In high school, watching a movie in class was cause for celebration. No lecture! No math worksheet! Dim lighting! In college, watching a movie in class is cause for extreme trepidation. Yes, in-class movies usually still mean no lectures and worksheets and yes, professors do have to dim the lights, but now you never know what kind of weirdo film they’re going to hit you with. Subtitles are only appropriate for the 18-and-older set, I guess. Anyway, I surveyed a group of anonymous seniors to see what movies they named as they worst they had ever seen in class.
- Black Robe– “It was confusing. I just remember a blur of Native Americans canoeing, priests, interracial sex, and violence. I think people get murdered and tortured by the Iroquois. I watched it in Will Scott’s American history class, the 1492-1865 one.”
- The Miracle of Bern– “It’s about Germany winning the World Cup the for first time since World War II and it finally being okay to be German again. It was everything that’s horrible about sports movies but all tied to a problematic notion of German nationalism. And it was really ugly.”
- Metropolis– “It was boring, there was no talking. I watched it in Writing the Modern City.” (Ed. This person clearly has no taste).
- Nameless Russian Film- “I don’t remember what it was called but it was a documentary on the Russian Revolution, the October Revolution, which is today, actually, and was in black and white and in Russian but badly dubbed in English. It was really sad and depressing and had lots of shots of Russians starving from famine. I watched it in intro Russian.”
- Jefferson in Paris– “The worst Merchant and Ivory film I have ever watched. It was purportedly about Thomas Jefferson and his 14 year old slave mistress Sally Hemings, but was really just tacky shots of French aristocrats in lots of make up and other tacky shots of Sally’s boobs. I just watched it in Women of the Atlantic World with Sylvie Coulibaly. For the record, she knows it’s bad.”
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever had to watch in class?