Film and Media Studies (FILM)
FILM 150a, Introduction to Film Studies Staff
A survey of film studies concentrating on theory, analysis, and criticism. Students learn the critical and technical vocabulary of the subject and study important films in weekly screenings. Prerequisite for the major. WR, HU 0 Course cr
FILM 160b / ENGL 196b, Introduction to Media John Peters
Introduction to the long history of media as understood in classical and foundational (and even more recent experimental) theories. Topics involve the technologies of modernity, reproduction, and commodity, as well as questions regarding knowledge, representation, public spheres, and spectatorship. Special attention given to philosophies of language, visuality, and the environment, including how digital culture continues to shape these realms. WR, HU 0 Course cr
* FILM 161a / ART 241a, Introductory Film Writing and Directing Jonathan Andrews
Problems and aesthetics of film studied in practice as well as in theory. In addition to exploring movement, image, montage, point of view, and narrative structure, students photograph and edit their own short videotapes. Emphasis on the writing and production of short dramatic scenes. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. RP
* FILM 162a or b / ART 142a or b, Introductory Documentary Filmmaking A.L. Steiner
The art and craft of documentary filmmaking. Basic technological and creative tools for capturing and editing moving images. The processes of research, planning, interviewing, writing, and gathering of visual elements to tell a compelling story with integrity and responsibility toward the subject. The creation of nonfiction narratives. Issues include creative discipline, ethical questions, space, the recreation of time, and how to represent "the truth." RP
FILM 209a / GMAN 209a, Classics of German Cinema: From Haunted Screen to Hyperreality Fatima Naqvi
This course introduces students to German films of the Weimar, Nazi, post-war and post-wall period. In exploring issues of class, gender, nation, migration, and conflict by means of close analysis, the course seeks to sensitize students to the cultural context of these films and the changing socio-political and historical climates in which they arose. Special attention is paid to the issue of film style. We also reflect on what constitutes the “canon” when discussing films, especially those of recent vintage. Directors include Robert Wiene, F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Lotte Reiniger, Leni Riefenstahl, Alexander Kluge, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Andreas Dresen, Christian Petzold, Jessica Hausner, Michael Haneke, Angela Schanelec, Barbara Albert. Taught in English. HU
FILM 232b, Classical Hollywood Narrative 1920–1960 Staff
Survey of Classical Hollywood films. Topics include history of the studio system; origin and development of genres; the film classics of the Classical Hollywood period, and the producers, screenwriters, directors, and cinematographers who created them. WR, HU 0 Course cr
* FILM 233a / EDST 233a, Children and Schools in Global Cinema Dudley Andrew
Children have long been, and remain, the target of many films. They precipitated some of the earliest studies of the new medium and its regulation as well. But this seminar turns the tables on the premise that children have also been dangerous for the cinema. As subjects and actors in films, they have proven recalcitrant, unpredictable, combustible; in short, they have behaved as children often do. Insofar as cinema is an institution, children must be disciplined to ensure its smooth operation. And yet much of what is valuable in cinema involves the very unpredictability that is natural in children. This seminar operates as a dialogue between education and cinema across the living bodies of children. We give the cinema and children the first and last words in this dialogue, 'education' being asked to learn, not teach. We defamiliarize education by bringing into our classroom children and films foreign to the United States, including films from France, Africa, Iran, and East Asia Foundations in Education Studies recommended. HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm, W 7pm-10pm
FILM 240b / ENGL 192b / LITR 143b, World Cinema Marta Figlerowicz
Development of ways to engage films from around the globe productively. Close analysis of a dozen complex films, with historical contextualization of their production and cultural functions. Attention to the development of critical skills. Includes weekly screenings, each followed immediately by discussion. HU
* FILM 241b / PLSH 246b, Polish Communism and Postcommunism in Film Krystyna Illakowicz
