Jeff Richardson

Film History


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Jeff received a BA in Film & Television from the University of Michigan, and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University.


He is a full-time staff member at New York University’s Department of Cinema Studies, where he has helped organize numerous international conferences and film screenings. Jeff’s major interests in the field of cinema include exhibition history, road movies, and the James Bond film series. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and cat and is thrilled to be teaching Film History at the Maggie Flanigan Studio.


I developed a love for movies at an early age, watching classic and foreign films on laser discs checked out from my local library. The joy I found in viewing films quickly transitioned into a life-long love of discussing films with others. Teaching allows me to have these discussions with a regularly changing group, with new backgrounds, opinions, and insights. I use as many film clips as possible during lectures, and try to tailor the selection to each group. Working with the students at the Maggie Flanigan Studio is a particularly invigorating experience, as their passions and insights allow me to revisit and reconsider these films from the perspective of the actor.

Film History for Actors

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The best and most accomplished actors have an incredible reservoir of definitive performances and cinematic moments that feed their own creative process.  The Maggie Flanigan Studio strives to produce professional actors who can use this knowledge to add to their capacity for creative inspiration.  Directors use past films often in their process, influenced by the genre, performances, lighting, set, and cinematography. Our students can do the same.

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Teaching Philosophy

I always come with my laptop loaded with as many clips that I think we might possibly need so they’re not just listening to me talk the whole time they actually get to see the films and see the performances and this allows me to cite specifics as well, so if we’re talking about film noir I can say, “Here, look at the lighting in Double Indemnity. Here’s Barbara Stanwick. Here’s Fredrick Murray. Look at the lighting in Touch of Evil. How does Robert Altman use sound?”.