batches of people on the go at once, Two year starters, two year finishers, and one year sprinters.... but I'd pay a 10-20% premium for the extended option!