USC and the Big Big List

5 06 2005

Mike Gerber, over at apparently has a spouse who is coming to USC Film School (no idea which division) next semester. She recently received a list of a ton of films that we apparently recommend incoming students see. There are 149 narrative feature films, 26 documentaries, and 15 television shows.

Do we really hand out such a list? It’s a pretty good one and I’d encourage everyone to read the list and see a ton of the movies (but Arthur Penn’s NIGHT MOVES??). And it’s got RIDING GIANTS on it, which pretty much rates.

It’s not a perfect list, of course. There’s no Eisenstein on the list and the list seems to like Kurasawa a lot but no Kirostami. It’s got HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG (a film which stumbled badly on the Hollyn Interest-ometer, despite Ben Kingsley and the ever wonderful Jennifer Connelly) but not 1900 or THE CONFORMIST. It is, at least in the doc world, a pretty recent bunch of films. And there are virtually no experimental or avant garde films unless you count Bergman and REPO MAN in that category (which I don’t). LA JETEE maybe.

Still, as a way to plant our flag on the mountain of popular films, this isn’t a bad list. Has someone been giving this out for years, and I just haven’t realized it?



6 responses

5 06 2005


6 06 2005

Yeah… we got something like this when we (Wamez and I, among others) started.

I thought the production faculty’s list was pretty good – and the Conformist was on it, back then (guess they replaced it with Sand & Fog). I might still have it in a folder somewhere…

But –

There was an additional list of “extra recommendations by the critical studies faculty.” And that was the biggest load of *&^% I’ve ever seen. Total, politically correct bull$%^&, bad movies, poorly made films, just junk (I’ll try to find the list to share a few choices tomorrow). Let’s just say it was the beginning of my hate-hate relationship with the criticial studies faculty at USC. I don’t neccesarily have a problem with a c.s. department, but those guys need to realize that they’re not teaching anything that any graduate production student would ever find interesting and get the #$%^&* out of our way so we can take interesting classes with professors who teach us useful things (like, say, the guy who runs this blog) rather than watching tedious made-for-TV junk or lousy Cuban melodramas which make “Dynasty” look like “Citizen Kane.”

6 06 2005

I still have that list and have seen maybe 50 movies out of the 165 on it. It seems like it’s changed a bit in the 5 years since we were admitted, but there were some definite jems. And when I say jems, I mean “what the fuck?” movies.

6 06 2005

Hmm, who handed the list out? Was it something for 507, or was it something from USC in general?

6 06 2005

It came in the mail shortly after I accepted their acceptance. Meaning I sent them a check. I think it came from the chair, but I could be mistaken.

7 06 2005

I had to pull teeth to get this list. In fact, wait, I didn’t even get to pull teeth. I contacted CNTV to see if they had such a list, but they said they didn’t have one (though Gary sent me a great email with lots of reading and viewing recommendations). Then my friend visited the Lucas building and got a photocopied one off of a student. I think it’s a bit of a political-ish issue for the faculty?

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