Yes, Friends, after years of teaching my cinema history classes to marginally interested college students (and other adults of mixed abilities...and you know who you are!) I have moved on to conducting seminars to the most appreciative demographic of both film and its history; household pets!
As the semesters have unfolded, I have, in my research, discovered that the canine brain is most aligned with "buddy movies", adventure films (Harrison Ford in all his various franchises), and (sadly!) the huge library of dopey frat-comedies with an emphasis on Seth Rogen, Zach Galifianakis, Jonah Hill, etc., etc.
Cats, on the other hand, and I include the entire feline family from lions and tigers on down to ocelots, margays, caracals, and lynxes, enjoy ladies' romances (or chick-flicks), musicals, all vintage films, foreign movies (where, even if they can't understand the language being spoken, they pretend to!), and horror films, particularly very violent ones. Their scholarship in the field of suspense, thriller, mystery, and monster movies is famously extensive; so much so, that the front runner for Robert Osborne's replacement on the TCM network for a time was Pinky Godard, a famous tabby who, when turned away by TCM, went on to a triumphant career as an award-winning dog-food commercial director. Interestingly, Pinky, who was one of my best students, claimed that his secret when directing dogs (often outweighing him by 40 lbs) was to get them in line by spitting, yowling, and, if need be, a quick scratch to the nose. Here is part of Pinky's final Doctoral thesis; the Short Film Submission - NON-fictional category. Needless to say, I am very proud of my students!
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