Even before coming to the University of Winnipeg in 2006, Introduction to Film was always Howard Curle’s bread and butter course. But since then, the course has taken on an added dimension that has increased its appeal.
“It’s not only theoretical,” Curle says. “It’s a practical course. The students form groups, write a little screenplay and then shoot and edit that film in the winter term of the two-term course.”
The short films made in Curle’s course are a yearly staple at the UWpg Film Fest. In addition to being a fun creative exercise, the project gives a glimpse into the filmmaking process for both film majors and other students taking the course as an elective.
“I really appreciate the wide range of students I get (in the course),” Curle says. “I like to have conversations with them, because I can talk about certain qualities of movies that relate to (their areas of study).”
Curle says science and economics are two examples of fields that have concrete connections to the study of cinema.
“One of the things I like to emphasize is that you can’t just talk about the movies as an art form,” he says. “You have to talk about them as an aspect of technology and also of business.”
Curle hopes the course can give students a deeper insight into a popular medium.
“Everyone’s a moviegoer,” he says, “and it’s not uncommon for everybody to have an opinion of a movie. I try to get across how movies work as an art form, especially narrative films.”
Curle tries to communicate his enthusiasm for movies to students, as well as their historical context.
“Movies are very much about the time in which they’re made,” he says, citing Get Out’s commentary on race relations as a recent example.
Editor’s note: The responses to this category were so incredibly varied that there were no other couses that collected enough votes for 2nd and 3rd place.