Senior Colloquium

29800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
J. Stewart

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.

African American Cinema 1900 to 1950

21019
31019
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
A. Field

In this course, we will look at early African American filmmaking practices from their emergence in the 1910s, through the rise of Race film, up to the immediate post-WWII period. We will approach this body of work with regards to specific contexts of production, distribution, exhibition, and reception—but also aspects of form and aesthetics. This includes issues of representation, the politics of early Black filmmaking, Black film criticism, and intersections with Hollywood. To explore these topics, we will look at a range of film forms including theatrical, nontheatrical, religious, sponsored, educational, and various fiction genres such as comedy, melodrama, and the western. Emphasis will also be on the historiography of African American film, issues of methodology, and the possibilities and limits of the archive. Filmmakers and film companies include: William Foster, George Broome, George and Noble Johnson, Richard D. Maurice, Norman Film Manufacturing Company, Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, Colored Players Film Corporation, James and Eloyce Gist, Zora Neale Hurston, and S.S. Jones.

Documentary Production 1

23930
33930
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
J. Hoffman

Documentary Video Production focuses on the making of independent documentary video.  Examples of Direct Cinema, Cinéma Vérité, the Essay, Ethnographic film, the Diary, Historical and Biographical film, Agitprop/Activist forms, and Guerilla Television, will be screened and discussed. Issues embedded in the documentary genre, such as the ethics and politics of representation and the shifting lines between documentary and fiction will be explored. Pre-production strategies and production techniques will be taught, including the camera, interviews and sound recording, shooting in available light, working in crews, and post-production editing.  Students be expected to purchase a portable firewire. A five-minute string-out/rough-cut will be screened at the end of the quarter. Students are encouraged to take Doc Production 2 to complete their work.

Issues in Contemporary Horror

25503
35503
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
J. Lastra

This course takes the modern horror film as its object.  For the purposes of this class, modern horror spans the period from 1960 to the present, although much of our attention will be directed toward the period form the 1980s to the present.  We will examine key problems in the genre including, but not limited to an examination of the nature of the horrific, close formal analysis (which typically is neglected in favor of more culturally oriented approaches), questions of POV and camera movement, the articulation and construction of space, the role of gender in the genre, the changing importance of women as performers, characters, directors, and spectators, found footage/surveillance, and the genre’s address to the viewer.

Alternate Reality Games: Theory and Production

25954
35954
BPRO 28700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
P. Jagoda and H. Coleman

Fluxus and the Question of Media

27804
37804
ARTH 21314, ARTH 31314
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
I. Blom

The course investigates the international Fluxus network of the 1960’s and 70’s from a media perspective. Often identified with the concept of “intermedia” launched in a 1966 text by artist, writer and publisher Dick Higgins, Fluxus artists seemed at pain to distinguish their work from the multimedia or gesamtkunstwerk approaches of the Happening artists, seeking instead to formulate a mode of working between or even beyond media. Underpinned by a desire to pass beyond the work of art itself, this was a complex position that had profound implications for their approaches to technologies and practices such as film, video, computing, sound/music, theatre, poetry and image-making. We will try to map the various facets of this position, with particular emphasis on its relation to another key Fluxus concept: the work as event.

Framing, Re-framing, and Un-framing Cinema

27805
37805
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
T. Gunning, M. Downie, P. Kaiser

By cinema, we mean the art of the moving image, which is not limited to the material support of a flexible band called film.  This art reaches back to early devices  to trick the eye into seeing motion and looks forward to new media and new modes of presentation. With the technological possibility of breaking images into tiny pixels and reassembling them and of viewing them in new way that this computerized image allows, we now face the most radical transformation of the moving image since the very beginnings of cinema.

A collaboration between the OpenEndedGroup (Marc Downie and Paul Kaiser) artists who have created new modes of the moving image for more than decade and film scholar Tom Gunning, this class will use this moment of new technologies to explore and expand the moving image before it becomes too rigidly determined by the powerful industrial forces now propelling it forward. This course will be intensely experimental as we see how we might use new computer algorithms to take apart and re-experience classic films of the past. By using new tools, developed for and during this class, students will make new experiences inside virtual reality environments for watching, analyzing and recombining films and that are unlike any other. These tools will enable students, regardless of previous programming experience, to participate in this crucial technological and cultural juncture.

Methods and Issues

40000
ARTH 39900, ENGL 48000, MAPH 33000
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
J. Wild

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 Cinema, 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
  • 2016-2017
T. Gunning

This is the first part of a two-quarter course. The two parts may be taken individually, but taking them in sequence is helpful. The aim of this course is to introduce students to what was singular about the art and craft of silent film. Its general outline is chronological. We will discuss main national schools and international trends of filmmaking.

