Fall 2017 Film Courses

 

Asia 124: Iranian Post-1979 Cinema
219 New West
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-13:45
Instructor: Claudia Yaghoobi
Attributes: LA/BN/E5
Although Western films from Hollywood have dominated the world’s cinema screens for most of film history, films produced in many other regions of the world such as the Middle East have much to offer beyond Hollywood. In the United States, however, we have few chances to see many of these diverse films produced in the Middle East. In this course, we will examine the distinct characteristics of post-revolutionary Iranian cinema (post-1979), which has been a regular feature (and winner) at major film festivals around the globe. We will examine the many different ways the medium has been used to incorporate political and social perspectives, challenge the government, and document the lives and struggles of Iranian people. Among the many topics that we will explore are Iranian culture and society, the importance of family unit, gender politics, women’s social, economic and political roles, issues of ethnicity, attitudes about faith and religion, constructions of masculinity, role of children, ethics and morality, documentary vs. fiction, and various schools of realism in Iranian cinema. The films will be contextualized by readings as listed on the schedule below. The readings are in English and the films are all subtitled in English.

Asia 231: Bollywood Cinema
208 Dey Hall Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:45 (Lecture)
108 Bingham Thursday 6:30-9:30 (Screening)
Instructor: Afroz Taz
Attributes: VP/BN
Explore the evolution of film in India, focusing on the portrayal and expression of various themes in different eras, including national integration, religion, gender, caste, and language. We will place Bollywood in context by referring to additional films from the diaspora, parallel, and regional cinemas. Ultimately, we will seek to understand how the Bollywood cinema reflects and interprets Indian society and culture in the past and present. Note: there will be only five Thursday-night film screenings (i.e. the class does not meet *every* Thursday night through the semester).

ASIA/JWST/PWAD 235: Israeli Cinema: Nation, Gender, and Ethnicity [click here for poster]
G010 Genome Science Building
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:45 (screening Tuesday 7:00-9:00)
Instructor: Yaron Shemer
This course is designed for students of Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish and Hebrew Studies, Communications, Women’s Studies, Global Cinema, and for all students interested in learning about Israeli culture and society as represented in cinema. The class will explore the modes of expression by which contemporary Israeli films often depict a multifaceted and conflicted nascent society where “Israeliness” and national identity become ever more elusive. VP, BN, GL.

Asia 262: Film and Novel in India
Room: TBA
Times: TBA
Instructor: TBA
Attributes: LA/GI

China 255: Outlaws in Chinese Literature and Film
302 Woollen Gym
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00-3:15
Instructor: Instructor: Li-Ling Hsiao
Attributes: LA/BN
This course explores the idea of outlaw as hero in the Chinese literary tradition and its influence on modern kungfu and gangster films. The readings will focus on the most famous kungfu novel All Men are Brothers aka Outlaws of the Marsh (Shuihu zhuan 水滸傳) written by Shi Nai’an 施耐庵 in the fifteen century. The course will also screen films on the theme of outlaws. This course will be conducted completely in English. No knowledge of Chinese is required.

CHIN 346: Early Chinese History in Film
217 Bingham
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-13:45
Instructor: Uffe Bergeton
Attributes: HS/WB
Through analysis of the role movies play in the formation of popular perceptions of the past, this course provides an introduction to the history of the Qin (221-207 BCE) and Han (206 BCE – 220 CE) Dynasties. Many recent Chinese blockbuster movies are cinematic recreations of famous incidents from this formative period in Chinese history. For example, John Woo’s Red Cliff (2008-2009) is based on The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historical novel inspired by battles from the end of the Han dynasty. In this class we will compare the representation of the past in this and other recent movies with traditional historical sources as a way to approach broader questions about the relationship between history and fiction. Is it possible to separate historical facts from fictional narrative? How do popular media shape commonly accepted views of history? What functions and political messages do cinematic representations of ancient history have in contemporary China?

