Introduction to Film

10100
ARTH 20000,ENGL 10800,ARTV 25300
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
J. Stewart

This course introduces basic concepts of film analysis, which are discussed through examples from different national cinemas, genres, and directorial oeuvres. Along with questions of film technique and style, we consider the notion of the cinema as an institution that comprises an industrial system of production, social and aesthetic norms and codes, and particular modes of reception. Films discussed include works by Hitchcock, Porter, Griffith, Eisenstein, Lang, Renoir, Sternberg, and Welles.

Required of students majoring in Cinema and Media Studies

Cinema in Theory and Practice

14503
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
D. Bluher

The course proposes an introduction to audio-visual literacy through the analysis of films, selective readings, and short film exercises focusing on fundamental cinematic elements such as shot, framing, point of view, camera movement, editing, and relations of image and sound. Assignments will consist in in writing review sheets and a formal film analysis, and in creating three 1-3 minute single-shot movies based on the works seen and discussed in class.

Pre-requisites: CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor. Open only to non-CMS majors. 

Senior Colloquium

29800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
J. Wild

This seminar is designed to provide fourth-year students with a sense of the variety of methods and approaches in the field (e.g., formal analysis, cultural history, industrial history, reception studies, psychoanalysis). Students present material related to their BA project, which is discussed in relation to the issues of the course.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

Documentary Production I

23930
33930
ARTV 23930, ARTV 33930, HMRT 25106, HMRT 35106
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
J. Hoffman

This class is intended to develop skills in documentary production so that students may apply for Documentary Production II. Documentary Production I focuses on the making of independent documentary video. Examples of various styles of documentary will be screened and discussed. Issues embedded in the documentary genre, such as the ethics and politics of representation and the shifting lines between fact and fiction will be explored. Pre-production methodologies, production, and post-production techniques will be taught. Students will be expected to develop an idea for a documentary video, crews will be formed, and each crew will produce a five-minute documentary. Students will also be expected to purchase an external hard drive.

Pre-requisite(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in CMST 10100 is strongly recommended.

East European Horror Film

25521
35521
EEUR 39301
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
M. Sternstein

Eastern Europe has menaced the "enlightened" West for centuries. It remains to this day a valuable source for negotiating the West’s phantasies. One need only look at the rich and varied story of the vampire through popular culture from the 18th-century revenant to the 21st-century sex symbol and family man to confirm this fascination. Eastern Europe (and I use this term here to conform to popular discourse) is the West’s necessary construct to enforce the ideation of its own health and weal. In this course contemporary horror film produced both within and without Eastern Europe—and at times in partnership with the “West”—but all with the East as haunt, landscape, and affect are discussed with the West’s and East’s anxieties (social, political, artistic) in mind. Films include Eli Roth’s Hostel franchise, Julie Delpy’s The Countess, Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch and Day Watch, Aleksey Balabanov’s Cargo 200, Nacho Cerdà’s The Abandoned, György Palfi’s Taxidermia, and the highly controversial A Serbian Film directed by Srđan Spasojević. Readings range from work on defining the horror genre to philosophies of anxiety to critical interrogations of specific films. This class contains films with scenes that ought to be disturbing. 

 

Eisenstein: His Films and Ideas

26610
36610
FNDL 26504
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Y. Tsivian

How well do we really know Sergei Eisenstein? His reputation has long been secure as creator of the Soviet cinema’s most enduring classics, and as a pioneer theorist and teacher. This class will help students to keep pace with a rising tide of Eisenstein’s scholarship to reveal a far more eclectic and erotic figure than tradition would suggest.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

Classical Film Theory

27220
37220
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
D. N. Rodowick

This course will present a critical survey of the principal authors, concepts, and films in the classical period of film theory.  The main though not exclusive emphasis will be the period of silent film and theorists writing in the context of French and German cinema.  We will study the aesthetic debates of the period in their historical context, whose central questions include:  Is film an art?  If so, what specific and autonomous means of expression define it as an aesthetic medium?  What defines the social force and function of cinema as a mass art?  Weekly readings and discussion will examine major film movements of the classical period—for example, French impressionism and Surrealism—as well as the work of major figures such as Hugo Münsterberg, Rudolf Arnheim, Jean Epstein, Germaine Dulac, Béla Balázs, Erwin Panofsky, Hans Richter, Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and André Bazin.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

