Film and Media Studies
FACULTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRAM OF FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES
Professors *Dudley Andrew (Comparative Literature, Film & Media Studies), Hazel Carby (African American Studies, American Studies), *Francesco Casetti (Humanities, Film & Media Studies), *Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature, Slavic Languages & Literatures), Michael Denning (American Studies, English), *John Mack Faragher (History), *Aaron Gerow (East Asian Languages & Literatures, Film & Media Studies), Inderpal Grewal (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies), Benjamin Harshav (Comparative Literature), Stathis Kalyvas (Political Science), *Thomas Kavanagh (French), *John MacKay (Chair) (Film & Media Studies, Slavic Languages & Literatures), *Millicent Marcus (Italian), Donald Margulies (Adjunct) (English, Theater Studies), Giuseppe Mazzotta (Italian), Kobena Mercer (History of Art, African American Studies), Christopher L. Miller (African American Studies, French), *Charles Musser (American Studies, Film & Media Studies), *Brigitte Peucker (German, Film & Media Studies), Joseph Roach (English, Theater Studies), *Michael Roemer (Adjunct) (Art, American Studies), Alan Trachtenberg (Emeritus), *Katie Trumpener (Comparative Literature, English), *Laura Wexler (American Studies, Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies)
Associate Professors Moira Fradinger (Comparative Literature), Zareena Grewal (Ethnicity, Race, & Migration), Karen Nakamura (Anthropology), Brian Walsh (English), R. John Williams (English)
Assistant Professor *J. D. Connor (History of Art, Film & Media Studies)
Senior Lecturers *John Crowley (English), *Ron Gregg (American Studies, Film & Media Studies)
Lecturers *Jonathan Andrews (Art, Film & Media Studies), James Charney (School of Medicine), *Michael Kerbel (American Studies, Film & Media Studies), *Marc Lapadula (Film & Media Studies)
Critic *Sandra Luckow (Art)
Senior Lector II Seungja Choi (East Asian Languages & Literatures)
Senior Lectors Krystyna Illakowicz (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Karen von Kunes (Slavic Languages & Literatures)
*Member of the Film and Media Studies Committee.
The major in Film and Media Studies focuses on the history, theory, criticism, and production of cinema and other moving-image media. Courses examine cinema and the broader landscape of audiovisual media as significant modern art forms, and the contributions of moving-image media as cultural and communicative practices of enduring social significance. As an interdisciplinary program centered in the humanities, Film and Media Studies offers students latitude in defining their course of study within the framework established by the Film and Media Studies Committee. With this freedom comes the responsibility of carefully planning a coherent and well-focused program. Because of the special demands of Film and Media Studies and the diversity of its offerings, potential majors are encouraged to consult the director of undergraduate studies early in their academic careers.
The Film and Media Studies major consists of fourteen term courses, including the prerequisite. A maximum of one course taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the major with permission of the director of undergraduate studies.
Prerequisite Students normally take FILM 150 in their freshman or sophomore year. This course is useful preparation, and in some cases a prerequisite, for many other courses in the major.
Required courses Students are required to take FILM 320, preferably during their sophomore year. They must also take a course in film theory, preferably by the end of their junior year, selected from FILM 312, 314, 333, or 345. In addition, students must devote two term courses, preferably upper-level courses, to the study of representative films from at least two different nations or cultures (German expressionist cinema, Italian cinema, American comedy).
Students must take one term course on the creative process in film. Appropriate courses are listed under "Production Seminars," but other courses in art, theater studies, or creative writing may be substituted with the permission of the director of undergraduate studies.
Area of concentration With the help of the director of undergraduate studies in Film and Media Studies, each student defines an area of concentration comprising six courses leading up to and including the senior requirement. The six courses should form a coherent program in which the study of film and media is integrated with a particular discipline (history of art, literature, philosophy, the social sciences) or area of investigation (theory, production, race and gender, photography, national or regional cultures, new media). The focus of the concentration might be production (screenwriting, documentary filmmaking), history and theory of cinema (German expressionism, cinema, and politics), or media old and new (digital animation, television series).
Students choosing a production-related concentration often start by completing FILM 161, 162 by the end of their sophomore year, and continue with FILM 355, 356 by the end of their junior year, to prepare for FILM 455, 456, or 483, 484 in their senior year. Production students pursuing screenwriting often begin with FILM 350. They must take at least seven non-production courses in the major. FILM 150, 312, 320, 333, 345, and the two required courses on national cinemas may be counted among the seven. Students with a concentration in filmmaking should also take courses in screenwriting, and vice versa.
