This should be fun. I’m enrolled in Wesleyan University’s latest Coursera “Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), a film history course taught by the head of the film studies program at my alma mater.
Listed below are the movies we’ll be watching and discussing in “Marriage & the Movies,” taught by Jeanine Basinger, starting April 21 and running for five weeks — two films a week, plus her online lectures, student discussion forums and quizzes.
This blog post is also an experiment to see if I can copy the HTML code of a list I made in a Coursera discussion forum and paste it into my blog for quick reference without logging into the Coursera system.
I don’t know whether Coursera’s international students will get much use from http://Worldcat.org‘s service, but in a small college town in southwest Virginia (with a bigger university a half hour away and a bigger city an hour north), I had great luck using it for “Language of Hollywood” last fall. So I wrote this to recommend the service to classmates, along with the Internet Movie Database, which has an entry for each film.
Worldcat is not only a catalog of books and films, but a zip-code-based pointer to local libraries that have the material. Last semester, I used it to locate sources within driving-time and to frame interlibrary loan requests for others. I’ve also used it in research for my “Newspaper Heroes on the Air” old-time radio journalism-nostalgia project.
In addition to providing library listings, Worldcat has background information — cast list, a short abstract, awards, notes, DVD special features, source (related novel, its author etc.) and more.
I noticed last time that at some institutions films might be listed under the titles of a “bundled” box set or series collection, which can be an extra search trick. For examples, see Brief Encounters, Adam’s Rib and Heartburn below.
Of course some students may rely on Netflix, Amazon, Warner Archive and other sources, but I suspect a lot of them (like me) are on a budget — so libraries and Web searches could be our best friends. I’m trying to limit my media-purchasing to my main research obsession — films and radio shows that have journalist characters. Alas, only one of these (as far as I know) falls into that category.
Here are links that worked for me for our 10 — I’ve put IMDB.com links on the titles themselves and worldcat links on the next line. At two films a week starting April 21, this whole set should make for a cinema-rich month of May! Given the subject matter, perhaps I should either get a date, invite over some married friends, or both…
4: ADAM’S RIB (Cukor, 1949)
7: SUSPICION (Hitchcock, 1941)
9: HEARTBURN (Nichols, 1986)
(Combined with “The Hours”)