In 1975, I attended LACC (Los Angeles City College) and took as many film classes as I could. Tom Stempel taught three of them: film history, documentaries and screenwriting. The film history class would meet and watch films in the science lecture hall, a large echoy room with seats set at a steep rake which made it a good place to watch films.
I remember watching The Seven Chances there. It was my first introduction to Buster Keaton, who would, in time, become my favorite comedian — in either silent or sound films. That semester, we also watched Storm Over Asia (Potomok Chingis-Khana), a film by V. I. Pudovkin, and definitely in the Eisenstein mold of early Soviet films. With its bold, direct images; its at times heavy-handed visual metaphors; and didactic, unapologetic, manipulative editing; this film, in an odd way, spoke to me. I’d never seen anything like it, and it was a surprise and a thrill to watch. Other great films that I saw for the first time in that lecture hall were Jesse James and My Darling Clementine.