Senior requirement During the senior year, each student takes one or two senior-level seminars or the equivalent and submits a senior essay or senior project, which should represent a culmination of work in the major and in Yale College. For the student writing a senior essay, several options are possible. First, the student may enroll in two terms of relevant senior-level seminars (usually courses numbered in the 400s) and write a substantial term paper of twenty-five pages, double-spaced, for one of these courses. Second, the student may do independent research on a yearlong senior essay (FILM 491, 492). This option is intended for students with clearly defined topics that do not relate closely to a senior-level seminar. During the first two weeks of the first term of senior year, a petition for permission to do independent research should be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies in the form of a brief prospectus, approved by the proposed faculty adviser to the essay. Such research receives two terms of credit; the product of a two-term research essay is a work of at least fifty pages. Third, the senior requirement may be completed by combining one single-term senior-level seminar with one term of an independent research project (FILM 491 or 492), resulting in a paper of thirty-five pages. Whichever option is chosen, the essay should be written on a topic informed by the student's area of concentration. In researching and writing the essay, the student should consult regularly with the seminar instructor, supplying preliminary drafts as appropriate, and may consult with other faculty members as well.
Students who wish to complete a senior project as an alternative to an essay petition the Film and Media Studies Committee for approval of their project at the end of the junior year. Projects might include writing a screenplay or producing a video. Students electing such an alternative should note that the project must be undertaken and accomplished over two terms. A limited number of students making films or videos are admitted to either the Advanced Fiction Film Workshop (FILM 483, 484) or the Documentary Film Workshop (FILM 455, 456), and receive three credits for their projects (two credits for FILM 483, 484 or 455, 456, and one for FILM 493 or 494). Such a choice effectively commits students to one extra course in addition to the fourteen courses required for the major, because FILM 493 or 494 does not count toward the fourteen required courses when taken in conjunction with FILM 483, 484 or 455, 456. Students may undertake a production project outside the workshops if (1) the Film and Media Studies Committee approves their petition, (2) they have found a primary adviser qualified and willing to provide the necessary supervision, and (3) they have identified the equipment necessary to execute the project. Such students may count FILM 493 and 494 toward the fourteen courses required for the major.
Majors graduating in December must submit their senior essays or senior projects to the director of undergraduate studies by December 11; those graduating in May, by April 29. A second reader assigned by the director of undergraduate studies participates in evaluating the essays and/or projects.
Admission to senior-level seminars is at the instructor's discretion, but the Film and Media Studies program will ensure that every senior major gains admission to the required number of seminars.
The intensive major Students of substantial accomplishment and commitment to film and media studies are encouraged to pursue the intensive major. Students in the intensive major complete a senior project in production and also write a senior essay. The intensive major in Film and Media Studies is intended for students who are not pursuing two majors. Students must request approval from the Film and Media Studies Committee at the end of their junior year by submitting a proposal that outlines their objectives and general area of study.
All majors Study of relevant foreign languages is urged for all Film and Media Studies majors. Students considering graduate work should become proficient in French or another modern language. Those choosing to study film in relation to a foreign culture must have good listening and reading abilities in that language.
Film and Media Studies draws on the resources of many other departments and programs in the University. Students are encouraged to examine the offerings of other departments in both the humanities and the social sciences, as well as residential college seminars, for additional relevant courses. The stated area of concentration for each student normally determines the relevance and acceptability of other courses.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Prerequisite FILM 150
Number of courses 14 term courses, incl prereq and senior req
Distribution of courses 6 courses in area of concentration; 2 courses in different national cinemas; 1 production course; if concentration is production-related, at least 7 non-production courses
Senior requirement 2 terms of senior-level sems, or 2 terms of senior essay (FILM 491, 492), or 1 term of each; or 2 terms of senior project in FILM 455, 456, or 483, 484, and either FILM 493 or 494, for a total of 15 term courses; or 2 terms of senior project in FILM 493, 494 with approved petition
Intensive major Both senior essay and senior project
FILM 150a, Introduction to Film Studies John MacKay
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.
FILM 312a / LITR 354a, Theory of Media Francesco Casetti
Introduction to key issues in media studies. Relationships between commodity, artwork, and networks of exchange; media and public sphere; the analysis of radio and television; alternative or counter-hegemonic conceptions of media; and the viability of the concept "media" itself.
* FILM 320b / HSAR 490b, Close Analysis of Film J. D. Connor
Ways in which traditional genres and alternative film forms establish or subvert convention and expectation and express thematic and ideological concerns. The balancing of narrative containment and excess, as well as action and image. Use of body and voice, space and music. Examples include films by Antonioni, Zhang, Ozu, and Hitchcock. Prerequisite: FILM 150.
FILM 240b / LITR 143b, World Cinema Dudley Andrew
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.
* FILM 307b / EALL 280b, East Asian Martial Arts Film Aaron Gerow
An investigation of the martial arts films of East Asia (Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan), including the samurai film, kung-fu and karate film, and wuxia film, and the roles they play in constructing nationalism and transnationalism, gender, stardom, spirituality, and mediality.
