All Ratings and Reviews for Peter Wollen
Major league arrogance. This guy thinks he's the greatest scholar since Samuel Johnson.
he was a very boring lecturer, i thought, and i attended every one of his lectures. his talks have little to do with the class, and nothing to do with your final grade. two or three papers dictate your grade, and my TA sucked too. some of the movies were interesting, but lets face it, Wollen, England does not have THAT many interesting directors.
Professor Wollen's brilliance, alas, too often oustrips the capacity of his students to stretch their comprehension beyond the traditional frontiers of what the scope of cinema is considered to be. I believe that some students' annoyance with the lectures had more to do with their expectations regarding style than with the quality of the content. This is not a class for people who want to get an easy A by watching films in class, nor for students who are hoping for moving, dramatic lectures which will inspire them with awe for the "magic of movies!!" nor for people who are uncomfortable with the intellectual rigor required to integrate semiotic theory into an understanding of cinema's place within the history of communications media. A background in cultural theory and philosophy would be very helpful. This was probably the most difficult course I have taken so far and therefore the most rewarding. I did not personally agree with some of his opinions but then again if I merely wanted to entertain myself I could sit at home with my VCR.
Professor Wollen's European cinema lectures always provide insight into the otherwise somewhat obscure issues discussed. His personal perspectives on the films screened make him a very engaging speaker, even if certain of his film selections are questionable. Might avoid any syllabus involving Ken Russell, for example...
Professor Wollen is an engaging lecturer, although some might question his choice of films under a given subject. His personal perspectives on issues discussed in class enriched my learning experience.
This class didn't strike me as being that difficult. The course work was rather light, what with having only two papers and section participation as the final grade. The downside is that if you screw up on one paper, you're going to have to work your ass off to compensate.
Now as for the papers, there have been complaints that Wollen's lectures (which aren't necessarily packed full of fun-filled facts and witty repartee per se) don't assist with the papers. I disagree. There is a lot of outside research that needs to be done to write the reports, and Wollen's lectures are helpful in steering you in a *general direction*. Personally, I like the looser structure much more than, say, 106A in which (not that I don't like the 106A itself) the paper topics are much more regimented, a bit constricting.
And that's that.
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