Top horrible/stupid things my film study instructor has done
Submitted by Zacharyyy on Sat, 01/16/2010 - 20:09
- said "Authenticity is just discursive; no person or object is authentic. We only put authenticity into signifiers. It is not a quality anything can actually 'have' it is a set of codes and conventions."
- Said "All electronic music is quintessentially inauthentic."
- Said "Is 2 Girls In A Cup[sic] the ultimate expression of the sexual liberation of the 1960s?" (I HOPE HE WAS KIDDING I REALLY DON'T KNOW BUT I REALLY HOPE HE WAS KIDDING OH GOD)
- said "talking about music is never talking about music or the text itself, it is only meaningful in the larger cultural context"
- said that Die Antwoord are postmodern geniuses.
- Compared The Bicycle Thieves to America's Next Top Model.
- said "do we really want artists to be unique? Should we value things that are unique?"
- Is showing Touched By An Angel in a film study class.
- talked about how if any story in any media has characters who have personal problems or any problems that aren't shown as being products of the larger sociopolitical hegemonic problems then it is a "problematic story"
- said "The reason people read FAILblog is the desire for an 'authentic experience'."
- talked about how all rock musicians do not actually write their music or have any creative role-- that every single one of them is just a corporate character manufactured to sell an image. No exceptions whatsoever. Also that the only reason anyone listens to or likes or gravitates toward any type of music is just because it is fashionable for the time.
- one other student was talking about the "characters" in America's Next Top Model and said that something that one character did seemed genuine and the teacher yelled at him and intimidated him because he is "treating them like people; they are just characters" and basically got the class to gang up on him because he was defending one of the girls' actions.
- Said: "There is no subconscious" and seemed pretty anti-psychology in general.
- Said "To say that there's human nature goes against everything I've been teaching this semester [and then proceeds to talk about how people , while not being naturally greedy, are naturally sharing]".
- Him:"why don't you like john waters?"
- me: "the characters are really shallow, idiotic, gag-y, badly acted and one-dimensional"
- him: "haha, if you want badly acted and one-dimensional, you should see cassavetes"
- me: "[INNER SEETHING RAGE]"
- Does not mark any of his own assignments.
- Said: "The idea that we have individual psyches is just a capitalistic ideological idea".
- Talked about "The problem that America's Next Top Model is addressing is one of self-hood" and how it is "quintessentially post modern".
- "the individual is just a capitalist notion" and said something to the effect of that no matter how much a movie might be trying to do something new or express something new or something, if it has a singular individual protagonist, it is just the same-old-same-old reinforcing some kind of "problematic" "capitalist" "ideology".
- Said "The idea of the author just closes down the text and keeps meaning out."
- said "White Trash is a fascinating cultural phenomenon."
- he told a story that was something like this: "i always felt some kind of weird betweenness with my canadian/americanness. i grew up in america then spent my teen years in canada then back to the US for college. the thing that made me know that i was canadian was at this party. i was new in town for grad school and someone told me to go to this party with all the hip liberal types. so we were all drinking, having fun and stuff and then the host or somebody flicked the lights on and off and was all 'slideshow time slideshow time!' and so this couple who were photographers dragged out their slide projector and showed us a bunch of stuff from when they backpacked through latin america. and so they were all 'oh look at this market. look at this expressive face of this native dude. look at this village, so neat! here's another market' then they were gonna go to the next photo and someone piped up and said 'hey, that's you in the picture there? why do you have chicken wire covering your backpack?' and the host said 'well, there's a danger of someone sneaking up behind you and cutting your bag, so i just thought i'd be careful' and THIS WAS MY BIG REVELATION that i am IN FACT CANADIAN and can SEE THE HYPOCRISY OF THAT ACTION and how I, AS A CANADIAN, CAN ACTUALLY SEE THESE COLONIAL ROOTS" (but at least, afterward, he said "but I bet some of you are thinking 'god, what a pretentious thing to say'" and boy howdy was he right about that...)
- Said that Busta Rhymes is "the most post modern thing" and how he rocks because of his inauthenticity.
- said "No country can beat the Afghans!" (wtf)
- Said "What is so great about The Cleveland Show is how devastating it is to the patriarchal order."
- main advice for essaywriting: "Stay away from talking about people."
- said "I am fascinated by Snooki [from Jersey Shore]. Her hair is SO AWESOME. She is just SO AWESOME."
- "There is no formula for a sitcom" (and went on to say that there's no formula or exploited patterns for anything popular at all).
- Used FanFiction as inarguable proof of Barthes's idea of the author being dead to be true.
- in giving the assignment description of the first essay of the class, he spends 3/4 of a five-page document dictating to us exactly how essays should be written instead of saying anything whatsoever about the assignment itself as if we are children who have never encountered essays before (what's more, it's just advice like "all paragraphs must have five sentences, have roughly five paragraphs. make a conclusion to restate what you said in the introduction. this is the only way to write an essay." sort of bullcrap.)
- said "You only need to look at youtube to see your work being effaced"
- him: "[asking class] what does the camera record?"
- random students: "a perspective?" "an individual notion of 'truth'?" [and some other crap]
- him: "no, the camera always records the dominant ideology".
- said "complex characters are just a bourgeois fallacy"
- said "There is no dominant ideology" (said after spending 2/3 of the semester talking about the dominant ideology).
- said "authenticity is just another term for naivete"
- Said: "There is no difference between a want and a need."
- Yelled at the students and sent off some mean emails to ones that didn't attend the first screening (John Waters's Pecker) and suggested that if you don't watch a movie in a class room you're drinking beer and goofing off and not actually watching it... And he cared this much about making sure we watch PECKER "properly"...
- said "The target audience of Jerry Springer is perceptive smart university students"
- said "why should movies be 'realistic' like hollywood and such?"
- claimed that the "housewife" is a completely fictional invention that does not and never has existed in real life; women have never stayed home.
- said that John Waters is better than the two filmmakers who he ripped off: Paul Morrissey and Andy Warhol.
- Told a story to the class about how he decided to be a film-scholar over a ltierature-schoalr because all of his literature-criticism classmates called him an idiot for being so gay for Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault.
- Said "I am not giving YOU a C-, I am just giving the CULTURE THAT CREATED YOU a C-." (he was only joking, but still.)