• For Next Friday (Dec. 3), and a Few Words about Your Final Exam

    For next Friday, we will discuss two films:

    • The first hour of class, we will discuss Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I expect you will have done some research and will have some things you want to discuss. (See below for a few pertinent Monty Python sketches.)
    • The last two hours of class, we will discuss the film Breaking the Code, which you can find online here.

    I have decided that for our final exam, you will have a written exam. The exam will be fairly simple, involving two essay questions. One essay question will be supplied by me, and one will be supplied by you, the student.

    You have plenty of time to think of an intelligent, challenging, and interesting question to ask yourself, and to answer, on the final exam. Possible examples (you cannot use these) include:

    • Should students attempt to use historical dramas to learn about the history of a foreign culture? What are the risks and benefits of this approach, and in the end, is it suitable?
    • What are some significant features of English-language comedic films we studied in the past semester? What do the comedic films we watched have in common?
    • Why do Jim Henson’s Muppet Show program and movies represent a radically different approach to entertainment for both children and adults alike?
    • Why do documentary filmmakers like Werner Herzog choose to make documentary films such as Grizzly Man in an industry where fictional films are much bigger money-makers?

    I do not want you to use these examples, but instead to make your own question, and think about how you can answer it on an in-class essay.

    The other question I will ask will be general and reflect upon what we have learned throughout the past semester. It will be an essay question of comparable difficulty to the questions above.

    Finally, some Monty Python sketches:

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