* FILM 325a / AMST 225a, American Film Comedy Michael Roemer
A study of the great American film comedians and an investigation into the psychology of laughter. Comedians from Chaplin and Keaton to the Marx brothers and Fields examined against a background of European comedy. Comic form and technique and their relevance to the American scene. Not a history of American film comedy. Priority to juniors and seniors majoring in American Studies or in Film & Media Studies.
* FILM 374a / MUSI 356a / SAST 357a, Bollywood's Music, Image, and Culture Staff
Hindi/Urdu cinema—Bollywood—examined through its music. Focus on musical styles, production techniques, performers, and visual tropes since the mid-twentieth century. Ways that music, images, and narratives express and contest social identities; Hindi film music’s relationship with political and religious change in the context of colonial and postcolonial South Asia; and how economic, technological, and aesthetic considerations have influenced the creation of Hindi film songs.
* FILM 384a / EALL 284a / EAST 463a, North Korea through Film Staff
Introduction to the cultural history of North Korea, with a focus on the politics, ethics, and aesthetics of visual representation. Styles and forms range from independent documentary to official propaganda to big-budget studio films. The fundamentals of film analysis; major texts on North Korea's society, history, and political system.
* FILM 416a / FREN 394a / LITR 366a, French Cinema through the New Wave Dudley Andrew
The history of French cinema c. 1930 to 1970, from the onset of sound through the New Wave movement. The New Wave "idea of cinema"; the relation of cinema to national self-perception and state policy in France.
* FILM 419b / LITR 382b, German New Waves in Cold War Europe Katie Trumpener
Comparative study of New Wave cinema in East and West Germany, with a focus on aesthetic ferment, institutional barriers, and transformation. Berlin as the best place to follow Europe's emerging cinematic New Waves before 1961. Distinctive approaches developed by young filmmakers in East and West Germany to political and documentary filmmaking, to the Nazi past and the Cold War, and to class, gender, and social transformation. Knowledge of German helpful but not necessary.
* FILM 448a / EALL 271a, Japanese Cinema after 1960 Aaron Gerow
The development of Japanese cinema after the breakdown of the studio system, through the revival of the late 1990s, and to the present. No knowledge of Japanese required.
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm; M 7pm-9:30pm
* FILM 457b / ITAL 303b / LITR 359b, Italian Film from Postwar to Postmodern Millicent Marcus
A study of important Italian films from World War II to the present. Consideration of works that typify major directors and trends. Topics include neorealism, self-reflexivity and metacinema, fascism and war, and postmodernism. Films by Fellini, Antonioni, Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Wertmuller, Tornatore, and Moretti. Most films in Italian with English subtitles.
* FILM 474b / FREN 396b, World War II in French Cinema Alice Kaplan
A study of French films dealing with everyday life in France during the Nazi occupation (1940–44). Close analysis of scenes and cinematic techniques, historical readings, and film criticism.
Film Theory, Visual Media, and Special Topics
* FILM 045a / THST 099a, Dance on Film Emily Coates
An examination of dance on film from c. 1920 to the present, including early Hollywood pictures, the rise of Bollywood, avant-garde films of the postwar period, translations of stage choreography to screen, music videos, and dance film festivals. The impact of industry, circulation and audience, aesthetic lineages, and craft in the union of the two mediums. Students develop an original short film for a final class project. No prior dance or filmmaking experience necessary. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.
* FILM 242a / ENGL 308a / HUMS 454a / LITR 398a, Interpreting Film Masterpieces Dudley Andrew and David Bromwich
Exploration of seven auteurs from Europe and Hollywood, 1937–1967. Assessment of methods that deepen appreciation of the films and the medium.
FILM 285a / HSAR 328a, Disney J. D. Connor
History of the Walt Disney Company from origins to today. Early animation, popular modernism, mid-century television, development of the theme parks and nature films, the Disney princess, the animation renaissance, and the current portfolio of brands, such as Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm.
FILM 318a / PLSC 352a, Politics and Film Stathis Kalyvas
Film as a lens for making sense of the varied landscape of political violence, including insurgency, terrorism, state repression, and genocide. Ways in which fiction film is an ideal language for conveying complex insights; how social science can build on these insights to produce a deeper understanding of political violence. Recommended preparation: PLSC 116.
FILM 321b / AMST 351b, Hollywood in the Twenty-First Century Ronald Gregg
Examination of how globalization and the global success of American films have affected Hollywood film production, stardom, distribution, and exhibition, as well as the aesthetics of film image, sound, and narration. Topics also include the effects of new digital technologies on film aesthetics, spectacle, spectatorship, and exhibition, and the responses of independent and other national cinemas to Hollywood's hegemony.
