Spring 2015

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CINE 1104. From Page to Screen: Film Adaptation and Narrative.
Explores the topic of “adaptation,” specifically, the ways in which cinematic texts transform literary narratives into visual forms. Begins with the premise that every adaptation is an interpretation, a rewriting/rethinking of an original text that offers an analysis of that text. Central to class discussions is close attention to the differences and similarities in the ways in which written and visual texts approach narratives, the means through which each medium constructs and positions its audience, and the types of critical discourses that emerge around literature and film. May include works by Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, Anita Loos, Vladimir Nabokov, and Ridley Scott.
CINE 2075. Ecocinema: China's Ecological and Environmental Crisis.
Examines how China’s economic development has caused massive destruction to the natural world and how environmental degradation affects the lives of ordinary people. An ecological and environmental catastrophe unfolds through the camera lens in feature films and documentaries. Central topics include the interactions between urbanization and migration, humans and animals, eco-aesthetics and manufactured landscapes, local communities and globalization. Considers how cinema, as mass media and visual medium, provides ecocritical perspectives that influence ways of seeing the built environment. The connections between cinema and environmental studies will enable students to explore across disciplinary as well as national boundaries. Note: Fulfills the film theory requirement for Cinema Studies minors.
CINE 2114. Fighting Fascism: The Spanish Civil War and Cinema.
Takes the Spanish Civil War as a case to study the way in which war in its many facets has been represented in cinema from the 1930s to present. Examines how the subject of war is taken up by different genres: newsreel, documentary, adventure, drama, horror, fantasy, and romantic comedy. Analyzes films from Spain alongside examples from the US, Britain, France, and Mexico paying special attention to how the political dimensions of the Spanish war, in the international context of the fight against Fascism, are subject to different interpretations of the conflict’s significance for history. Taught in English. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for cinema studies minors
CINE 2120. Science to Story, Digital and Beyond.
Examines the translation of science into stories and digital media that successfully engage public attention. What enables ordinary citizens to form an understanding consistent with the best available scientific evidence? What gets in the way of forming such an understanding? What communication strategies and formats successfully move science to civic society? Case studies include translation of the following areas of climate change science: synthetic biology and algae as biofuel, ocean acidification, rising sea levels, and super storms. Class reading and writing assignments and seminar discussions lead to development of group presentations and production of digital media.
CINE 2201. History of Film I, 1895 to 1935.
Examines the development of film from its origins to the American studio era. Includes early work by the Lumières, Méliès, and Porter, and continues with Griffith, Murnau, Eisenstein, Chaplin, Keaton, Stroheim, Pudovkin, Lang, Renoir, and von Sternberg. Special attention is paid to the practical and theoretical concerns over the coming of sound. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.
CINE 2266. Chinese Women in Fiction and Film.
Approaches the subject of women and writing in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century China from perspectives of gender studies, literary analysis, and visual representations. Considers women writers, filmmakers, and their works in the context of China’s social-political history as well as its literary and visual traditions. Focuses on how women writers and directors negotiate gender identity against social-cultural norms. Also constructs a dialogue between Chinese women’s works and Western feminist assumptions. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for Cinema Studies minors.
CINE 2428. Introduction to Film Theory.
A survey of some of the major currents in film theory from the early days of motion pictures to the present, including formalism, genre theory, auteur theory, psychoanalytic theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. Includes mandatory evening film screenings; a choice of two screening times will be available for each film. Note: Fulfills the film theory requirement for Cinema Studies minors.
CINE 3200. The Ethics of the Image.
Explores the representation of a range of ethical questions in film as well as the ethics of film, including the formal and stylistic, historical, and political decisions made in constructing cinematic images. Arranged in the form of case studies, compares and contrasts examples of international film with a focus on theoretical questions and approaches. May consider the ways in which films represent traumatic events in history (e.g., the Holocaust), environmental disasters, sexual and gender identity, to name a few. Addresses questions of cinematic genre as well as spectatorship (e.g., identification and repulsion, taste, appropriateness, humor, shock, activism as response). Note: Fulfills the film theory and the non-US cinema requirements for cinema studies minors.
CINE 3318. Film as a Subversive Art: The Critical Lens of Avant-Garde Cinema.
Focuses on filmmakers whose techniques examine and challenge conventions of art, knowledge, culture, and society. Weekly reading assignments, seminar discussions, film viewings, and video production projects trace the history of avant-garde cinema to investigate influences, medium-specific inquiries, and contributions to knowledge. Field and collaborative digital video projects involve analysis of specific methods and representational strategies to explore how techniques of visual expression can affect perception and understanding. Filmmakers may include Man Ray, Luis Buñuel, Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton, Marjorie Keller, and Bill Viola. Attendance at evening screenings is required.
CINE 3322. Film and Biography.
Explores how filmmakers have constructed public history through films professing to tell the life stories of important individuals. Examines the biopic as a significant and long-lived genre, looks at issues of generic change and stability, and considers the narrative process in relation to historic events and individuals. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.