Film and Media Studies
Director of undergraduate studies: Katerina Clark, 451 College, Rm. 203, 432-0712, email@example.com; Camille Thomasson, 53 Wall St., Rm. 316, 432-3048, firstname.lastname@example.org; filmstudies.yale.edu
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.
Students normally take FILM 150 in their first or second year. This course is useful preparation, and in some cases a prerequisite, for many other courses in the major.
Requirements of the Major
The Film and Media Studies major consists of twelve term courses, including the prerequisite and the senior requirement. Students are required to take FILM 160, and FILM 320, preferably by the end of their sophomore year. In addition, students are required to take one upper-level course in the study of representative films from a non-American national cinema (e.g. German expressionist cinema, Italian cinema, or world cinema) and one course in critical studies. Students also must take at least one course on the creative process in film; appropriate courses are listed under "Production Seminars." Courses taken outside the Film and Media Studies department will not count toward the major without the permission of the DUS. 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.
Credit/D/Fail No more than one course taken Credit/D/Fail may be counted toward the major with permission of the DUS.
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. The senior requirement does require both critical writing and writing in images. Those undertaking creative senior projects should be expected to produce a paper of approximately fifteen pages in which the student discusses such questions as the genre to be used in the project, existing precedents for the topic, and his or her strategy in working on the project. Those undertaking to fulfill the senior requirement by writing a senior essay should additionally take a course in which they are expected to do, minimally, a small production assignment.
Majors graduating in December must submit their senior essays or senior projects to the DUS by Friday, December 7, 2018; those graduating in May, by Friday, April 26, 2019. A second reader assigned by the DUS participates in evaluating the essays and/or projects.
Preparation for a senior project Those students hoping to produce a film script or video as their senior project should make sure that they have taken enough courses in video production and screenwriting to be accepted into an advanced course in screenwriting or production. Senior creative projects in Film and Media Studies must be produced in conjunction with one such upper-level course. Students 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. Those students interested in screenwriting often begin with FILM 350. Students interested in filmmaking should also take courses in screenwriting, and vice versa. Some production courses are available in the summer program in Prague.
Senior project Students who wish to complete a senior project as an alternative to an essay must 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 twelve 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 twelve courses required for the major.
Preparation for a senior essay Students in their senior year may prefer to write a senior essay rather than work on a creative project. To prepare, they should take advantage of the variety of courses in film history, media studies, and criticism and theory offered by the program, as well as such topics as American independent cinema, film theory, and African American cinema.
Senior essay 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 DUS 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 previous course work at Yale College. 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.
Foreign Languages 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.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Prerequisite FILM 150
Number of courses 12 term courses, incl prerequisite and senior requirement
Distribution of courses 1 upper-level national or world cinema course (non-American); 1 production course; 1 critical studies course
Senior requirement For senior essay—2 terms of senior-level seminars, or 2 terms of senior essay (FILM 491, 492), or 1 term of each; for senior project—2 terms of senior project in FILM 455, 456, or 483, 484, and either FILM 493 or 494, for a total of 13 term courses; or 2 terms of senior project in FILM 493, 494 with approved petition
Intensive major Both senior project in production and senior essay
Film and Media Studies is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program that focuses on the history, theory, criticism, and artistic creation of cinema and other moving-image media. Courses examine cinema’s role as a unique art form that now spans three centuries, as well as the contributions of moving-image media as practices of enduring cultural and social significance. Film and Media Studies aims to develop critical and creative minds that can astutely view, analyze, and conceptually think about cinema within history and society. Majors complete required courses that introduce the breadth of film studies. They also pursue a concentration of courses in film studies or production leading up to the senior essay or project, which can include a film or a screenplay.
Students interested in the major usually begin with FILM 150, which is a prerequisite for most production seminars and many critical courses. This survey of major films and methods of analysis should be taken during the first year or sophomore year. Majors must also take FILM 160, FILM 320, one course in a national cinema, and a course in production.
As an interdisciplinary program, Film and Media Studies shares courses with a dozen programs and departments ranging from Art and Anthropology to Slavic Languages and Literatures and American Studies. Regardless of the departments from which the courses originate, students work closely with a dedicated group of faculty and with each other.
Beyond the classroom, Yale has a vibrant film culture. The archives of the Film Studies Center house over 20,000 motion pictures on DVD, VHS, and celluloid, which are available for study and classroom use. Rare and new films are frequently screened at the Whitney Humanities Center and other venues, sometimes accompanied by a discussion with the filmmaker. Production students can take advantage of the Digital Media Center for the Arts at Yale or study in Prague at the Czech National Film School (FAMU). The department also regularly helps majors find internships and provides opportunities to network with alumni.
FACULTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRAM OF FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES
Professors *Dudley Andrew (Comparative Literature, Film & Media Studies), Carol Armstrong (History of Art), David Bromwich (English), *Francesco Casetti (Chair) (Humanities, Film & Media Studies), *Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature, Slavic Languages & Literatures), Michael Denning (American Studies, English), *Aaron Gerow (East Asian Languages & Literatures, Film & Media Studies), Inderpal Grewal (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies), *John MacKay (Film & Media Studies, Slavic Languages & Literatures), *Millicent Marcus (Italian), Kobena Mercer (History of Art, African American Studies), *Charles Musser (American Studies, Film & Media Studies), John Durham Peters (English, Film & Media Studies), *Brigitte Peucker (German, Film & Media Studies), *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), Brian Kane (Music), Brian Walsh (English), *R. John Williams (English)
Assistant Professors Marijeta Bozovic (Slavic Languages & Literatures, Film & Media Studies, Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies), *Rizvana Bradley (African American Studies, Film & Media Studies), Marta Figlerowicz (Comparative Literature, English)
Senior Lecturer *Marc Lapadula (Film & Media Studies)
Lecturers *Jonathan Andrews (Art, Film & Media Studies), James Charney (School of Medicine), Oksana Chefranova (Film & Media Studies), Michael Kerbel (American Studies, Film & Media Studies), Camille Thomasson (Film & Media Studies)
Critic Sandra Luckow (Art)
Senior Lectors Krystyna Illakowicz (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Karen von Kunes (Slavic Languages & Literatures)
*Member of the Film and Media Studies Advisory Committee.
FILM 150a, Introduction to Film Studies John MacKay and Rizvana Bradley
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
TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm, T 7pm-9pm
FILM 160b / ENGL 196b, Introduction to Media Francesco Casetti
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
* FILM 320b, Close Analysis of Film Oksana Chefranova
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. HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm, M 7pm-10pm
FILM 240b / ENGL 192b / 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. 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 243b / MGRK 218b / WGSS 245b, Family in Greek Literature and Film George Syrimis
The structure and multiple appropriations of the family unit, with a focus on the Greek tradition. The influence of aesthetic forms, including folk literature, short stories, novels, and film, and of political ideologies such as nationalism, Marxism, and totalitarianism. Issues related to gender, sibling rivalry, dowries and other economic factors, political allegories, feminism, and sexual and social violence both within and beyond the family. WR, HU Tr
* FILM 307a / EALL 280a / EAST 260, East Asian Martial Arts Film Aaron Gerow
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
TTh 11:35am-12:25pm, W 7pm-10pm
* 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 360b / LITR 301b / 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 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. WR, HU
Film Theory, Visual Media, and Special Topics
* FILM 045b / THST 099b, 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 first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* FILM 099a / LITR 099a, Film and the Arts Dudley Andrew
A study of cinema as it developed into a significant art form, including its interactions with fiction, theater, and painting. Focus on André Bazin's reflections on cinema in response to Chaplin, Welles, and Cocteau, as well as to writers such as Faulkner, Sartre, and Malraux. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU RP
MW 1pm-2:15pm, M 6:30pm-9pm
FILM 232b, Classical Hollywood Narrative 1920–1960 Camille Thomasson
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
FILM 244a / AMST 247a / HIST 147a / HLTH 170a / HSHM 202a, Media and Medicine in Modern America John Warner and Gretchen Berland
Relationships between medicine, health, and the media in the United States from 1870 to the present. The changing role of the media in shaping conceptions of the body, creating new diseases, influencing health and health policy, crafting the image of the medical profession, informing expectations of medicine and constructions of citizenship, and the medicalization of American life. HU
* FILM 346b / GMAN 225b / LITR 362b, Intermediality in Film Brigitte Peucker
Film is a hybrid medium, the meeting point of several others. This course focuses on the relationship of film to theater, painting, and video, suggesting that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, framing, color, theatricality, tableau vivant, ekphrasis, spectatorship, and new media. Readings feature art historical and film theoretical texts as well as essays pertinent to specific films. Films by Fassbinder, Bergman, von Trier, Jarman, Godard, Haneke, Antonioni, Greenaway and others. HU
* FILM 406a / ITAL 304a / LITR 367a, Literature into Film Millicent Marcus
Strategies employed by filmmakers who adapt literary works to the screen. Detailed comparisons between cinematic adaptations and the novels, plays, and short stories on which they are based. Case studies of literary works that pose a variety of challenges to filmmakers. HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm, M 8pm-10pm
* FILM 453b / AFAM 401b / AMST 411b, Introduction to Documentary Studies Zareena Grewal
An introduction to documentary film, photography, and radio for students interested in doing documentary work, as well as for those who simply wish to study the history of the documentary as a cultural form. HU RP
TTh 4pm-5:15pm, M 7pm-9pm
* FILM 161b / ART 241b, Introductory Film Writing and Directing Sandra Luckow
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. Materials fee: $150. Prerequisite for all majors: ART 142; additional prerequisite for Film & Media Studies majors: FILM 150. RP
* 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 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.
* 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 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. Materials fee: $150. Enrollment limited to 8. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisites: ART 241. 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. HU RP
* 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 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. WR, HU
* FILM 455a and FILM 456b / AMST 463a and AMST 464b / EVST 463a and EVST 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. RP
W 10:30am-1:20pm, T 7pm-10pm
* 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 Katerina Clark
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 Katerina Clark
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 Katerina Clark
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.