JAPN 417: Japanese Culture in Film and Literature
215 Haynes Art Center
Wednesday 4:40-7:20
Attributes: LA/BN

COMM 130: Intro Media Production
001A Swain
Tuesday 12:30-2:20 (Lecture)
Instructor: Kristin Marie Hondros
Students must also sign up for a lab (see course schedule for times).

COMM 131: Writing for Stage/Screen
308 Alumni Hall
Tuesday 5:00-8:00 (Lecture)
Instructor:Dana Coen
Open only to Writing for the Screen and Stage Minors.

COMM 230: AUD/VID/FLM PRD/WRT (2 sections)
200A Swain Hall
Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-4:25 (Lecture)
Instructor: Kristin Marie Hondros
Class meetings may also be held in the following alternative locations: Swain Hall 200A and Swain Hall 108A. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites (prerequisite is COMM 130, grade of C or better) This course has prerequisite requirements. This course has major restrictions.

COMM 330: Intro to Writing for Film and Television
526A Greenlaw Hall
Tuesday/Thursday: 2:00-3:15
Instructor: Stephen Neigher
Course reserved for first and second year COMM majors; non-majors may enroll after April 18.

COMM 331:Writing Short Film
207 Dey Hall
Tuesday/Thursday: 11:00-12:15
Instructor: Dana Coen
Enrollment reserved for COMM majors for the first two weeks of registration.

COMM 335: Film Story Analysis
118 Murphy
Thursday: 5:35-8:35
Instructor: Dana Coen
Enrollment reserved for COMM majors for the first two weeks of registration.

COMM 534: Narrative Production
108A Swain Hall
Monday/Wednesday 1:25-3:00
Instructor: Staff
This course has major restrictions.
Permission of the instructor for non-majors.
This course has prerequisite requirements.
Prerequisites, COMM 130 (C or better), COMM 230.

COMM 537: Master Screenwriting
202 Murphey Hall
Wednesday 5:45-8:35
Instructor: Michael Acosta
Open only to Writing for the Screen and Stage Minors.

COMM 550: American Independent Cinema
103 Caldwell
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:45
Reserved for Juniors and Seniors only

COMM 635: Documentary Production
106A Swain Hall
Tuesday/Thursday: 12:30-1:45
Instructor: Julia Haslett
Reserved for COMM majors—consult instructor for prerequisites

COMM 654: Motion Graphics, Compositing, and Special Effects
200A Swain Hall
Monday Wednesday 9:05-11:00
Instructor: Edward Rankus
Prerequisites: COMM 130 or COMM 150 with a C or better This course is reserved for COMM majors only. Permission of instructor needed for non-majors.

CMPL 144: Film Culture
204 Murphey Hall
Tuesday/Thursday: 11:00-1:45
Instructor: Yaron Shemeer

CMPL 390: Nazisploitation: Holocaust Perpetrators in Film & Image
304 Greenlaw Hall
Tuesday/Thursday: 2:00-3:15
Instructor: Danielle Christmas
Whereas Nazi Germany was understood as the inciting state in the bloodiest conflict in world history, postwar Germans were this and more: as perpetrators of something that came to be called the Holocaust, they were the people responsible for the systematic murder of more than ten million innocent civilians, people who indiscriminately exterminated Jews, Roma, gays and lesbians, and disabled children. Who could commit such crimes? What would motivate them to do so? And what does their crime say about our capacity for the same? These are the urgent questions with which art in all its forms continues to grapple. In this class, we will work to answer these questions, ultimately seeking to understand the contemporary ideological and sociocultural ends that these competing representations of the perpetrator satisfy, and the instrumental role of film and visual art in advancing these different versions of the Nazi. From the comedic Great Dictator (1940), to the sexploitation of Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975),  through the Oscar-nominated The Reader (2008), film will support our inquiry into where, how, and why the socially constructed Nazi of yesterday remains a palpable presence in the aesthetic trends, ethical debates, and political conversations of today.