Art and Public Life

37802
ARTV 37911
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
W.J.T. Mitchell; T. Gates

The aim of this seminar-colloquium will be to work through some of the most advanced thinking on ideas about publics and their relation to questions of community, politics, society, culture, and the arts.  From John Dewey through Hannah Arendt and Jurgen Habermas, the notion of the public has remained central to a wide variety of debates in the humanities and social sciences.  What is a public?  How are publics constituted?  What is the role of real and virtual space, architectural design, urban planning, and technical media, in the formation of publics?   And, most centrally for our purposes, what role can and do the arts play in the emergence of various kinds of publics?  The colloquium aspect of the course will involve visiting speakers from a variety of disciplines, both from the University of Chicago faculty, and from elsewhere. 

Cinema and New Media

27810
37810
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
D. Morgan

Over the past two decades, new media such as television, computers and the web, digital image production, and video games have begun to transform, and even supplant, the social and cultural prominence of cinema. This course will look at how these media work: the history of their development, the changes they have brought about in a broader media culture, their political implications, and their social status and significance (e.g., the place they occupy in culture, the kinds of interactions they make possible). The focus will equally be on the ways in which cinema has responded to the changing digital landscape, which will be explored through both blockbust and experimental films as well as video and web-based art. Readings will be taken from the history of film theory, recent work in media history and archeology, and theoretical studies of digitial media and technology.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

Methods and Issues

40000
ARTH 39900, ENGL 48000, MAPH 33000
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
D. Morgan

This course offers an introduction to ways of reading, writing on, and teaching film. The focus of discussion will range from methods of close analysis and basic concepts of film form, technique and style; through industrial/critical categories of genre and authorship (studios, stars, directors); through aspects of the cinema as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus and cultural practice; to the relationship between filmic texts and the historical horizon of production and reception. Films discussed will include works by Griffith, Lang, Hitchcock, Deren, Godard.

 

History of International Film, Part I: Silent Era

28500
48500
ARTH 28500,ARTH 38500,CMLT 22400,CMLT 32400,CMST 48500,ENGL 29300,ENGL 48700,MAPH 33600,ARTV 26500,ARTV 36500
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
T. Gunning

This course introduces what was singular about the art and craft of silent film. Its general outline is chronological. We also discuss main national schools and international trends of filmmaking.

Pre-requisite(s): Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 required. 

Cinema and Experience

67204
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
D. N. Rodowick

This seminar will be devoted to close reading of Miriam Hansen’s path-breaking book, Cinema and Experience. As the most influential exponent of Critical Theory in cinema and media studies, we will discuss Hansen’s major contributions to the field, including her important reassessments of concepts of the public sphere and experience, modernity and mass culture, aesthetics and politics, the play-form of second nature, utopia and counter-utopia, and alternative accounts of spectatorship among others.  We will also read in parallel and discuss the major texts of Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Siegfried Kracauer that are the basis of her unique reconstruction of Critical Theory as a philosophy of cinema, photography, and visual culture.

 

The Cinematic Turn

67810
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
J. Wild

Broadly speaking, this seminar will investigate the history and theory of the moving image and art practice. We will be guided by two concepts that have emerged in contemporary humanistic thought: the “visual turn” and the “cinematic turn.” While the former examined the ascendancy (and/or denigration) of vision as the dominant mode of both critical inquiry and artistic expression, the later focuses on the cinema’s more explicit incorporation into (contemporary) art practice. Exploring the points of contact between the cinema and the visual arts across the twentieth-century, we will ask how the moving image has redefined the parameters of artistic form, exhibition, and reception. We will also ask how the perceived “turns” to vision and the cinema might indicate changes in the ecologies of art making and, perhaps more importantly, the critical thought about it.

