Film Studies is the new English Lit? Watch

Puddles the Monkey
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It's stereotypically seen as a very soft subject, but the producer of Four Weddings and A Funereal says that Film Studies should be treated with the same seriousness as English Literature.

This was echoed by Paul Reeve, chief executive of the Into Film festival. “Film is a text,” Mr Reeve said. “Film conveys ideas, information, feelings, in the same way that literature does. But it isn’t afforded the same status. Yet some of the greatest works of art of the past hundred years have been films.”
I think I might agree with the above quote.
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DErasmus
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As a pretentious snob who loves high culture, I have no problem with film or photography, although i'd prefer it if academia only taught practical skills like natural sciences and mathematics and the arts had their own academies instead of being confined to stupid things like 'a levels' which are too formal and unsuitable for creative expression
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by DErasmus)
As a pretentious snob who loves high culture, I have no problem with film or photography, although i'd prefer it if academia only taught practical skills like natural sciences and mathematics and the arts had their own academies instead of being confined to stupid things like 'a levels' which are too formal and unsuitable for creative expression
Interesting. :cookie:

What would the ideal 'arts academy' look like?
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Arkasia
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Disagree that it is as rigorous or academically valid as a standalone subject as English Literature, but wouldn't say no to an optional film studies module being added to any English Lit qualification or degree.
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intelligent con
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(Original post by DErasmus)
As a pretentious snob who loves high culture, I have no problem with film or photography, although i'd prefer it if academia only taught practical skills like natural sciences and mathematics and the arts had their own academies instead of being confined to stupid things like 'a levels' which are too formal and unsuitable for creative expression
how are natural sciences 'practical skills'
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Arkasia)
Disagree that it is as rigorous or academically valid as a standalone subject as English Literature, but wouldn't say no to an optional film studies module being added to any English Lit qualification or degree.
Why do you think it's less academically valid?
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Arkasia
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Why do you think it's less academically valid?
Has less of a substantial history, has no widely agreed core list of classics, relies almost exclusively on literature for ideas, themes, techniques and so on. Reading a book is also more intellectual than sitting and watching a screen, and I would argue that reading film scripts or extracts counts as literature more than film studies. Perhaps when it has had a sufficient amount of time to progress and solidify in society, it might be counted.
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DErasmus
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(Original post by intelligent con)
how are natural sciences 'practical skills'
My experience is courses in the natural sciences rely a lot more on experiments and doing things instead of dealing with ideas, while I think poetry etc can be taught i'd like to see a more practical approach to teaching these (assessing people writing poems for example instead of analysing the poems of Goethe even though both are good only the latter is done at the moment). I think academia should focus more on the practical implementation of these ideas, poetry is generally a matter of taste whereas in science ideas can be tested properly.
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Arkasia)
Has less of a substantial history, has no widely agreed core list of classics, relies almost exclusively on literature for ideas, themes, techniques and so on. Reading a book is also more intellectual than sitting and watching a screen, and I would argue that reading film scripts or extracts counts as literature more than film studies. Perhaps when it has had a sufficient amount of time to progress and solidify in society, it might be counted.
Why do you think reading a book is more intellectual...?

So it's valid to study films if you read the script but don't actually watch the film? :holmes: What about watching plays? Shakespeare? How does that relate?

Maybe someone needs to create a core list of classics. Who decides what makes a novel a classic novel, anyway?

Why does something gain 'validity' the longer it's been around? If cinema is an extension of theatre, then it does have a substantial history, surely?
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DErasmus
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Interesting. :cookie:

What would the ideal 'arts academy' look like?
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Arkasia
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Why do you think reading a book is more intellectual...?

So it's valid to study films if you read the script but don't actually watch the film? :holmes: What about watching plays? Shakespeare? How does that relate?

Maybe someone needs to create a core list of classics. Who decides what makes a novel a classic novel, anyway?

Why does something gain 'validity' the longer it's been around? If cinema is an extension of theatre, then it does have a substantial history, surely?
Reading stimulates the brain and engages you more directly than watching a film, and encourages you to make visual or philosophical links with other areas of culture or life. Films are much more a form of passive onlooking, and unless they are extremely artsy, limit your ability to make connections, interpret dialogue or characters, and other important things for study, as well as the skill of reading being a much more intellectual pursuit than looking at some moving pictures on a screen.

Same goes for theatre, which is why the growing consensus is that as Shakespeare got older and wiser, he started writing his plays more to be read than performed. I am not saying it is more 'valid' if you read the script, I am saying reading a script fits more into Literature, thus cannot be classed as 'film studies'.

Maybe they do, but considering the limited 100 year history of film, it wouldn't be nearly as vast, detailed, or impressive as the history of literature, especially as many of these 'great films' are just adaptations from literature anyway. That's why I said it will take time before Film Studies can come anywhere near the prestige or significance of Literature. A classic (doesn't have to be a novel) is chosen either by common consensus or the impact it has made, and when you trawl through the various lists, it is hard to disagree with any. Literature has had one of the most singularly important impacts on human history and the development of society, and it is hard for film studies to manage that, considering it is simply retreading steps taking by literature and theatre before it.