ENGL 142:001 Film Analysis
115 Howell
Tuesday/Thursday: 1:00-3:50
Instructor: Gregory Flaxman
Attributes: VP
Note: Students must also sign up for a recitation section.
One of the two courses required for Global Cinema Studies minor, “Film Analysis” is intended to introduce students to the technology, techniques, vocabulary, and style of cinema. While the lectures are scheduled to include a screening, students are free to watch the films on their own time (hence, on Tuesday and Thursdays, we will typically meet for an hour to an hour and a half). Films will include: Stagecoach (Ford, 1939), An Angel at My Table (Campion, 1990), Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo, 1966), La La Land (Chazelle, 2016), Jaws (Spielberg, 1975), A Man Escaped (Bresson, 1956), Singin’ in the Rain (Donen, 1952), The Gleaners and I (Varda, 2000), Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942), North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959), Far from Heaven (Haynes, 2002), Battleship Potemkin (Eistenstein, 1925), The Shining (Kubrick, 1980).

ENGL 143:002 Film and Culture
302 Greenlaw
Mon/Wed/Fri 10:10-11am
Instructor: Jennifer Larson
“Film and Culture” examines the ways in which culture and history shape and are shaped by motion pictures. In this course, we will focus specifically on films that highlight race and racial issues.  The course emphasizes discussion and a broad range of screenings, as opposed to canonical film studies topics and movies, and uses comparative methods that group related films as well as films and texts. The purpose of this strategy is for students to broaden their perspectives on film by appreciating connections between the past and the present, between established ideas and reinterpretations of those ideas, between texts and their screen adaptations, and between films and filmmakers.  By playing the familiar against the unfamiliar, this course encourages students to reexamine what is “familiar” and “normal,” as well to question how the movie screen both influences and reflects audiences’ views about race.

ENGL 389: Major Film Directors: Hitchcock & Kubrick [click here for poster]
404 Dey Hall
Mon/Wed/Fri: 1:15-2:15
Instructor: Rick Warner

This course will closely examine the work of two of the most innovative and widely influential directors in cinema history, Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. Regarded as unsurpassed masters of their craft, these two filmmakers expanded the creative and conceptual resources of the film medium, experimenting with form and provocative ideas while straddling the boundary between popular cinema and art cinema. This course will take their respective bodies of work as an occasion to critically investigate the concept of authorship in film. In doing so, we will also consider a variety of genres within which these directors worked: the suspense thriller, horror, comedy, romance, film noir, the war film, and, at least in Kubrick’s case, science fiction. While acknowledging the singularity of their contributions to the seventh art, we will also take care to discuss how their work conducts a dialogue with the history of cinema (and other arts, namely literature and painting) that runs from the silent period into the late twentieth century. We will consider not only the formal and technical virtuosity of their work, but also their social critique (particularly in relation to the Cold War) and their controversial treatment of matters of gender and sexuality. As we compare these artists through a series of readings and screenings, we will also bear in mind the enormous importance of Hitchcock’s and Kubrick’s endeavors to the very activities of film criticism and film theory, and to the historical development of cinema studies as an academic discipline.

Films likely to be shown include: The 39 Steps (Hitchcock, 1935), Shadow of a Doubt (Hitchcock, 1944), Dial M for Murder (shown in 3D, Hitchcock, 1954), Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958), North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959), Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960), Frenzy (Hitchcock, 1972), The Killing (Kubrick, 1956), Paths of Glory (Kubrick, 1957), Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Kubrick, 1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968), A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971), The Shining (Kubrick, 1980), and Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick, 1999)

