Fall 2014 Courses

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FILM 1004. Film Noir.
A survey of film noir from the hard-boiled detective films of the 1940s to later films that attempt to re-imagine the genre. Films will include The Big Sleep; Murder, My Sweet; Double Indemnity; Gun Crazy; In a Lonely Place; and Chinatown. Readings will include some of the original novels that were adapted for the screen, as well as works of film criticism and/or theory. Includes mandatory evening film screenings: a choice of two screening times will be available for each film.
FILM 1043. East Asian Genre Cinema: Action, Anime, and Martial Arts.
Explores East Asian cinema from a genre perspective with a focus on Hong Kong action, Japanese anime, and transnational martial arts films. In the framework of social-cultural history and context of genre theory, the course examines the paradigms that characterize the form and content of such films; investigates the relations between local-global and national-transnational; studies genre-specific issues such as spectators’ perception or industry practices to discern the role of gender, nation, power, and historiography. After taking the course, students will be able to explain the theoretical concepts of genre cinema, analyze the genre’s visual formation, and comprehend the social-cultural implications of the genre.
FILM 1101. Film Narrative.
An introduction to a variety of methods used to study motion pictures, with consideration given to films from different countries and time periods. Examines techniques and strategies used to construct films, including mise-en-scène, editing, sound, and the orchestration of film techniques in larger formal systems. Surveys some of the contextual factors shaping individual films and our experiences of them (including mode of production, genre, authorship, and ideology). No previous experience with film studies is required. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.
FILM 2110. Seashore Digital Diaries.
Exploration of techniques and principles of digital multi-media, as tools of inquiry at the seashore. Through assigned and self-designed independent and group projects, the focus is the seashore as a zone of extremity and movement, in light of its historical and contemporary contexts within the visual arts and film. Techniques introduced include time-lapse sequences of seascape and aquaria, portraits of characters on the working waterfront, and motion graphic visualizations. Seminar discussions, bi-weekly field trips to the seashore, and class critiques.
FILM 2221. Soviet Worker Bees, Revolution, and Red Love in Russian Film.
This interdisciplinary examination of Russian culture surveys the development of literary and visual arts from the 1900s through 2010s. It focuses on the themes of the individual vis-à-vis society and on gender politics using literary and cinematic texts. Topics include “the woman question” in Russia, scientific utopias, eternal revolution, individual freedom versus collectivism, conflict between the intelligentsia and the common man, the “new Soviet woman,” nationalism, the thaw, stagnation of the 1970s, sexual liberation, and the search for post-Soviet identity. Exploring the evolution of literary genres (short story and novella) and film techniques in relation to socio-political and cultural developments, we will pay particular attention to questions of the interrelationship between arts, audience and critic, and the politics of form. Weekly film viewings.
FILM 2232. Bollywood and Beyond: Indian Cinemas and Society.
Explores Indian films, film consumption, and film industries since 1947. Focuses on mainstream cinema in different regions of India, with some attention to the impact of popular film conventions on art cinema and documentary. Topics include the narrative and aesthetic conventions of Indian films, film magazines, fan clubs, cinema and electoral politics, stigmas on acting, filmmakers and filmmaking, rituals of film watching, and audience interpretations of movies. The production, consumption, and content of Indian cinema are examined in social, cultural, and political contexts, particularly with an eye to their relationships to class, gender, and nationalism. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for Cinema Studies minors.
FILM 2252. British Film.
Surveys the first hundred years of British cinema from the silent period to contemporary films. Topics covered: invention of cinema and patterns of movie-going in the United Kingdom; work of important directors and producers (Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, Alexander Korda); changes brought by World War II; the Angry Young Men of the ’50s and ’60s; and recent developments (“heritage” films, postcolonial perspectives, Scottish film). Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.
FILM 2262. Reel Places: Framing Interactions between Humans and Their Environments.
Explores cinematic places to examine how humans engage and experience their environments through cultural production and reception. The study of human-environment interactions often considers natural and built environments. In Reel Places, we will consider “built environments” as imagined or represented places to investigate nature and film culture’s interdependence. Of particular interest are: how nature in film exists simultaneously as an actual independent entity and a conceptual construction (i.e., setting or landscape) and how cinematic landscapes express issues inherent in human-place relationships. Assignments will include written essays and the making of short films. Attendance at weekly film screenings and occasional off-campus theatrical screenings are required.
FILM 3333. The Films of John Ford.
Examines the films of John Ford, from the silent period to the 1960s. Considers his working methods and visual composition, as well as consistent themes and characterizations. Investigates Ford’s reputation in light of shifting American cultural values. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.
FILM 3395. Myths, Modernity, Media.
Explores the important role that myths have played in German cultural history. While founding myths of Germanic culture (e.g., Nibelungen) are considered, focuses especially on myth in relation to fairy tales, legends (including urban legends of the twentieth century), and borderline genres and motifs (e.g., vampires, witches, automatons), as well as on questions of mythmaking. Examines why modern culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, which seemingly neglects or overcomes myths, heavily engages in mythicization of ideas (e.g., gender roles, the unnatural) and popularizes myths through modern media (film, television, the Internet), locations (e.g., cities) and transnational exchange (Disney; the myth of “the Orient”). Aside from short analytical or interpretive papers aimed at developing critical language skills, students may pursue a creative project (performance of a mythical character, design of a scholarly Web page, writing of a modern fairy tale).