The Polish film school of the 1950s and the Polish New Wave of the 1960s. Pressures of politics, ideology, and censorship on cinema. Topics include gender roles in historical and contemporary narratives, identity, ethos of struggle, ethical dilemmas, and issues of power, status, and idealism. Films by Wajda, Munk, Polanski, Skolimowski, Kieslowski, Holland, and Kedzierzawska, as well as selected documentaries. Readings by Milosz, Andrzejewski, Mickiewicz, Maslowska, Haltoff, and others. Readings and discussion in English. HU
* FILM 280a / ENGL 382a / PSYC 320a, The Science and Culture of Memory John Williams and Samuel McDougle
This is an FAS-sponsored cross-divisional course. This course offers a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the science and culture of memory. We aim to bring traditional philosophies, narratives, and histories of memory into conversation with both long established and cutting-edge research findings on the neuroscience of memory. Questions explored in the course include: What is memory and how does it work? How has memory been conceptualized over time in both culture and science? What are the various media through which we process memories, including collective and individual forms? What can we learn from moments of mnemonic failure? What new technologies of memory are on the horizon? How is our vision of the future influenced by the content and processes of memory? In wrestling with these questions, we encounter a wide selection of narratives, art objects, films, and scientific data. Students also have an opportunity to explore their own experiences in learning and memory (including experiential assignments, e.g., asking them to memorize certain things and report on the experience, as well as opportunities to reflect on their experiences of and access to forms of collective, communal memory). HU, SO
* FILM 307a / EALL 280a / EAST 260a, East Asian Martial Arts Film Staff
The martial arts film has not only been a central genre for many East Asian cinemas, it has been the cinematic form that has most defined those cinemas for others. Domestically, martial arts films have served to promote the nation, while on the international arena, they have been one of the primary conduits of transnational cinematic interaction, as kung-fu or samurai films have influenced films inside and outside East Asia, from The Matrix to Kill Bill. Martial arts cinema has become a crucial means for thinking through such issues as nation, ethnicity, history, East vs. West, the body, gender, sexuality, stardom, industry, spirituality, philosophy, and mediality, from modernity to postmodernity. It is thus not surprising that martial arts films have also attracted some of the world’s best filmmakers, ranging from Kurosawa Akira to Wong Kar Wai. This course focuses on films from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea—as well as on works from other countries influenced by them—covering such martial arts genres such as the samurai film, kung-fu, karate, wuxia, and related historical epics. It provides a historical survey of each nation and genre, while connecting them to other genres, countries, and media. HU 0 Course cr
* FILM 320b / HSAR 490b, Close Analysis of Film Oksana Chefranova
Close study of a range of major films from a variety of periods and places. Apart from developing tools for the close analysis of film, we consider such topics as genre and mode; the role of sound; cinema as a structure of gazes; remakes and adaptations; approaches to realism; narration and resistance to narration; film in relation to other moving image media; and the relationship of close analysis to historical contextualization and interpretation more generally. Prerequisite: FILM 150. HU
* FILM 325a / GMAN 379a / LITR 374a, German Cinema 1918–1933 Jan Hagens
The years between 1918 and 1933 are the Golden Age of German film. In its development from Expressionism to Social Realism, this German cinema produced works of great variety, many of them in the international avantgarde. This introductory seminar gives an overview of the silent movies and sound films made during the Weimar Republic and situate them in their artistic, cultural, social, and political context between WWI and WWII, between the Kaiser’s German Empire and the Nazis’ Third Reich. Further objectives include: familiarizing students with basic categories of film studies and film analysis; showing how these films have shaped the history and the language of film; discussing topic-oriented and methodological issues such as: film genres (horror film, film noir, science fiction, street film, documentary film); set design, camera work, acting styles; narration in film; avantgarde cinema; the advent and use of sound in film; Realism versus Expressionism; film and popular mythology; melodrama; representation of women; modern urban life as spectacle; film and politics. Directors studied include: Grune, Lang, Lubitsch, Murnau, Pabst, Richter, Ruttmann, Sagan, von Sternberg, Wiene, et al.