Also, Cinema is not an extension of theatre, as 'Film Studies' is not the study of plays or operas unless they were adapted into a film, such as Phantom of the Opera.

(Original post by DErasmus)
Are those outfits necessary as well or...
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Snagprophet
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Well most media courses tend to teach things about that particular industry, i.e. production, interactive media, scriptwriting. Media Studies, which I have an A level in from college, covers a wide range of things such as camera tricks, narrative and studying iconography. It's fairly useful, especially as a crash course to prepare someone for a more in depth course before working in the industry.

Wtf is English Lit? For teaching? Maybe becoming a critic or judge of literature? Or becoming a writer? Not much of an industry though English lang and lit can relate to other aspects like Journalism.
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Comus
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I suppose a lot Film Studies' weak reputation comes from the fact that film is a somewhat more passive media than books - even if one isn't analysing the themes or anything, it requires more attention to read a book or a play-script than it does to watch a film.
Should it be regarded with the same rigour as English lit? I don't know.

(Original post by Arkasia)
Are those outfits necessary as well or...
Of course, what kind of institution do you take this for?
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somemightsay888
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I did Film Studies at A Level. Believe me, there is nothing "soft about it". The exams are rigorous and pretty punishing as are any A Level exams really but it's the coursework which is brutal. A lot of time and effort I put into my coursework which was making a short 5 minute film. I got an A in the subject, it's an enjoyable subject with a middling reputation. Still, I wouldn't class it as a Lit replacement.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Why do you think reading a book is more intellectual...?

So it's valid to study films if you read the script but don't actually watch the film? :holmes: What about watching plays? Shakespeare? How does that relate?

Maybe someone needs to create a core list of classics. Who decides what makes a novel a classic novel, anyway?

Why does something gain 'validity' the longer it's been around? If cinema is an extension of theatre, then it does have a substantial history, surely?
Oh FFS, I can't rep you :angry:

As someone high up in the TSR system, could you do something about the silly rep system? I rarely have enough rep to go around, and I'm a sub :sad:

Great post though :yep:
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Oh FFS, I can't rep you :angry:

As someone high up in the TSR system, could you do something about the silly rep system? I rarely have enough rep to go around, and I'm a sub :sad:

Great post though :yep:
:lol: Thanks for your kind words!

I'm not really in a position to make changes to the rep system unfortunately. :sad:
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askew116
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A lot of posts point out that watching a film is more passive than reading a book. That's true to a certain extent, but this only applies to an audience watching a film for entertainment. I'm in my 3rd year of a Media Production degree, and the course has forced a much more active and critical viewing of films.

See, with a book, everything is spelled out right in front of you. While debates can be made about the author's intention, the words are either there or they aren't. With film, the various elements (performances, sound design, music, production design etc) can be made very strong or very subtle, which forces a more active approach to viewing if you are to take any meaning from it. For instance, two people watching the same film can consciously and subconsciously pick up on different elements of the film and draw very different meanings from it. Even when the same elements are picked up on, different people can place different priorities on their importance, based on that audiences' life experiences.

As a species, we are wired to respond to visual stimuli. We have been making drawings in caves since the times of our very earliest ancestors, while speech and language is comparatively recent in our evolution. As such, our desire to tell stories visually has been around since we first evolved, it's just that we've only recently had the technology to electronically produce engaging audio and visual media.
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llys
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I do think they are very similar. The common denominator is story-telling. Literature then branches out into the use of language to create effects for the reader, while theatre and film (and radio drama, I suppose) use visual and auditory effects for the same purpose. Literature, Drama and Theatre, and Film Studies could all be packed into one A-Level IMO. I don't think that literature is vastly superior to the other two. It's just a slightly different art form. I wouldn't have been interested in studying any of those subjects though.

I also don't think that reading books is harder. I read a lot - and I mean a LOT - but I very rarely think about the language when I read (unless the writing is atrociously bad, as with some self-published kindle books... or unless the writing seems 'different from the norm' to me in a good way, like (e.g.) Raymond Chandler recently). Reading a lot has obviously not made me into a literary critic, and that's because I am more interested in stories than use of language. Film consumption is no different - of course many people approach films the same way I approach books; that doesn't mean this is the only way films can be approached, or even that this lack of critical engagement is much more common with films than with books.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
:lol: Thanks for your kind words!

I'm not really in a position to make changes to the rep system unfortunately. :sad:
:cry2:



:hugs:
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Mackay
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Film studies - like theatre, music, art or literature - is a credible art form. In the modern day, people CAN learn as much from a great piece of cinema as they can from a Pulitzer Prize winning book. The thematic approaches and criticisms are more or less the same for both.
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