The Film Gains a Dimension

Jack Howard
1952 The Quarterly of Film Radio and Television  
JACK HOWARD is a graduate journalism student at the University of California, Los Angeles campus. Before returning for graduate studies, he worked for a time as a reporter on an Ohio daily newspaper and as an editor on a short-lived English-language daily newspaper in Germany. He is a political science and journalism graduate of the Berkeley campus of the university. WHAT IS probably the only film of its kind ever produced in the United States has just been completed by a graduate theater arts
more » ... duate theater arts student at the University of California, Los Angeles campus. The film, entitled A Place to Live, is Harry L. Cooper's master's thesis and represents active cobperation between the Psychology and Theater Arts departments of the university in an effort to develop a multipurpose film. Basically, the subject of this film is the so-called racial or ethnic tensions as illustrated in a student housing situation. The subject of tension is, of course, of prime interest to the social scientist concerned with human relations, and is a major area of research. At the same time, social tensions resulting from ethnic or racial discrimination are a prime concern of educators and citizens of good will who recognize in them a major threat to our democratic way of life. Thus, at the outset the film deals with content material which has potential uses both for educators and for social scientists. The film is unique because it provides material for two methods of utilizing motion pictures, the two approaches mentioned above. In the first place, it tells a particular story of racial prejudice and discrimination and thus is suitable as subject material for discussion groups concerned with this problem. Second, the film is so constructed that it can be used for psychological research in the field of social perception of ethnic differences. There have been documentary films dealing with group conflict, and there have been testing films, too, but in the opinion of University of Cali-[C77
doi:10.2307/1209761 fatcat:xyogj3mlwzghhhispv5nyrfyjq