We’ve all had the temptation to lay our scholarly caps down for a quarter and treat ourselves to a movie class. What better way to up the old GPA and have an easy quarter, right? Yet this usually comes with a bit of guilt for not using your elective wisely by learning Mandarin or hammering out that business minor. The good news is that UW Tacoma’s film classes are anything but the run-of-the-mill movie class elective, offering insightful and sometimes offbeat explorations into the rich history of film, the geniuses who made them, and an analysis of what makes them great. Here are a handful of film courses to make your decision a bit easier.
1. French Cinema- There are many nations that claim creation stories for the genesis of moving pictures, France being one of them. This class explores the beginning of how film in France started and follows the masterful timeline of France’s film industry. It is in this class where you will learn about French New Wave, the infamous long shot, and even some relatively provocative French films, which you will actually be given the chance to opt out of watching due to their controversial subject matter. Oh, the French. The class is led by the talented Dr. Gorbman, whose expertise in French film actually earned her a special thanks in the closing credits of the latest Scorsese film “Hugo.”
2. Spanish Cinema- For anyone who was absolutely caught off guard by the brilliance and wonderment of “Pan’s Labyrinth,” you will enjoy this Spanish film class. Due to the oppressive Franco regime, film had been historically sanctioned, forcing creative outlets to be that much more subversive and sly in the way they commented on their government. The art of ‘saying without saying’ became Spanish film directors’ expertise, transcending their imaginations beyond anything short of extrodinaire. When the Franco regime fell, Spanish film was given the key to the film industry, so to speak, in that the stories that could be told became seemingly endless. This class will explore provocative directors like Almodovar, who can be credited for Antonio Banderas’ break into films before he was just a swashbuckling cat on “Shrek.”
3. Feminist Lit & Film- ‘Feminism’ has always been a triggered word in society, alienating and estranging conversations, yet most don’t actually know what it means to identify as a feminist. Dr. Dillman’s Feminist Lit & Film class explores feminism through multiple mediums including articles, books, online videos and films. This class explores feminism from both a historical standpoint as well as a relevant and practical one. You can expect to do anything from analyzing ‘Dr. Pepper 10’ ads to tear-jerking your way through Hilary Swank’s tragic character tale in “Boys Don’t Cry.” Love it feminism or hate it, taking this class will certainly make it impossible to argue for one side without the proper knowledge of what you’re actually arguing about.