* FILM 327a / AMST 395a, Studies in Documentary Film Charles Musser
This course examines key works, crucial texts, and fundamental concepts in the critical study of non-fiction cinema, exploring the participant-observer dialectic, the performative, and changing ideas of truth in documentary forms. HU RP
T 3:30pm-5:20pm, U 7pm-10pm
* FILM 330a, The Screenwriter's Craft Camille Thomasson
A rigorous writer's workshop. Students conjure, write, rewrite, and study films. Read screenplays, view movie clips, parse films, and develop characters and a scenario for a feature length screenplay. By the end of term, each student will have created a story outline and written a minimum of fifteen pages of an original script. All majors welcome. Application required. Please find the link to the application form on the syllabus.
* FILM 341a / MGRK 238a / WGSS 233a, Weird Greek Wave Cinema George Syrimis
The course examines the cinematic production of Greece in the last fifteen years or so and looks critically at the popular term “weird Greek wave” applied to it. Noted for their absurd tropes, bizarre narratives, and quirky characters, the films question and disturb traditional gender and social roles, as well as international viewers’ expectations of national stereotypes of classical luminosity―the proverbial “Greek light”―Dionysian exuberance, or touristic leisure. Instead, these works frustrate not only a wholistic reading of Greece as a unified and coherent social construct, but also the physical or aesthetic pleasure of its landscape and its ‘quaint’ people with their insistence on grotesque, violent, or otherwise disturbing images or themes (incest, sexual otherness and violence, aggression, corporeality, and xenophobia). The course also pays particular attention on the economic and political climate of the Greek financial crisis during which these films are produced and consumed and to which they partake. None HU
FILM 342a / EALL 297a / EAST 300a, Global Korean Cinema Staff
In recent times, world cinema has witnessed the rise of South Korean cinema as an alternative to Hollywood and includes many distinguished directors such as Park Chan-wook, Lee Chang-dong, Kim Ki-duk, and Bong Joon-ho. This course explores the Korean film history and aesthetics from its colonial days (1910-1945) to the hallyu era (2001-present), and also analyzes several key texts that are critical for understanding this field of study. How is Korean cinema shaped by (re)interpretations of history and society? How do we understand Korean cinema vis-à-vis the public memories of the Korean War, industrialization, social movements, economic development, and globalization? And how do aesthetics and storytelling in Korean cinema contribute to its popularity among local spectators and to its globality in shaping the contours of world cinema? By deeply inquiring into such questions, students learn how to critically view, think about, and write about film. Primary texts include literature and film. All films are screened with English subtitles. HU
* FILM 350a or b, Screenwriting Marc Lapadula
A beginning course in screenplay writing. Foundations of the craft introduced through the reading of professional scripts and the analysis of classic films. A series of classroom exercises culminates in intensive scene work. Prerequisite: FILM 150. Not open to freshmen.