African American Cinema Since 1970

21020
31020
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
J. Stewart

This course surveys African American cinema since the Civil Rights Era.  We will consider longstanding debates about Black images in popular culture, Black access to the means of film production, distribution and exhibition, and the development of a Black film aesthetic.  Films made by, about and for African Americans will be considered in light of Black nationalisms, affirmative action initiatives, Black Feminist and Queer art and activism, Black moviegoing and spectatorship practices, the emergence of video and digital technologies, hip hop culture, and “post-racial” discourse in the Age of Obama.  The course will also consider developments in scholarship on race and cinema.  Topics to be discussed include Blaxploitation, the L.A. Rebellion school of Black independent filmmakers (Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Alile Sharon Larkin), “ghettocentric” films, Black romantic comedy, literary adaptation, documentary and experimental works, as well as the careers of artists including Melvin Van Peebles, Ossie Davis, Pam Grier, Eddie Murphy, Marlon Riggs, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Cheryl Dunye, Tyler Perry, Lee Daniels, and Ava DuVernay.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

Post-War American Avant-Garde

21810
31810
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
T. Gunning

In the 1940’s the American avant garde cinema gained a new identity with the work of filmmakers like Maya Deren, and Kenneth Anger. Working primarily in 16mm, exhibiting mainly in non-commercial theaters, pursuing new models of sexuality, perception and political action, a generation of filmmakers formulated an alternative cinema culture and a new visionary aesthetic.  This tradition gained further definition in the following, with journals, new critical discourses and a network of exhibition. Film modes moved through the mythic and dream-like cinema of Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baillie, the underground cinema of Ken Jacobs, Andy Warhol and Jack Smith, and the structural films of Hollis Frampton, Michael Snow and Ernie Gehr.  The course will trace  these develops and examine its legacy.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

French Cinema of the '20s and '30s

23404
33404
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
J. Wild

In our study of two decades in the history of French cinema, we will track the rise of the poetic realist style from the culture of experimentation that was alive in both the French film industry and its surrounding artistic and literary landscape. As an exercise in the excavation of a history of film style, we will consider the salient features of the socio-political, cultural, theoretical, and critical landscape that define the emergence and the apex of poetic realism, and that reveal it as a complicated nexus in the history of film aesthetics. Main texts by Dudley Andrew and Richard Abel will accompany a wide range of primary texts. Films by Epstein, L’Herbier, Buñuel, Dulluc, Dulac, Gance, Clair, Vigo, Feyder, Renoir, Duvivier, Allégret, Carné, Grémillon. This class is cross-listed with the Department of Romance Language and Literatures and may be taken for French language credit in which class the student will follow the French language requirements for the course. 

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

Creative Thesis Workshop

23905
33905
ARTV 23905, ARTV 33905
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
J. Hoffman

This seminar will focus on how to craft a creative thesis in film or video. Works-in-progress will be screened each week, and technical and structural issues relating to the work will be explored. The workshop will also develop the written portion of the creative thesis. The class is limited to seniors from CMS and DOVA, and MAPH students working on a creative thesis.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 23930; CMST 23931 or 27600; departmental approval of senior creative thesis project.

Documentary Production II

23931
33931
ARTV 23931, ARTV 33931, HMRT 25107, HMRT 35107
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
J. Hoffman

This course focuses on the shaping and crafting of a nonfiction video. Students are expected to write a treatment detailing their project. Production techniques focus on the handheld camera versus tripod, interviewing and microphone placement, and lighting for the interview. Postproduction covers editing techniques and distribution strategies. Students then screen final projects in a public space.

 

Radical Cinema in India: From Decolonization to the Emergency

24106
34106
SALC 20508, SALC 30508, HIST 26707, HIST 36707
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
R. Majumdar

What constitutes radicalism in cinema? All too often the expression radical has been reserved for films that come under the rubric of “art”, “parallel” or “third” cinema. Formally these films share certain commonalities with Latin American, Eastern European cinemas and even the various European new waves. Is it possible however to read a radical politics and ethics into films and filmmakers who did not self-consciously describe themselves as such? To what extent does political cinema and extra-cinematic discussions of such films compromise questions of formalism? This course will analyze these and related issues by looking closely at Indian cinema from 1947- 1977. We will be watching and discussing both “popular” and “art” films to understand the ways in which they have addressed (or not) issues of mass politics, the state, and the people. You do not need a prior background in Indian films or Indian history to take this class but it is absolutely essential that you attend all the screenings and participate in class discussion.

