Thursday, October 5, 2006
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
Mike Madison over at Madisonian.net has posted the kind of party game I can't resist - favorite "law and..." movies. He brings a - how do I say this? - a delightful kind of non-linear thinking to his list.
His listing of Shakespeare in Love as his favorite copyright movie reminded me I wanted to follow up on something. Some weeks ago, over on Conglomerate, I made some fairly snarky comments about the use of certain movie clips as pedagogical tools. Here's an admission that a foolish consistency, blah, blah, blah....
I was working out on the Stairmaster several weeks ago, and to relieve the tedium I usually put on a DVD. I happened to grab Shakespeare in Love, watched the first scene, and realized it was the perfect lead-in to the class I was prepping at the time: introduction to partnership. I thought about playing the clip, but it meant more technology set up than I wanted to deal with, and then the light went on: we would act it out in class. I hope it was fair use, but now imagine the scene. Professor Lipshaw enlists three of his "on-call" students to come down to the front. The professor takes the Geoffrey Rush role of Henshaw, the owner of the Rose Theatre, who is being tortured (feet in the coals) by his moneylender, Fennyman, Fennyman's accountant, and a thug (played by the coerced students). (We had a limited set, so I lay down on the front row bench and squawked loudly.) Henshaw gets out of his predicament by offering Fennyman not a deferred and fixed payment (debt), but a partnership interest (equity). And the story proceeds from there. Not only do we have a pedagogical introduction to the motivations for partnership (additional risk, but additional return); another benefit is that the professor quickly gets a reputation as something of a loon, capable of doing strange things in class on a moment's notice, and this seems to have a salutary effect on attendance.