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Jonathan Berman

Jonathan BermanVSAR-422, Art and Technology of the Moving Image, is an introduction to filmmaking from its origins at the turn of 20th century to today. I usually teach one section a year with 65-95 students. Previously I assigned the text  Film History: An Introduction. 3rd Edition, by Thompson and Bordwell. The paperback edition was $125, the Kindle ebook was $105. While the text is considered the standard for a course in film history, I felt the book randomly covers too much material without a lot of analysis. Some of the students comments on the text from evaluations last year were “the book has too much information,” and a desire for “more engagement with the text” as well as “Make very clear what we don't need to read.”
My idea for changing the materials involved using essays culled from great film critics, historians,and theorists that relate more directly to the course, They are a nice mix of OER, public domain works, texts from our library and websites such as the Universal Library archive or the Critrerion DVD website. All are entirely free to the students.