* FILM 351a / RUSS 338a / SLAV 351a, Documentary, Fiction, Docufiction John MacKay
A seminar on the relationship between nonfictional and fictional media practice, with a particular focus on the “docufiction” form. Topics to be discussed include debates over the coherence of the notion of “documentary”; the epistemological and political claims of fiction and documentary; and the relationship of documentary and fictional practice to questions of nationhood, ethnicity, and gender. Films by directors such as Vertov, Eisenstein, Shub, Flaherty, Ivens, Visconti, Varda, Makavejev, Trinh Minh-ha, Costa, and Kiarostami. HU
FILM 355b / ART 341b, Intermediate Film Writing and Directing Jonathan Andrews
In the first half of the term, students write three-scene short films and learn the tools and techniques of staging, lighting, and capturing and editing the dramatic scene. In the second half of the term, students work collaboratively to produce their films. Focus on using the tools of cinema to tell meaningful dramatic stories. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisites: ART 241. RP
FILM 356b / ART 342b, Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking Michel Auder
Students explore the storytelling potential of the film medium by making documentaries an art form. The class concentrates on finding and capturing intriguing, complex scenarios in the world and then adapting them to the film form. Questions of truth, objectivity, style, and the filmmaker's ethics are considered by using examples of students' work. Exercises in storytelling principles and screenings of a vast array of films mostly made by independent filmmakers from now to the beginning of the last century. Limited enrollment. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisites: ART 141 or 142. HU RP
* FILM 360b / LITR 301b / RSEE 380b / RUSS 380b, Putin's Russia and Protest Culture Marijeta Bozovic
Survey of Russian literature and culture since the fall of communism. The chaos of the 1990s; the solidification of power in Putin's Russia; the recent rise of protest culture. Sources include literature, film, and performances by art collectives. Readings and discussion in English; texts available in Russian. WR, HU
* FILM 366a / ITAL 306a, Spotlight on Sicily in Literature and Film Millicent Marcus
Sicily has always occupied a privileged place in the Italian imagination. The course focuses on a series of fictional works and films―from the early 20th century until today―which reveal how this island has served as a vital space for cinematic experimentation and artistic self-discovery. Topics range from unification history, the Mafia, the migrant crisis, environmental issues, gender, and social/sexual mores. The course is taught in English, but those who wish to enroll for credit towards the certificate in Italian, or the major, can make arrangements to do so. WR, HU
* FILM 393a / HSAR 405a / HSHM 472a / HUMS 246a, Early Modern Media Marisa Bass and John Peters
How did ideas move in the early modern world across time and place, between people and things? Looking beyond art history’s traditional understanding of “medium” as referring to what a work of art is made from, this seminar explores the broader range of “media” that were central to discourse and debates about faith, politics, and the natural world during a period of great technological innovation and global expansion, as well as violence, upheaval, and uncertainty. Focusing on Dutch art, science, and thought during the long seventeenth century—a context in which experiments with media at home and encounters with media from abroad were especially charged, our discussions range from optics to navigation, theology to mathematics, landscape to microscape, clocks to cannons, and shells to flowers. Readings both historical and theoretical complement several visits to study works firsthand in nearby collections. HU
* FILM 395b, Intermediate Screenwriting Marc Lapadula
A workshop in writing short screenplays. Frequent revisions of each student's script focus on uniting narrative, well-delineated characters, dramatic action, tone, and dialogue into a polished final screenplay. Prerequisite: FILM 350. Priority to majors in Film & Media Studies.
* FILM 397b / ENGL 423b / THST 228b, Writing about the Performing Arts Margaret Spillane
Introduction to journalistic reporting on performances as current events, with attention to writing in newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere. The idea of the audience explored in relation to both a live act or screening and a piece of writing about such an event. Students attend screenings and live professional performances of plays, music concerts, and dance events. Formerly ENGL 244. WR, HU
* FILM 401b / ENGL 462b / THST 453b, Writing Screenplay Adaptations Donald Margulies
A workshop on the art of screenplay adaptation. Students read short stories, novels, and non-fiction; the screenplays based on that source material; and view and analyze the final product, the films themselves. Instruction focuses on the form, economy, and structure specific to screenwriting. Weekly writing exercises supplement the creation of a final project: a short screenplay based on source material of the student's choosing.
