English Professor talks about his passion for film and the plans for more film classes in the future

Dr. Gregory Miller is an inspiring teacher of film and English at California State University, Bakersfield. His passion for film started at a young age and has carried over into his career.

During his time at San Diego State University he received his Masters of Art degree while teaching there. This is where he began his teaching career. And while finishing his Ph.D. in English, Miller taught at the University of California, Davis.

Later he was awarded a Fulbright, a U.S student program, where he taught Film Studies at the University of Lodz in Poland.

And in 2009 he began teaching film studies, literature, and composition at CSUB.

Miller’s passion for films started when he was ten years old. “I started checking out 16 millimeter films from the library and screening them at home on my wall. Was especially fascinated by silent comedies and horror movies from the 1930s. Watching Rosemary’s Baby–earlier than I should have, no doubt!—I started noticing how a film’s style and content are interrelated,” he said.

His favorite directors are Claire Denis, a French Director, and Abbas Kiatrostami, an Iranian Director. His favorite movies include: “The Third Man, City Lights, To Be or Not to Be (1942), Cleo from 5 to 7, Providence, Tokyo Story, Aguirre the Wrath of God, The Exterminating Angel, Au Hasard Balthazar, Killer of Sheep, The Long Goodbye, Ran, Moolaade, Vivre Sa Vie, The Seventh Seal, The Music Room, Decalogue, Annie Hall, Close-up, Beau Travail,”  he said.

Film studies has gone a long way since he started working there. CSUB now has a more extensive DVD collection available in the library for in-library viewing. And it is becoming a more popular subject. Film studies can now be chosen as an emphasis for English majors.

“ENGL 368 (Special Topics in Film Studies) will regularly change topics; students can take it twice as long as the topic is different, so in effect counts as two new classes. There is also new Intro to Film Studies course that will likely start next year—this is cross-listed as both COMM and ENGL,” he said.

Students who come to CSUB can also choose to specialize in Film studies through the Interdisciplinary Studies major. For more information on that, see www.csub.edu/interdisciplinary and look for the film studies link on the right. This form will show you the various film studies classes currently available.

According to Miller students who will be transitioning and transfer into the semester system will likely see more film studies classes available.