From Post-War to Post-Wall: A History of Polish Film

24400
34400
POLI 22400, POLI 32400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
K. Kosmala

This course will explore post-World War II film from Poland – approaching the works both as examples of the cinematic art in the region, and as a lens through which to view developments and transformations in East European culture. We will view ten films by most renowned directors from Poland. The course will assess what the end of World War II, followed by joining the Eastern Bloc, the fall of communism, and finally by the entry into post-Soviet Europe have meant for the film culture and the Polish national film tradition. We will also consider how Eastern European cinematic discourse is undergoing – or should undergo – revision, viewing it as an increasingly transnational phenomenon, rather than the example of a national film industry. The films will be viewed in the original language with English subtitles.

 

Modern Film Theory

27230
37230
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
D. N. Rodowick

This course will examine influential writings on photography, film, and film narrative published in the post-war period in the context of semiology, structuralism, and narratology.  We will examine how questions of form, structure, and narrative in film and photography are addressed by critics  writing from the end of WWII until the early seventies, especially in France and Italy.  In what ways can the image be considered a sign?  How do images come to have  meaning in a denotative or connotative sense?  What are the principal codes organizing images as narrative media and how do spectators recognise those codes?  Readings will include work by Roland Barthes, Christian Metz, Jean Mitry, Noël Burch, Raymond Bellour, Umberto Eco, Pier Paolo Pasolini and David Bordwell, among others.

Pre-requisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.

Fact and Fiction

45540
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
D. Bluher

In this course we will not only examine filmic forms but also make excursions into literature, historiography, and contemporary multimedia art. Topics will include: staged or dramatized actualities at the beginning of cinema; Grierson’s definition of the documentary as “creative treatment of actuality”; the divergences and convergences between docudrama, fake documentaries and mockumentary; and trends in recent documentaries incorporating reenactment and animation. We will pay attention to some literary works that explore the borderlands between biography, autobiography, and fiction like Capote’s In Cold Blood, Wolfgang Hildesheimer’s Marbot, and Louis Aragon’s Le Mentir-Vrai. We will also examine what has come to be known as autofiction (Serge Doubrovsky), and studies in narratology that have been devoted to these hybrids forms such as those by Käte Hamburger, Gérard Genette, or Dorrit Cohn. We will also take into consideration discussions over narrativity and its relationship to historiography by Hayden White and Paul Ricoeur, as well as Gilles Deleuze’s provocative comments on the “power of the false.”

Spectacle and Surveillance

47800
CDIN 44624, ARTH 44624, CMLT 44624, ARTV 44624, ENGL 44624, LAWS 51306, PLSC 51600
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
W.J.T. Mitchell; B. Harcourt

Spectacle and surveillance have been central tactics in the production of political power since at least the early modern era, when the pageants of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, were accompanied by the spies of Cardinal Richelieu, who kept careful watch for potential rebellion in the provinces. The British empire’s musterings of uniforms, ribbons, and banners in mass formations of loyal subjects were probably as important to the maintenance of imperial power as the actual mustering of armed conflict. At the same time, Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon envisioned a world of incarcerated subjects, all exposed to the gaze of power at all times.  How does it stand with the relation of spectacle and surveillance today, the age of total information storage, retrieval, and big data?  The overall purpose of this seminar will be to reflect on the dialectical pairing of spectacle and surveillance as modes of image power—that is, power over subjects in the case of spectacle, over objects in the case of surveillance—and as modes of governing in our contemporary age of Big Data. While we are interested in the history of this pairing in theoretical discourses on visual culture, politics, law, media, and iconology, our major emphasis will be on contextualizing and analyzing the present state of the surveillance/spectacle dynamic, as well as exploring all the forms of resistance.  

Readings will include Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, George Orwell, Glenn Greenwald and selected films dealing with surveillance and spectacle. 