Previous experience in writing for film or stage would be advantageous but is not required. Restricted to juniors and seniors, or by permission of the instructor. HU
* FILM 404a, The Tracking Shot Oksana Chefranova
Theoretical exploration of genealogy, technology, and aesthetics of the tracking shot, a major instrument of mobility in film achieved by affixing a camera to a moving object. Study of tracking shot lineage in extra-cinematic moving practices, while looking at dramatic, kinetic, optical, and psychological possibilities offered by the mobile camera. Readdress significant concepts of film theory by examining the tracking shot from early cinema to digital works. None HU
* FILM 433a / AFAM 216a, Family Narratives/Cultural Shifts Thomas Allen Harris
This course looks at films that are redefining ideas around family and family narratives in relation to larger social movements. We focus on personal films by filmmakers who consider themselves artists, activists, or agents of change but are united in their use of the nonfiction format to speak truth to power. In different ways, these films use media to build community and build family and ultimately, to build family albums and archives that future generations can use to build their own practices. Just as the family album seeks to unite people across time, space, and difference, the films and texts explored in this course are also journeys that culminate in linkages, helping us understand nuances of identity while illuminating personal relationships to larger cultural, social, and historical movements. HU
* FILM 434b / AFAM 220b, Archive Aesthetics and Community Storytelling Thomas Allen Harris
This production course explores strategies of archive aesthetics and community storytelling in film and media. It allows students to create projects that draw from archives—including news sources, personal narratives, and found archives—to produce collaborative community storytelling. Conducted as a production workshop, the course explores the use of archives in constructing real and fictive narratives across a variety of disciplines, such as—participants create and develop autobiographies, biographies, or fiction-based projects, tailored to their own work in film/new media around Natalie Goldberg’s concept that “our lives are at once ordinary and mythical.” HU
T 3:30pm-6:20pm, M 7:30pm-10:30pm
* FILM 446b / EALL 252b / EAST 251b / LITR 384b, Japanese Cinema before 1960 Aaron Gerow
The history of Japanese cinema to 1960, including the social, cultural, and industrial backgrounds to its development. Periods covered include the silent era, the coming of sound and the wartime period, the occupation era, the golden age of the 1950s, and the new modernism of the late 1950s. No knowledge of Japanese required. Formerly JAPN 270. HU Tr
* FILM 455a / AMST 463a / EVST 463a / THST 457a, Documentary Film Workshop Charles Musser
A yearlong workshop designed primarily for majors in Film and Media Studies or American Studies who are making documentaries as senior projects. Seniors in other majors admitted as space permits. RP
W 10:30am-1:20pm, T 7pm-10pm
* FILM 471a or b, Independent Directed Study Staff
For students who wish to explore an aspect of film and media studies not covered by existing courses. The course may be used for research or directed readings and should include one lengthy essay or several short ones as well as regular meetings with the adviser. To apply, students should present a prospectus, a bibliography for the work proposed, and a letter of support from the adviser to the director of undergraduate studies. Term credit for independent research or reading may be granted and applied to any of the requisite areas upon application and approval by the director of undergraduate studies.
* FILM 483a and FILM 484b / ART 442a and ART 443b, Advanced Film Writing and Directing Jonathan Andrews
A yearlong workshop designed primarily for majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies making senior projects. Each student writes and directs a short fiction film. The first term focuses on the screenplay, production schedule, storyboards, casting, budget, and locations. In the second term students rehearse, shoot, edit, and screen the film. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisite: ART 341.
* FILM 487a and FILM 488b, Advanced Screenwriting Marc Lapadula
Students write a feature-length screenplay. Emphasis on multiple drafts and revision. Admission in the fall term based on acceptance of a complete step-sheet outline for the story to be written during the coming year. Primarily for Film & Media Studies majors working on senior projects. Prerequisite: FILM 395 or permission of instructor.
* FILM 491a and FILM 492b, The Senior Essay Staff
An independent writing and research project. A prospectus signed by the student's adviser must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies by the end of the second week of the term in which the essay project is to commence. A rough draft must be submitted to the adviser and the director of undergraduate studies approximately one month before the final draft is due. Essays are normally thirty-five pages long (one term) or fifty pages (two terms).
* FILM 493a and FILM 494b, The Senior Project Staff
For students making a film or video, either fiction or nonfiction, as their senior project. Senior projects require the approval of the Film and Media Studies Committee and are based on proposals submitted at the end of the junior year. An interim project review takes place at the end of the fall term, and permission to complete the senior project can be withdrawn if satisfactory progress has not been made. For guidelines, consult the director of undergraduate studies. Does not count toward the fourteen courses required for the major when taken in conjunction with FILM 455, 456 or FILM 483, 484.