Beyond the Special Effects

        Teaching the history of the cinema in itself can be a challenging task. You have to think of who your audience is and think of how it would react to the movies shown. There are so many different aspects you need to think about when teaching the history of the cinema. Whether or not you will offend someone watching a particular movie, or cause him or her to have an awful reaction are just some of the elements that you should look for, and be careful about.

        The specific group that I choose to talk about would consist of college-aged individuals. I would justify teaching the history of the cinema to college-aged students because they are old enough to have a voice, and decide if they even want to take the class in the first place. Along with that, you would be teaching to the students who actually want to learn and watch different movies. With the college-aged students, there is so much that you could teach them. The approach I would use to teach the history of the cinema would be to show a different movie each class period. I would have the class meet twice a week, so that in just one week the students have seen two movies. With the twice a week class you can even show the classic King Kong, directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, during one class period and then show the new blockbuster King Kong by Peter Jackson in the second class period and then hold a discussion. This would be an amazing discussion because the movies do have the same general plot, but they were just created so differently.

        The classic film King Kong is one of the greatest movies in history. Kong has been referenced in many movies, as well as the movie King Kong itself. The original King Kong, created in 1933, has been copied many times. Not only has the original story line been adopted, but also some directors even tried to make a sequel, or have a story about the son of Kong. King Kong would definitely be taught in my classroom if I were to teach the history of the cinema.

        Another director that must be taught, if teaching the history of the cinema would be Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock has a unique style that sparks the curiosity of people everywhere. With Hitchcock, one can count on an imaginative plot line and a unique feel. Hitchcock should not be taught just through watching his films, such as Notorious (1946), Psycho (1960), and The Birds (1963); but he himself should be studied because he did a lot in the movie industry. Our textbook discusses the importance of sound in movies; Hitchcock takes that one step farther and introduces us to the sound of suspense. Hitchcock invented a type of sound that he used in his movies. The aspect of sound would make the actor seem as though he was obviously pointing a key element out. With all the effects that movies can have, they can make the film more interesting.

        History of the cinema can justify itself. Being able to learn how some of the greatest movies were made is very interesting. This class would be extremely important for someone to take that would like to act, produce, or direct. It gives you the opportunity not only to watch the movie and be entertained, but to learn how different concepts were developed and used throughout the years. I fell that it is important for everyone to take because we all watch movies, but we take them for granted. We are expecting to see the movies in color and hear every word they speak in surround sound. Through taking the class however, you learn that a movie does not need color or special effects to be great; it just needs an audience to watch it.

Christie Clatterbuck

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