History of International Film, Part II: Sound Era to 1960

28600
48600
ARTH 28600,ARTH 38600,CMLT 22500,CMLT 32500, ENGL 29600,ENGL 48900,MAPH 33700,ARTV 26600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Y. Tsivian

The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

 

African American Humor

61100
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
J. Stewart

This course traces the development of African American humor from slavery to contemporary times, from Black folk culture to dominant popular culture.  Focusing on film and television (but also considering literature, drama and visual art), the course considers how humor reflects the complex histories of American race relations and racialized performance.  Some of the relationships examined include those that obtain between Black self-representation and stereotyping from the “outside”; between performances for mainstream and for African American audiences; and between visual, literary and verbal expressions.  We will consider these issues in relation to general theories of humor (Freud, Bergson) and scholarship on race and humor (Boskin, Levine, Watkins, Carpio), and by examining the comic works of a range of African American artists from the late 19th century to the present, including Bert Williams, Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Stepin Fetchit, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Redd Foxx, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Chappelle, and Issa Rae.

Cinema, Play, Modernity

67504
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
X. Dong

In this seminar we explore the idea of an international “ludic cinema” in the first half of the twentieth century. Our goal is two-fold: on the one hand, we will identify the trajectory of a ludic modernism in film history by rereading canons and introducing underexposed films; on the other hand, we will examine the interdisciplinary writings on the notion of play, ranging from anthropology and psychology to education and literary studies, through the prism of cinematic modernity. Readings include seminal texts by Walter Benjamin, Johan Huizinga, Roger Caillois, D. W. Winnicott, and Gregory Bateson, as well as more recent scholarly works by Miriam Hansen, Bill Brown, David Bordwell and Kristine Thompson. Films include early short and experimental films, city symphonies, American slapstick comedies, and films by Ernst Lubitsch, Jean Renoir, Frank Capra, Fei Mu, Yasujiro Ozu, and Jacques Tati.

Melodrama Across Media

68010
CDIN 68010
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
J. Chandler, M. Feldman

It has been almost forty years since Peter Brooks released his pathbreaking and influential book, The Melodramatic Imagination:  Balzac, Henry James, and the Mode of Excess (1975). Over these decades, and partly on account of Brooks's important arguments, melodrama has not only undergone critical rehabilitation; it has also become perhaps the most important category for those who would link twentieth-century cinema with the century that came before them, and as a category that crosses media and cultural boundaries. But there is a lot of work yet to be done.  First, the deep musical roots of melodrama were scarcely glimpsed in Brooks’s study. They have been investigated by musicologists and music historians, but those studies have generally not been integrated into the former, however, nor into a larger cultural history or “media archaeology” of the sort toward which Brooks’s book gestured. Secondly, melodrama's mode of excess has revealing connections with a sentimental mode of moderation that features emotion mediated by reciprocal sympathy.  We will explore how the sentimental sets the conditions for melodrama's emergence around the time of the French Revolution, or even, like its close cousin the Gothic involves the revenge of heightened passions on sentiments in the wake of the Reign of Terror. Still, even if there is truth in such a proposition, it needs to be qualified by the recognition that melodrama continued to co-exist with sentimental structures through figures like Mary Shelley and Dickens and into the age of cinema. The story of melodrama, in short, becomes richer and more complex when melodrama's Manichaean extremes of character, gesture, and style are understood to evolve from, and with, the moderating effects of "putting oneself in the place of the other." Finally, there have been some interesting efforts to gesture from cinema back to the deeper history of melodrama. In the preface to his 1995 second edition, Brooks notes that his book appeared almost simultaneously with an essay by film-studies scholar Thomas Elsaesser about the nineteenth-century origins of cinematic melodrama. Nonetheless, we are persuaded that the story of melodrama on the screen (that of cinema or television or hand-held device) still has much to gain from wider and deeper cultural investigations of the sort that we propose to offer in this seminar. Combined with the story of cinema, music and indeed music histories, in various instances of what we variously dub melo-dramas, reveal the critical connections that this mode recognizes by virtue of breaks between singing and speaking--whether in a German Mozart opera, the verse that transitions to the “fully musical” chorus of a jazz song, or the funk or blues number that as it fails to sustain itself as fully musical song as it devolves partly or fully into talk (think James Brown or Nina Simone). All these instances will help us think in this course about what and how we understand melodrama across media to be by looking to understand how selected instances of “melodrama” resonate for different makers and viewers.

