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This is an intro class and not for theatre majors. The students are not exposed to any art and they are not used to express themselves. They even not sure that it is the most important about life and living. Second, we think that our emotions are private!
Poetry is gone in mass culture... Nevertheless, we are surranded by culture; never before we had so much music or so-called entertainment (nunmber one U.S. export ). Paradox.
Kids, I do not teach this course anymore; go to THR344 Film & Movies (see Student Papers)
200 words Review: There comes a time in everyone's life where they have to start anew, and be knocked down from their pedestal to take a look at the world from the bottom. This is never a welcome change, and often is accompanied by much heartache and suffering, as one experiences loss so profound that it changes one's life forever. Such is the case for Vladislaw Szpielman, the main character in The Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski. Set in Warsaw, Poland in the early years of World War 2, this film chronicles the struggle one Polish Jew encounters during Hitler's occupation of Poland and the systematic extermination of the Jews from Europe. We follow Szpielman's journey from aspiring and much respected musician, with no worries in the world other than abrasive hand soap, to literally fighting for his life in the ruins of post-holocaust Warsaw, to his subsequent resurfacing after Hitler's defeat at the hands of the Russian forces in Poland. Polanski pulled from his own personal history as a Holocaust survivor to bring us this gripping, heart-wrenching, sometimes disturbing portrayal of these times. His use of camera shots never used before to this extent brought us into the film to a degree never before experienced in a Hollywood production. One excellent example of this is early on, soon after the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and creation of the ghettos, is a shot taken from Szpielman's point of view into the apartment adjacent to his own across the street. He witnesses this apartment being raided by Nazi police, the family at the dinner table ordered to stand up, and an elderly man unable due to a crippling illness being wheeled to the balcony, and thrown over the railing, and watches his fall all the way down. This is the first of such powerful montages, as throughout the film, we witness the ravages of Warsaw through his personal POV through various doors and windows. In fact, over 30% of the film takes place watching through a window of one of his various hiding places. All of this, even up to the end where the remaining Jews were released and returned home, is a very thoughtful, gripping tale of one man's struggle through the dirt just to survive. One must be aware that Szpielman was originally not just another Jew, but in fact he was a very gifted musician with a talent most would give their whole lives to achieve. This just goes to show that, no matter the position one is at in life, there is always something that can cause you to take a tumble, be it financial or otherwise, and this brings to mind the eternal cliché: The higher you are, the farther you fall. And Szpielman fell hard, but managed to pick himself up, work through all adversity, and survive in a time of war without a single aggressive action. In all, this film reminded me strongly of Schindler's List, with the Holocaust theme and the one "good" German out of the entire regime doing his part to help the Jews, but it has certain elements that place it apart, if not above, the crowd of war films and movies, and earns it a spot in the chronicles of the all time great films.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Course Description Texts Course Objectives and Requirements Course Procedure and Attendance Grading Calendar of Class Sessions Calendar of Performances Discussion Guide Grading Criteria Discussion Guides Lectures Midterm Project Guidelines Midterm Project Grading Criteria Final Assignment Guidelines Final Assignment Grading Criteria Links to Other Sites