FACULTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRAM OF FILM STUDIES
Professors *Dudley Andrew (Comparative Literature, Film Studies), Hazel Carby (African American Studies, American Studies), *Francesco Casetti (Humanities, Film Studies), *Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature, Slavic Languages & Literatures), Michael Denning (American Studies, English), *John Mack Faragher (History), *Aaron Gerow (East Asian Languages & Literatures, Film Studies), Inderpal Grewal (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies), Benjamin Harshav (Comparative Literature), Stathis Kalyvas (Political Science), *Thomas Kavanagh (French), *John MacKay (Chair) (Film 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 Studies), *Brigitte Peucker (German, Film 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 *Murray Biggs (Adjunct) (Theater Studies, English), Moira Fradinger (Comparative Literature), Karen Nakamura (Anthropology), Brian Walsh (English)
Assistant Professors *J. D. Connor (History of Art), Zareena Grewal (Ethnicity, Race, & Migration), R. John Williams (English)
Senior Lecturers *John Crowley (English), *Ron Gregg (Film Studies)
Lecturers *Jonathan Andrews (Art, Film Studies), James Charney (School of Medicine), *Michael Kerbel (American Studies), *Marc Lapadula (Film 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 Studies Committee.
The major in Film Studies focuses on the history, theory, criticism, and artistic creation of cinema and other moving-image media. Courses examine cinema's role as a unique modern art form and the contributions of moving-image media as cultural practices of enduring social significance. As an interdisciplinary program centered in the humanities, Film Studies offers students latitude in defining their course of study within the framework established by the Film Studies Committee. With this freedom comes the responsibility of carefully planning a coherent and well-focused program. Because of the special demands of Film 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 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 (for example, 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 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 is integrated with a particular discipline (history of art, literature, philosophy, the social sciences) or area of investigation (film theory, production, race and gender, photography, national or regional cultures and their cinemas). The focus of the concentration might also be a given historical or theoretical problem drawn from two areas, such as German expressionism in film and in art or narrative theory in film and in the novel.
Students choosing a production-related concentration often start by completing ART 141, 142 by the end of their sophomore year, and continue with ART 341, 342 by the end of their junior year, to prepare for FILM 455, 456, or 483, 484 in their senior year. They must take at least seven critical studies courses in the major. FILM 150, 312, 320, 333, 345, and the two required courses on national cinemas may be counted among the seven. Critical studies courses are defined as those not listed under "Production Seminars." 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 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 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 5; those graduating in May, by April 24. A second reader assigned by the director of undergraduate studies participates in evaluating the essay or project. In order to graduate from Yale College, a student majoring in Film Studies must achieve a passing grade on the senior essay or senior project.
Admission to senior-level seminars is at the instructor's discretion, but the Film 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 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 on an unrelated topic. The intensive major in Film Studies is intended for students who are not pursuing two majors. Students must request approval from the Film 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 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 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 critical studies 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 314a / HUMS 209a, Media Archeology Francesco Casetti and Mallory Ahern
An archaeological approach to the history of media, with a focus on the prehistory of now-ubiquitous technologies. Contrasting elements at play in the making of new media, including economics, science, and social needs; what inventors and innovators deemed possible at various points in history; social factors that cause new media technology to succeed or fail, and ways in which media in turn shape society.
* FILM 320b / HSAR 490b, Close Analysis of Film John 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 345b / HSAR 327b, Film Theory, Criticism, and Culture Joshua Glick
Survey of the major theories, questions, and debates surrounding cinema from the inception of the medium in the late nineteenth century to the present. Readings from articles and essays written by intellectuals, filmmakers, artists, critics, social scientists, and scholars from across the globe whose ideas have shaped understandings of moving images and their impact on society. Recommended preparation: FILM 150.
TTh 2:30pm-3:20pm; Su 7pm-9:30pm
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 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.
* FILM 262a / FREN 255a, French Cinema Thomas Kavanagh
A broad cross-section of French films from Lumière to the present, placed in their relevant cultural and aesthetic contexts. Focus on French cinema's defining tension with film production in Hollywood and the United States, the dominant presence on the world market.
* FILM 317b / SAST 310b, Understanding Bollywood Staff
Critical introduction to popular cinema of South Asia, its history, culture, and politics. Topics include nationalism, partition, gender, secularism, development, globalization, and diaspora.
FILM 335a / HSAR 326a, Classical Hollywood: Art and Industry John Connor
Classical Hollywood studios as factories of aesthetic achievement and cultural dominance. Challenges to studios, including technical (the coming of sound, color, and widescreen), industrial (the production code, antitrust litigation, and the blacklist), and cultural (the Depression, World War II, and the rise of television). Landmark films from The Jazz Singer and Citizen Kane to Casablanca and Rebel without a Cause.
* FILM 363b / LITR 360b, Radical Cinemas of Latin America Moira Fradinger
Introduction to Latin American cinema, with an emphasis on post–World War II films produced in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Examination of each film in its historical and aesthetic aspects, and in light of questions concerning national cinema and "third cinema." Examples from both pre-1945 and contemporary films. Conducted in English; knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese helpful but not required.
* FILM 389b / EALL 275b / LITR 365b, Crime in Japanese Film and Fiction Aaron Gerow
The depiction of crime in Japanese film and fiction, with a focus on the detective and gangster genres. Social, historical, and aesthetic implications, as well as differences from Euro-American and Asian crime films.
* FILM 427a / AMST 319a, American Documentary Films Michael Roemer
The documentary film from Flaherty to cinéma-vérité and beyond. Films examined for aesthetic value as well as social and political relevance. Emphasis on individual films and filmmakers. Screenings in class. Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors majoring in American Studies or in Film Studies.
