First I would like to thank Cass Canfield, Jr., who suggested that I turn my lectures from Film 50, an introductory film course for University of California students and the Berkeley community, into a book. He provided valuable feedback, encouragement, and editorial suggestions. I am also indebted to Edith Kramer, director of the University of California, Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, and the staff of the Pacific Film Archive Theater for providing the perfect place to teach Film 50. While digital video makes teaching films more convenient, there is nothing like showing an archival 35mm print perfectly projected on a big screen to inspire audiences to appreciate film art. My efforts to expand lecture notes into a book benefited from the help of members of my Berkeley writing group, which over the years has included Elizabeth Abel, Janet Adelman, Gayle Greene, Jodi Halpern, Claire Kahane, Mardi Louisell, Wendy Martin, and Madelon Sprengnether. I also received valuable feedback from the members of the Townsend Center Working Group in Psychobiography, including Jacquelynn Baas, Ramsay Breslin, Liz Cara, Alan Elms, Can-dace Falk, Lorraine Kahn, Mac Runyan, Reit Samuels, Adrian Walker, and Stephen Walrod.
Madelon Sprengnether was the book's muse. Her kind enthusiasm and brilliant editorial advice kept up my morale and gave me the determination to keep writing. Brenda Webster was a major impetus in con vincing me to undertake the project. Margaret Schaefer and Claire Ka-hane, close friends who date back to my graduate-school days in the English Department at Berkeley, read the book from end to end several times, suggesting ways to make it better, clearer, and more coherent. I am solely responsible for the defects that remain.
I am grateful to the group major in film at Berkeley for giving me the opportunity to teach film since 1976. Working with the bright and challenging film majors at Berkeley nourished my enthusiasm for learning about and teaching film. Conversations with faculty colleagues and graduate students at Berkeley have greatly enriched my perspectives on film and have helped inform my ideas. These include Mark Berger, Seymour Chatman, Carol Clover, Anton Kaes, Russell Merritt, Gabriel Moses, Anne Nesbet, Bill Nestrick, B. Ruby Rich, Mark Sandberg, Kaja Silverman, Maria St. John, and Linda Williams. At the University of California Press, I am grateful to Jim Clark for his enthusiasm about the book, Mari Coates for helping me to get the book ready to launch, Rachel Berchten for guiding it through the production process, and Laura Schattschneider for the intelligence and grace with which she copyedited the manuscript.
My son, Daniel Schmidt, an undergraduate at Berkeley while I was writing Closely Watched Films, was my ideal audience. Daniel provided me with both generous encouragement and astute criticism of various chapters. Finally I would like to thank my husband, Tom Schmidt, who gave me ideas, editorial advice, technological support and much, much more. The book is dedicated to Tom and Daniel.
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