* FILM 324a / AMST 402a / ANTH 302a / WGSS 380a, Gender and Sexuality in Media and Popular Culture Vanessa Agard-Jones and Laura Wexler
Investigation of visual media and popular culture in the United States and transnationally. Gender, race, class, and sexuality in relation to the production, circulation, consumption, and reception of media culture. Focus on theories of media and the visual. Significant lab component in which students use media technologies to make and illustrate theoretical arguments.
* FILM 358b / GMAN 369b / LITR 427b, Text and Image: The Double of Interpretation Rüdiger Campe and Florian Fuchs
The textuality of vision and the visuality of text in the interpretation of artifacts in Western culture. The pairing of text and vision traced in literary and theoretical readings and in examples from visual art and film. Conditions, variations, and consequences of this unique media configuration and the politics of its interpretation. Case studies range from Plato to Hobbes, Kleist to Flaubert, and baroque emblems to computer diagrams.
* FILM 364a / CZEC 246a / RSEE 240a, Milos Forman and His Films Karen von Kunes
An in-depth examination of selected films by Milos Forman and representatives of the New Wave, cinéma vérité in Czech filmmaking. Special attention to Forman's artistic and aesthetic development as a Hollywood director in such films as Hair, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ragtime, and Amadeus. Screenings and discussion in English.
* FILM 377a / WGSS 454a, Postwar Queer Avant-Garde Film Ronald Gregg
Production, exhibition, and aesthetic practices in postwar queer underground cinema in the United States as it developed from the 1930s to the early 1970s. The films of gay or bisexual filmmakers such as Willard Maas, Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger, and José Rodriguez-Soltero; the work of antiheteronormative female filmmakers such as Barbara Rubin and Marie Menken; the links between avant-garde cinema, theater, and other arts, as well as the political context.
* FILM 424a / AFAM 377a / AMST 359a, Urban Narratives of Injustice in The Wire Hazel Carby
Narratives of injustice, crime, and the policing of citizens as represented in The Wire, critically acclaimed as the finest television drama ever made, plus additional readings.
* FILM 469a / AMST 306a, The Films of Martin Scorsese Michael Kerbel
Close analysis of Scorsese’s films, with attention to his themes and styles and to ways in which his works have assimilated literary and cinematic influences, reflected their eras, and influenced other directors. Scorsese’s work examined in the context of film history, and of U.S. culture and history, from the 1960s to the present.
* FILM 475b / ENGL 411b, Shakespeare on Film Brian Walsh
A survey of the lively tradition of putting Shakespeare's plays on film, from the beginnings of cinema at the close of the nineteenth century to the present day.
* FILM 476a / ENGL 307a, Hollywood Novel and Film Charles Musser
The history of novels and films about Hollywood. Ways in which the closely related forms of novel and film portray "the dream factory"—its past, present, and future—as well as the way the forms interact. Books include Merton at the Movies (1922), I Should Have Stayed Home (1938), Loves of the Last Tycoon (1940), and The Player (1988). Films include What Price Hollywood? (1932), A Star is Born (1937), Sunset Boulevard (1950), In a Lonely Place (1950), and The Player (1992). May not be taken after AMST S321/FILM S180.
* FILM 161a / ART 141a, Introductory Film Writing and Directing Michael Roemer
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. Materials fee: $150. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisite for majors in Film & Media Studies: FILM 150.
* FILM 162a or b / ART 142a or b, Introductory Documentary Filmmaking Sandra Luckow
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." Materials fee: $150. RP
* 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 355a or b / ART 341a or b, Intermediate Film Writing and Directing Staff
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. Materials fee: $150. Enrollment limited to 8. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisites: ART 141 or 142, and FILM 150. RP
FILM 356b / ART 342b, Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking Sandra Luckow
Students explore the storytelling potential of the film medium by making documentary art. 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 using examples of students' work. Exercises in storytelling principles. Materials fee: $150. Limited enrollment. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisites: ART 141 or 142, and FILM 150.
* FILM 359a / MUSI 345a, Introduction to Sound Studies Brian Kane
A broad introduction to sound studies, an emerging field that analyzes both the technologies and the cultural techniques involved in the production, reception, and meaning of sound and listening. Topics include soundscapes, voice, modes of listening, audio technologies, electronic music, and noise. How sound studies intersects with more traditional methods of music studies.
* 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 396b / ENGL 461b, Writing for Film: Voice and Vision John Crowley
Practice in all aspects of writing a screenplay. Focus on elements shared with other forms of fiction, including story, character, narrative, personal voice, and audience expectations. Study of one or more published screenplays in conjunction with viewings of the resulting films. Students plan, pitch, outline, and write a large part of a single screenplay, in addition to shorter exercises in screenplay craft.
* FILM 397b / ENGL 244b / 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.
* FILM 455a and FILM 456b / AMST 463a and AMST 464b, 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.
* 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. Materials fee: $150. Enrollment limited to 8. 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.
Individual Research and Senior Essay Course or Project
* 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 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.