* FILM 438b / AMST 416b, U.S. Cinema from 1960 to the Mid-1970s Michael Kerbel
An examination of significant developments in American narrative cinema from 1960 to the mid-1970s through close analysis of representative films. The decline of the studio system; Hollywood's departures from traditional genres, themes, structures, and styles; the treatment of previously forbidden subjects; the influence of avant-garde, documentary, and international film; the director's ascendance; representations of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality; relations between films and American politics, society, and culture.
* 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 461b / ENGL 384b / THST 416b, British Cinema Katie Trumpener
Survey of the British film tradition, emphasizing overlap with literature, drama, and art; visual modernism; documentary's role in defining national identity; "heritage" filmmaking and alternative approaches to tradition; and auteur and actors' cinema.
Film Theory, Visual Media, and Special Topics
* FILM 092a / GMAN 050a / HUMS 053a, Spectatorship and Visual Culture Brigitte Peucker
The position of the Western spectator from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries in a variety of paradigmatic situations. Spectatorship in the contexts of landscape, painting, the city, and film. Looking and the imagination; the relation of the represented to the real; vision and the senses; the nature and politics of looking. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.
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.
FILM 290b, Places of Amusement in American Culture Joshua Glick
Spaces of recreation, leisure, and consumption in the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a focus on Coney Island, Disneyland, Las Vegas, and the digital worlds of online gaming. Such spaces as barometers of American culture. Relations between politics and space, technology and society, and individual and collective identity. Includes field trips to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and to Coney Island.
* FILM 305a / LITR 361a, History and Theory of Animation Aaron Gerow
Survey of the history and theory of animation. Examples from around the world, from various traditions, and from different periods.
* FILM 324a / AMST 402a / ANTH 302a / WGSS 380a, Gender and Sexuality in Media and Popular Culture 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 346b / GMAN 225b / LITR 362b, Intermediality in Film Brigitte Peucker
The relationship of film to theater and painting, with the suggestion that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, 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.
FILM 356a / ENGL 185a / HUMS 161a, Medieval Literature in Movies Alastair Minnis
A study of medieval narrative traditions and their appropriation in modern film. Beowulf, selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and Malory's Morte D'Arthur are compared with modern film and television adaptations.
* FILM 357a / GMAN 408a / LITR 304a, Books, Displays, and Systems Theory Henry Sussman
A status report on the book as a medium in an age of cybernetic technology and virtual reality. The contentious no-man's land between books and contemporary systems.
FILM 362a / FREN 384a / ITAL 384a / JDST 289a / LITR 338a, Representing the Holocaust Maurice Samuels and Millicent Marcus
The Holocaust as it has been depicted in books and films, and as written and recorded by survivors in different languages and national contexts. Questions of aesthetics and authority, language and its limits, ethical engagement, metaphors and memory, and narrative adequacy to record historical truth. Interactive discussions about films (Life Is Beautiful, Schindler's List, Shoah), novels, memoirs (Primo Levi, Charlotte Delbo, Art Spiegelman), commentaries, theoretical writings, and testimonies from Yale's Fortunoff Video Archive.
* FILM 372a / AMST 316a, Los Angeles Culture and the 1960s Joshua Glick
Representations of Los Angeles by the city's artists, journalists, filmmakers, poets, and musicians from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. LA's social geography, its overlapping minority communities, and its high-tech, popular-arts, information, and military industries. Focus on the relationships between different kinds of media and on the international resonance of culture created within Los Angeles.
* FILM 375b / AMST 375b / WGSS 375b, LGBTQ Cinema Ronald Gregg
An introduction to queer film history. Focus on LGBTQ representation in Hollywood and experimental film from its beginning to the present, placed in social and political context. Topics include the impact of censorship, codes used to connote homosexuality, and how gay and antigay politics have affected representation.
* FILM 381a, The Film Melodrama Brigitte Peucker
The Hollywood melodrama of the 1930s through the 1950s. Recent transformations of the genre in modernism, in other national cinemas, as antimelodrama, and in television. Ways in which melodramas address their audiences through mise-en-scene, theatricality, and stars. Shifting racial and gender roles in the genre; melodrama as a vehicle of cultural identity.
* FILM 423b / AMST 364b / EVST 366b, Documentary and the Environment Charles Musser
Survey of documentaries about environmental issues, with a focus on Darwin's Nightmare (2004), An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Food, Inc. (2009), GasLand (2010), and related films. Brief historical overview, from early films such as The River (1937) to the proliferation of environmental film festivals.
* FILM 444a / AMST 136a / WGSS 376a, Sexual Modernity and Censorship in American Film Ronald Gregg
Romantic comedy, censorship, and the representation of sexual modernity in Hollywood film from the 1920s to the 1960s. Tensions between the studios' censorship code and émigré filmmakers' strategies to subvert it. Focus on the romantic comedies of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder, with some attention to the films of Cecil B. DeMille and Howard Hawks.
* 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.
* 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 Studies. Prerequisite for Film Studies majors: FILM 150.
* ART 142b, 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.
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 Studies. ART 141 or 142, and FILM 150 RP
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 Studies. Prerequisites: ART 141 or 142, and FILM 150.
* 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 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 Film Studies majors.
* FILM 455a and FILM 456b / AMST 463a and AMST 464b, Documentary Film Workshop Charles Musser
A yearlong workshop designed primarily for majors in Film Studies or American Studies who are making documentaries as senior projects. Seniors in majors other than Film Studies and American Studies 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 Art and Film Studies majors 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 Studies. Enrollment limited to 8. Priority to majors in Art and in Film 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 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 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 John Connor
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 John Connor
For students making a film or video, either fiction or nonfiction, as their senior project. Senior projects require the approval of the Film 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.