Pre-requisite(s): MA students require consent of instructor.

Introduction to Film

10100
ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015

This course introduces basic concepts of film analysis, which are discussed through examples from different national cinemas, genres, and directorial oeuvres. Along with questions of film technique and style, we consider the notion of the cinema as an institution that comprises an industrial system of production, social and aesthetic norms and codes, and particular modes of reception. Films discussed include works by Hitchcock, Porter, Griffith, Eisenstein, Lang, Renoir, Sternberg, and Welles.

Required of students majoring in Cinema and Media Studies

Women Mystery Writers: From Page to Screen

20101
30101
GNSE 20202, GNSE 30202
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
R. West

Many distinguished filmmakers have found inspiration in mystery novels written by women. In this course we shall read novels by Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley's Game), Ruth Rendell (Tree of Hands, The Bridesmaid, Live Flesh), and, time permitting, Laura by Vera Caspary, Bunny Lake is Missing by Evelyn Piper, and Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong, and we shall analyze the films based on these novels, directed by such luminaries as Hitchcock. Chabrol, Caviani, Clément, Wenders, Almodóvar, Preminger, and others. Among topics of particular interest are: techniques of film adaptation; transnational dislocations from page to screen; the problematics of gender; and the transformations of "voice" understood both literally and mediatically.

Chicago Film History

21801
31801
ARTV 26750, ARTV 36750, HMRT 25104, HMRT 35104
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
J. Hoffman

Students in this course screen and discuss films to consider whether there is a Chicago style of filmmaking. We trace how the city informs documentary, educational, industrial, narrative feature, and avant-garde films. If there is a Chicago style of filmmaking, one must look at the landscape of the city; and the design, politics, cultures, and labor of its people, as well as how they live their lives. The protagonists and villains in these films are the politicians and community organizers, our locations are the neighborhoods, and the set designers are Mies van der Rohe and the Chicago Housing Authority.

Creative Thesis Workshop

23905
33905
ARTV 23905, ARTV 33905
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
J. Hoffman

This seminar will focus on how to craft a creative thesis in film or video. Works-in-progress will be screened each week, and technical and structural issues relating to the work will be explored. The workshop will also develop the written portion of the creative thesis. The class is limited to seniors from CMS and DOVA, and MAPH students working on a creative thesis.

Ernst Lubitsch: An International Style

26302
36302
FNDL 26507
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
X. Dong

“How would Lubitsch do it?” asks Billy Wilder, who famously hang this question in his office. He asked the question hanging in the minds of generations of filmmakers around the world, most likely including Lubitsch himself. In a career spanning nearly three decades, Lubitsch’s name has come to denote a style about style, first exported from Germany to Hollywood and then from Hollywood to the world. In this sense, Lubitsch is first and foremost a filmmaker for filmmakers, and his style decidedly an international one. It is the goal of this course to examine a broadly defined international stylistic history developed by and associated with Lubitsch, whose legacy cannot be adequately assessed without such a perspective. With dual emphases on formal and historical analyses, we will look at Lubitsch’s early Weimar comedy and epic films, American silent masterpieces, musicals, sound comedies, and political farces, as well as Lubitsch-esque films made in Japan, China, and France.

Agnes Varda

26810
36810
FNDL 26506
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
D. Bluher

This course examines the work of one of the most significant directors working in France today. Making important films from the 1960s to the present day, Varda has been crucial to the development of new film practices: both in the past – as with the birth of the French New Wave Cinema – and in the present by exploring new form of plastic narration and by working with moving images in gallery spaces.

History of International Film, Part III: 1960 to Present

28700
48700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
J. Lastra

Film, Style, Philosophy

67310
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
D. Morgan, R Neer

This seminar addresses the intersection of aesthetics, post-analytic philosophy, and cinema. We are interested in a range of questions organized around issues of style and ethics; in particular, we hope to explore the role that criteria play in aesthetic judgments, and how these criteria might relate to the ones that support other sorts of judgments (about skepticism and the external world; seriousness; and the historical past). Our wager is that cinema can generate such questions and demonstrate both their significance and their mutual interrelation. Rather than rehearsing arguments to the effect that cinema can attain the condition of philosophy, we hope to chart new routes of analytic description. To that end we will work through films by Mizoguchi, Welles, Chaplin, Lubitsch, Bresson, Godard, Malick, and Baillie, with readings from Cavell, Burch, Wittgenstein, Aumont, Austin, Chion and others.

