Reel Deal Mind and Coursera Are a Perfect Match: Marriage and the Movies Was a Gem)

April 15, 2014 No Comments


If you joined the Reel Deal Mind for the wonderful opportunity to participate in Coursera’s 5 week course “Marriage and the Movies,” you are probably basking in the joy of completing the final exam online and saddened by the end of the movies chosen to screen for the class.

If you are not yet familiar with Coursera, it is an online program filled with high level  courses taught by some of the world’s most interesting university professors.  AND IT’S FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Film historian Jeanine Basinger (author of “I do, I don’t:  A History of Marriage in the Movies”  offered her course, which covered a fascinating trip through Hollywood’s attempts to reflect (and define) that matrimonial bond.  She  selected a marvelous group of films that those who register were asked to screen before each class.  Wild Orchids (Greta Garbo’s 1929 romp with passion, infidelity and a tiger) and Made for Each Other (Lombard and Steward in a 1939 classic) are the films she  chose for the first week lectures.  All of the films (which included Since You Went Away,  The Marrying Kind, Adam’s Rib, Vivacious Lady, Heartburn and War of the Roses  and my personal favorite, David Lean’s breathtaking and heartbreaking Brief Encounter) are still available through Amazon, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and probably your local library.  There were the  quizzes only if you wanted a “certificate” (if you are like me, once a nerd always a nerd).  Otherwise, you could pick and choose as your time permits (but who can say “no” to these films????)  The lectures were posted each week, but can be screened whenever (and downloaded).

If you missed the class, I would  suggest ordering Basinger’s book from Amazon.  Most of her lectures came from the text and it is a very accessible, very smart companion to a terrific group of films.  Her organization of the topic was thoughtful and fairly comprehensive.

Did you participate in the class?  What films spoke to you?  Which ones were missing?

We promise to keep up with any courses in film offered through Coursera.

See you at the Movies

Jolyn Wagner

The Philosopher's POV

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