GSLL 60: Avant-Garde Cinema: History, Themes, Textures. (First Year Seminar) [Click here for poster]
401 Dey Hall
Tuesday/Thursday: 12:30-13:45
Instructor: Richard Langston
The cinema we frequently encounter in theaters and on television is full of stories comprised of discernible beginnings, middles, and (happy) endings. However, conventional narratives are but one approach to making films. For over a century, filmmakers have employed the medium of film to explore and broaden the limits of aural and visual perception, to invent new aesthetic forms in motion, to express emotions and desires, and to intervene critically in cultural politics. Students enrolled in this seminar will uncover the history, techniques, and meanings of non-narrative cinema from the twentieth century. Often called “avant-garde,” “underground,” or “experimental,” the films we will discuss are international in scope and represent major chapters in the century-old history of this “minor cinema.” Seminar participants will develop in the course of the semester a critical vocabulary for making sense of these works and will articulate their own analyses in writing and their own video essays.
Readings and class discussions in English.

GERM 265: Hitler in Hollywood: Cinematic Representations of Nazi Germany [click here for poster]
Monday/Wednesday Lecture:
Instructor: Priscilla Layne
No other medium has shaped our perception of the Third Reich more than film. In this course, we will analyze cinematic representations of Nazi Germany ranging from propaganda films and home movie footage, to comedies, thrillers, and dramas from both sides of the Atlantic. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English. Approach: Visual & Performing ArtsConnection: North Atlantic World.
Students must also register for a recitation section.

GERM 880: Topics in German Cinema: Stimmung and Film Aesthetics [click here for poster]
Monday 4:40–7:10
Instructor: Inga Pollmann
In this course, we will trace the history of Stimmung (mood, atmosphere, attunement, tonality) as an aesthetic term from the Enlightenment to Romanticism to Realism to Modernity (Kant, Fichte, Nietzsche, Simmel, Hoffmansthal, Heidegger) and discuss its relevance for and application to literature and art along the way (Stifter, Riegl). Our main question, however, will be the role of Stimmung for moving image aesthetics. Narrative and non-narrative films not only creates their own spatiotemporal worlds, but, as a medium that works by means of sensorial impact and immersion, film also imbricates the spectator in unique ways. We will explore the recourse to Stimmungsästhetik in early film theory (Hoffmannsthal, Lukács, Balázs, Eisner) and in particular its application to expressionist and Kammerspiel films of the 1920s. In a second step, we will look at contemporary global art cinema production (Malick, Arnold, Schanelec, Petzold) and discussions of i>Stimmung and related terms. Questions we will ask include: What is the relationship between Stimmung and narrative? How do elements of mise-en-scène (such as performance, décor, or framing), editing, and camerawork (camera movement, position, angle, lenses, focus) contribute to a Stimmung? What is the relationship between Stimmung, realism, and anthropocentrism? What is our conception of the spectator when we think about Stimmung? And finally, how does Stimmung help us think critically about past and current stylistic transformations?
Readings and films in English and German (with translations); class discussions in English.

ITAL 335: Themes in Italian Film
224 Phillips
Monday 1:40-3:55
Instructor: Federico Luisetti
Attributes: VP/NA
The class in conducted in English.

POLI 50: Movies and Politics
351 Hamilton Hall
Monday/Wednesday: 9:05-11:25
Instructor: Pamela Conover
First-year students only

In this seminar, we will consider the interplay between films and politics, filmmakers and citizens. We will discuss what movies “mean,” and the intent of filmmakers, but our major focus will be on the contribution of films to political life and what we can learn from films about our political system as well as ourselves as citizens. Towards this end, we will watch both fictitious and documentary films. One theme will be to evaluate whether political films provide accurate understandings of reality. Another theme will be to explore the changing influence of documentary filmmakers in shaping the political role of films in our society. A third theme will be to consider how political life is shaped by diversity–race, class, gender, sexuality and religion–and the extent to which that diversity is represented in films.

POLI 354: War and Gender in Movies
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00-9:50
The course examines and compares the images of war and gender that movies from different time periods and countries propagate and explores the different factors that influence these images and thereby the perception and recollection of war (3 Credits).