I have the privilege of teaching a class this year called “Major Directors.” It focuses on the works of four filmmakers and emphasizes the ideas of auteurism and authorship. The filmmakers this go-around are Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Spike Lee. Now that the semester has concluded, let’s take a look back at this rewarding ride.
In installment #1 of “Adventures in Teaching,” I want to discuss the unit on Stanley Kubrick: how I designed it, what I’ve taught my students, and what my students have taught me. If interested, you can find the syllabus here.
“Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” This is a quote by American-Armenian author William Saroyan, a son of survivors of the Armenian Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1922. The quote appears on the screen as a closing caption and perfectly sums up the moral of the long-expected movie The Promise, which opened in U.S. theaters on April 21st. (more…)