Based on 3 Users
This is kind of a late review, but I'll say everything that I still remember. First of all - don't take this course if you can't handle violent content. I don't understand why, but as we progressed more to the end the screenings just get worse, some of them I couldn't even stand staying there to watch. He did not give any kind of content warning, and I highly doubt this guy's film taste. What he called a "bad movie" is often what I found interesting, but the gross ones were often being praised - I guess it depends on personal opinions, but I would at least appreciate some warnings. I'm here to learn about film and techs, not to get nightmares when I'm already lacking sleep. The professor took attendance either at the start or in the middle of the lecture, and I kind of regret that I didn't leave before the screening starts. Most of them were 90s sci-fi B movies, and the ideas were fairly obsolete. As an Asian, the part that I hated the most is the Asian hate shown in the screenings. I could write a long paper about it but that's for another day.
In order to show us the screenings, the lecture part was often rushed or even skipped. The lecture part was full of videos that are too "avant-garde" for me to understand, plus he didn't explain the content. It's just like he's making a youtube playlist of what he thinks is interesting and showing them in class. I tried to take notes when the course starts but eventually just gave up - the materials were too abstract for me to write down. There are interesting topics such as AI, digital surveillance, and such, but all he did was show videos and let you think on your own. If you like that kind of teaching style, then this class is for you.
Assignments included essays, which had nothing to do with the screenings, meaning you can write the papers without going to the lecture and watching the stuff at all. We don't talk about the screenings at the discussion either, because most of the time was taken for graded student lead discussions. Everyone needs to prepare a group presentation and discuss the weekly readings for a section of the discussion, which I think is a clever way for the TA to get away with preparing their own materials.
As he said, most of the students taking this class are just to scratch a film major or minor requirement off their list. So give yourself a break and don't put too much effort into this class and get emotional damage as I did.
Disclaimer: I'm writing this only because I don't like Mr. Anderson's teaching style, not because I hate him personally. He's a chill guy who is willing to listen to you during breaks and put on subtitles when I said I need them. But I definitely will not take his class again if possible.
At first, I was a little reluctant to take this class because it was my last choice to take for the film minor. That reluctance quickly went away, though. Film TV 51 is a refreshing look back on how technology has been depicted over the past 75 years. We had six discussion posts to pick from over the quarter, the lowest one got dropped. There's a lot of leeway when it comes to writing discussion posts. The final paper was 2000 words long and due Friday of Week 9, the midterm is just the proposal for the paper and was due around week 5. Some of the movies can get kind of dull, but Desk Job and Searching were my favorites. This class sparked my interest in researching surveillance capitalism, and it helped me realize what I wanted to major in! I cannot recommend Mike Mazzacane as a TA enough -- he's your guy if you want to talk about superheroes, targeted albums, activism, and Pokemon.
While the professor is a stickler for attendance & timeliness, you won't want to skip this class any way(side note, you're entitled to one unexcused absence). On day 1, he straight-up said that while he knows most people in this class are just checking off a pre-major requirement, he believes its one of the most important classes to take for any student. And so far, that sentiment has proved to be correct. Through various media and screenings of films (both good & bad movies, but undoubtedly incredibly thought-provoking), we learn about the future and potential of AI, and how it relates to humanity. The teacher's slides are interesting, and he delivers the information well. There are weekly readings, which I'd recommend at least skimming for the most part, which tie into the theme of that week's lecture. Based on that reading, there are discussion forums and you are required to do 6 of the 10 of your choosing for credit. The posts are no more than 150- word reflections. Additionally, for participation there is a sign in sheet, and in section, you are required to "lead" a discussion by submitting 1-3 discussion questions to the TA. It's super manageable and interesting. There is no final, but there is a final paper due week 10. I highly recommend this class!