Jane Gaines

Feb 2018

As a film major, I assumed taking introduction to film studies would be a great, easy class. Taking this class with Professor Gaines completely ruined the course for me. Every aspect of her course is incredibly disorganized and incomprehensible. Her powerpoint slides are illegible, her lectures never have a main point and are always scattered that I lose track of what she's saying within the first 5 minutes. I believe she means well and knows so much about film but is unable to teach it in a comprehensible way. She also makes incredibly racist comments in every class meeting and puts every students in an uncomfortable and inappropriate position. Her assignments seem like they should be easy, but neither she nor the TA's are able to actually explain what we are supposed to do, which ends up hurting everyone and leaving the students in the dark about what work we are supposed to be doing. A huge disappointment. Do not take a class with this professor.

Apr 2017

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! Unless you enjoy spending four hours, once a week, hearing one ignorant and racist comment after another avoid taking this class at all cost. Not only has she proven incredibly ignorant in a number of situations, the actual lectures are convoluted and confusing at best, at worst she makes up her own terms for things and seems to even confuse herself, often changing what she's saying in the middle of a sentence and rambling on about irrelevant things that not even the TAs seem to comprehend. She often neglects to speak in proper, coherent sentences. I learned more from the TA lead discussion sections than from the actual lecture. The essays are all graded by the TAs so it really depends on who you get.

Dec 2010

Jane Gaines is an interesting and somewhat bizarre character. Half of the time, what she's talking about is so complicated and convoluted that it seems like even she has no clue what she's trying to say, but she definitely knows how to start a stimulating conversation and get you thinking about the way film works. She coins about a dozen new terms or phrases each class using her little "handwriting" stylus thing to write on her powerpoints, but you don't really need to know a lot of what she talks about and luckily the TA's grade everything and sometimes even they don't really understand the assignment. The one thing I couldn't stand was that she was often rude to the projectionists, who, admittedly, sometimes were not paying close attention, but there's no excuse to treat them like idiots. I felt bad for the TA's, who were often criticized by Jane, sorry, "Dr. Gaines", as they were supposed to call her. Basically, take this class if you really want to change the way you think about documentary or want to make them. If you're not too serious and you're just looking for an easy film class, it might just be confusing and stressful.

Jan 2009

Jane Gaines is certainly one of the more insane teachers in the film department (she's visiting from Duke—though unknown for how long), but her lectures were the best out of any professor in the department I've had so far. She's willing to go there and in terms of being frank about sex and what not. And she was always making off-hand ridiculous comments, which were always gold. She chose an extremely curious line-up of films looking at the studio history, sometimes which felt really didn't fit with the point of her lectures though. They were often great films though. But while Gaines was a fun lecturer, her class workload was demanding for a 3000 level class. She put the midterm the week AFTER spring break, and included many subtle questions about who said what in what reading, most of which I totally blew. Additionally, she had a second midterm right in the middle of our final research papers, which was a take home, of which she wanted to be 10 pages long in responses to questions. Our TA lowered the amount, but it was still very ridiculous. Take Gaines at face value—or pass/fail the class and skip the unnecessary course load.