May 26, 2011 / Filmwell
Kenji Koiso has his summer vacation all planned out: he and his friend Sakuma have …
March 12, 2010
I’ve been teaching a research writing class to (mostly) first-year students this semester, and we’re using film as the basis for our inquiry. For their final assignment – worth over half their grade – I gave them a list of fifteen-or-so directors and told them to write something about the work of one of those directors (or another of their choosing, subject to approval by me)
The results have been great. Though Christopher Nolan and the Coens are clearly the most popular of the bunch, I have an enormous range of topics: the role of women in society as portrayed by Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton), local religious cultures in the films of the Coens, what Greg Mottola’s films (like Superbad and Adventureland) say about the existential mindset of the millenial generation, how John Ford’s experience as a second-generation immigrant shaped his films, changing urban landscapes in the work of Martin Scorcese, Jason Reitman’s Jewish identity and how it may have trickled down into his filmmaking, two papers on stage-to-screen adaptations (of Mike Nichols and Sam Mendes), one that posits that The Prestige and The Dark Knight are practically the same film . . . the list goes on. It’s going to be a fun bunch of papers to read.
That said, I’m trying to help my students find some scholarly sources, particularly on the newer directors (like Nolan and Reitman), and having some difficulty finding anything that talks specifically about the directors. Hence, I come to Filmwell. Does anyone have any suggestions I might not be thinking about?
Alissa Wilkinson teaches at the King’s College in New York City and edits Comment. She and her husband Tom like the brunch at Dizzy’s in Brooklyn best.