As a Cinematic Arts minor, I have a strong interest in both film production as well as film analysis. Last Spring, I took an Intro to Cinema Course (CTCS-190) with Professor Drew Casper. Dr. Casper encouraged his students to take classes with him this Fall, and if we could not register for the classes, he encouraged us to come anyways. That’s what I have decided to do. Every Wednesday at 6PM, I attend his lecture on analyzing the style of the famous director, Alfred Hitchcock. Dr. Casper was named the Hitchcock Chair for the University and he is very knowledgeable about the subject. Each class, we listen to a lecture given by Dr. Casper, followed by a screening of one of Hitchcock’s films.
The coolest thing I’ve learned in the class so far is that Alfred Hitchcock was actually an Engineer. He went to college as an Engineering major and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. Naturally, as an Engineering student this was fascinating to hear. What it taught me is that Engineering is essentially problem-solving, and there is no limit to the paths I can pursue with an Engineering degree.
Last week, Dr. Casper invited Alfred Hitchcock’s granddaughter, Mary Stone, to come speak to the class. It was fascinating to hear her speak, as she had numerous anecdotes regarding her grandfather’s personality, home life, and facts that are not known to the public. Additionally, she shared her opinion of the new Hitchcock film. My favorite story that she told was that she actually took a class about Hitchcock’s style while she was in college. She was assigned an essay, and she promptly brought it home to her grandfather and wrote it with him. When she got the paper back, she received a ‘C’. She took it back to Hitchcock and he responded, “I’m sorry, dear. That’s the best I can do.”
At the end of class, they handed out free watches that had Hitchcock’s signature on their faces. There were extras so I got to have one! I think it’s really great that Dr. Casper is so open to students coming to his class even if they are not registered for it. I have learned a lot through the class, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it!