January 06, 2005

Gavronsky, Serge Silver_nugget
France on Film

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professeur Gavronsky is, perhaps, my favorite professor. He is incredibly funny, intellegent, and knoweldgeable; all of his lectures were packed with interesting information about every aspect of French (and New York) culture. I learned a great deal about culture, literature, and society from this class, not just about film. The lectures and papers are in English, the films are in French, some with subtitles; a high level of proficiency in the language is definitely a must. The class is fun and a breeze; one evening is reserved for the film screening (which has no set time limit) and the next day is discussion (which tends also not to have a set time limit, though you are free to leave). The class is not a film class in the sense that it does not study filmmaking or film history, but it is a class that looks at France through film. In the process, you'll learn about film in a way that will make you appreciate filmmaking in all future films you see. Gavronsky is an experience that is not to be missed; I plan on taking as many classes with him as I can in the future. My only caution is to those who want a serious film class, or a serious professor for that matter; the class is a French culture/history class (think American studies but for France), and Gavronsky is a fun professor. He won't hesitate to poke fun or call on students at random, but this is one of his many charms. Be cognisant of paper due dates and watch the films ahead of time; also see Gavronsky about your papers (which are free topic) and make sure you write about what he's expecting...otherwsise it might not be precise enough. If you say blue and he was thinking aquamarine, it's not A material. Don't let the grading deter you from taking this class, or any class, with Professeur Gavronsky.


Average workload: supplementary readings, two 7-10pp papers (which require you to view at least two films outside of class), final. The final consists of short answers and takes between 1-2hrs.