Special Effects

67810
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
T. Gunning

Recent cinema has often been seen as heavily dependent on “special effects” largely due to technological transformation in the digital cinematic image and its possibilities of radical alteration. However, visual effects have been part of cinema from its origins. This seminar seeks to approach “special effects” both historically and theoretically. Historically, we will view and discuss uses of special effect, both cinematic and mechanical, from the trick films of early cinema through the fantastic effects of the Weimar era, the institutionalization of effects during the Hollywood studio era, to the explosion of awareness of special effect consequent to the success of Star Wars and the rise of computer generated special effects that followed. Theoretically we will raise the issues of what makes “special effects’ “special”: how they relate to the interaction of narrative and spectacle, the address to the spectator and cinema’s foregrounding or concealing of technology. Readings will include Metz, Prince, Whissel, and Loew among others.

Cinema across Time and Cultures: History and Historiography of Film

68610
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Y. Tsivian

This seminar looks at and behind the history of film. What lies behind every film history is a set of assumptions we call the historical understanding of cinema. How do we explain films historically and how do film histories differ depending on what explanation we chose? To get a sense of this we will watch a number of films and read what others wrote about them. We will be looking at those points in the space of film history which caused and still cause debates among historians and theorists of film. How and why cinema shifted formats from peepshow to screen? What factors and forces stand behind the cinema of attractions and the cinema of narration? What happened that pushed cinema from shorts to features? At which point and to what extent did what was born as international industry begin dressing as so many national cinemas? At what point and how cinema declared itself a form of art, part of an art movement, or a manifestation of an ideology? Different histories offer different historical interpretations; our task is to bring out and test some of them.

Architectural History and Critical Media Practice

69100
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
D.N. Rodowick, V. Burgin

This advanced studio course is offered in conjunction with a Gray Center collaboration between D. N. Rodowick and Victor Burgin. We will investigate how creative practice can engage specific architectural sites and explore the erased or disappeared cultural histories, real and/or imagined, inscribed in those spaces.  Our focus will be the history of “The Mecca” apartment building. Despite great protest, The Mecca was demolished in 1952 as part of the expansion of the Illinois Institute of Design under the plan of Mies van der Rohe. This site and its Bronzeville environs thus present a variety of opportunities for exploring themes of displaced architectures, competing visions of modernism and utopia, and conflicts in popular and cultural memory. Students are expected to propose and pursue individual projects around this theme and to work experimentally with strategies of research and writing together with still and/or moving image production.  Field trips required.

Pre-requisite(s): Prior coursework and/or experience with a camera-based practice (photography, film, video, 3D modelling) is required.  Admission to this course is by application and with consent of the instructors.

Introduction to Film Analysis

10100
ARTH 20000,ARTV 25300,ENGL 10800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2013-2014
Yuri Tsivian

This course introduces basic concepts of film analysis, which are discussed through examples from different national cinemas, genres, and directorial oeuvres. Along with questions of film technique and style, we consider the notion of the cinema as an institution that comprises an industrial system of production, social and aesthetic norms and codes, and particular modes of reception. Films discussed include works by Hitchcock, Porter, Griffith, Eisenstein, Lang, Renoir, Sternberg, and Welles.

Documentary Production I

23930
ARTV 23930
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2013-2014
J. Hoffman

This class is intended to develop skills in documentary production so that students may apply for Documentary Production II. Documentary Production I focuses on the making of independent documentary video. Examples of various styles of documentary will be screened and discussed. Issues embedded in the documentary genre, such as the ethics and politics of representation and the shifting lines between fact and fiction will be explored. Pre-production methodologies, production, and post-production techniques will be taught. Students will be expected to develop an idea for a documentary video, crews will be formed, and each crew will produce a five-minute documentary. Students will also be expected to purchase an external hard drive.
Instructor(s): J. Hoffman
Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in CMST 10100 is strongly recommended.

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