English professor Marianna Torgovnick took her popular “America Dreams American Movies” course to Duke Kunshan University during the spring 2015 semester, and the course closed with a student film competition. The winning film “Untouchable,” which received an “Adam Apple” award at an Oscars-style presentation by the class, impressed Torgovnick with its visual sophistication and naturalistic acting.
“I loved the cinematography most of all – the choice of settings, which was inventive – and the framing, composition and color in the shots,” Torgovnick said. “I also thought it aced the genre, romantic drama, which often does not end happily.
"I also thought the acting extremely natural and convincing—the students in general proved to be amazing on screen. And I liked the script and how it signaled the movement back and forth in time."
Thirty-two students enrolled in Torgovnick’s DKU film class. In Durham, where Torgovnick has taught the course since 2008, enrollment typically hovers at around 150 students. The class will be offered at Duke again in Spring 2016.