A new class featuring 15 films in 15 weeks


Chaminade Professor Tom Galli has created a new class centered on movies, open to all students.

The basis of a new special topics class being added to the spring semester roster is 15 films in 15 weeks. Communication Through Cinema (COM 380-4-1) is a three-credit course that meets once a week. Anyone who’s taken Introduction to Communications (COM 101) can join.

“I think this could be a lot of fun for anyone that enjoys watching movies analytically, anyone who wants to learn how to watch movies analytically, anyone that needs an upper division outside their major [class] and anyone with Thursday nights open,” professor of the class Tom Galli said.

The class is broken up into three categories: American Classics, Contemporary Blockbusters and Anti-heros with five movies in each. The Chaminade professor of 15 years decided that in order to have a class on film criticism, students needed to look at classic American films. He will choose the American classics movies from the American Film Institute top 100 list. Titles Galli is thinking about including are “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” and “Citizen Cane.”

“It seems to me you’d be doing the students an injustice if we didn’t address some of the greats, and discuss why they’re greats, or whether they should be greats,” Galli said about the classics category.

The 47-year-old professor decided to include contemporary blockbusters for entertainment value and to keep the class current. The list consists of movies have come out in the past five years. This group will most likely hold “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Avengers” and “Godzilla.” Galli decided to include the anti-heros category “just for fun.” He is still deciding the movies for this list but is considering “Fight Club” and “A Clockwork Orange.”

The goal of the class is to increase students’ ability to critically look at cinema and “broaden students’ horizons by introducing them to films they probably wouldn’t have chosen to watch on their own.” The grading will come from three analytical papers, one for each genre. It will be a comparison-contrast of the five films in the categories.

“When you’re analyzing movies, you notice different things that add to the story,” Communication major Alanah Torre said. “It gives you a greater appreciation for films.”

The senior Torre was the first to enroll in the class and plans to continue on to graduate school to become a film director. She’s excited to take the class because she loves watching movies learning from them.

“It’s a class where you watch 15 movies, once a week, and you only write three essays,” Torre said.  “In those essays, you’re writing about 5 films, so that’s like one page per film and then connecting them. Why wouldn’t you want to take the class?”

Meetings will be on Thursday nights from 5:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. in Eiben Hall. At the beginning of the class, Galli will introduce the film and explain why he chose it. After the viewing, a discussion about what everyone liked or disliked will be held.

“It’s awesome and cool,” Galli said. “You should take this class!”