Philosophy and Film: Stanley Cavell

67206
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
D. Rodowick

This seminar is devoted to Stanley Cavell’s writings on film as read in the context of his larger philosophical project. Keeping in mind Cavell’s emphasis that film that film is not separate from philosophy, but is, rather, a philosophical accompaniment to our everyday lives, we will discuss all of his major works on cinema and many of the occasional essays while examining his major conceptual contributions to the study of photography and moving images. Cavell’s original contributions to the critical study of Hollywood and European cinema, the phenomenology of film and photography, the concept of genres, the study of gender, acting, and film stardom, and to relation between psychoanalysis and film will also be discussed.

Media Atmospheres: Art & Biopolitics at the End of the 20th Century

67808
ARTH 41314
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
I. Blom

In the late 1990’s and early 00’s contemporary art seemed to turn towards design, architecture and fashion, leading many critics to claim that the boundaries between the practices of art and design were eroding. This course proposes a different line of inquiry, based on the fact that so many of the artworks in question were in fact hidden media machines, improvisations on a life environment increasingly suffused in the dynamics of networked media technologies and their various modes of time production and -control. Elements of design and architecture were in other words enlisted in the construction of what we may call media atmospheres, everyday sensorial surrounds that addressed the intimate integration of bodies and real-time technologies in the information economy, a new modality of the capture of life forces that Michel Foucault called biopolitics. In the late 1990’s and early 00’s contemporary art seemed to turn towards design, architecture and fashion, leading many critics to claim that the boundaries between the practices of art and design were eroding. This course proposes a different line of inquiry, based on the fact that so many of the artworks in question were in fact hidden media machines, improvisations on a life environment increasingly suffused in the dynamics of networked media technologies and their various modes of time production and -control. Elements of design and architecture were in other words enlisted in the construction of what we may call media atmospheres, everyday sensorial surrounds that addressed the intimate integration of bodies and real-time technologies in the information economy, a new modality of the capture of life forces that Michel Foucault called biopolitics.

The course will be oriented around a close study of a select number of artistic positions, in addition to reading theoretical and critical texts that were important to the artists in question as well as to the larger field of discussion. Ultimately, the course is about a form of new media art less invested in technical invention than in new aesthetic techniques of social production.

Sound Studies

68004
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
J. Lastra

This course aims to explore the emergence and consolidation of the field that has come to be known as Sound Studies.  While we will begin with the study of film sound, the course will encompass sound art/installation, music, voice, environment and soundscape, questions of sound mediation, transduction, recording, and reproduction, as well as acoustics in a broad sense of that term.  Readings will include selections from Theodor Adorno, Rick Altman, Jonathan Sterne, Murray Schaeffer, Michel Chion, Emily Thompson, Douglas Kahn, Davis Grubbs, Nina Sun Eidsheim, Stanyek and Piekut, and Others.  The purpose of the seminar is both to introduce methods and issues, and also to allows participants to develop a particular focus relevant to their own research.

Introduction to Film

10100
ARTH 20000,ENGL 10800,ARTV 25300
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Staff

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.

Film and the Moving Image

14400
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
R. Majumdar

This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema. Screenings are a mandatory course component.

Open only to non-CMS majors. May not count toward a CMS major. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical and visual arts.

Film and the Moving Image

14400
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Staff

This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema. Screenings are a mandatory course component.

Open only to non-CMS majors. Cannot be coutned toward CMS major. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical and visual arts.

Film Comedy

14504
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
X. Dong

What can film tell us about comedy, and vice versa? This course investigates the comic procedures in various film forms - from silent slapstick and sophisticated comedy to screwball comedy and musical all the way to postmodern pastiche and mockumentary. Instead of treating film comedy as a self-contained genre, we will study how questions of comedy are central to the history of cinema. Readings include critical discourses about comedy, film history and film theory, e.g. Bergson, Freud, Benjamin, Miriam Hansen, Tom Gunning and Noel Carroll. It is often said that a joke dies when we analyze it. We will see that it in fact reincarnates, if we analyze it the right way. 

Open only to non-CMS majors. May not count toward a CMS major. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical and visual arts.

 

Chicago Film Cultures

21805
31805
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
J. Stewart

Chicago not only boasts a rich history of film production (from silent comedies to industrial, educational, student, documentary, and contemporary Hollywood filmmaking) but also has a long, significant history of film presentation.  Chicago features iconic movie palaces built downtown and in neighborhoods across the city in the 1920s.  And it is has been the site of a wide variety of film exhibition venues and film-related events that are currently thriving: festivals, conferences, workshops, lectures.  Films are screened in every type of museum (history, art, science), in large mainstream venues and in smaller, community-based and artist-run spaces.  Our own campus boasts Doc Films, the longest-running film society in the country. This course examines the conceptual and historical frameworks that have been used for presenting cinema – historical and contemporary – in the city's varied institutional and cultural contexts.  Students will study past film and current cultures in Chicago by researching particular events, venues, critics and curators, and by employing a variety of methods, including archival research, participant observation and interviews. Topics covered will include include exhibition, funding and marketing, debates on curating and film in museums, audience and fan culture studies (with attention to Chicago's particular demographic contours), national cinemas, genre, authorship and multi-media presentational modes.

Creative Thesis Workshop

23905
33905
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
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.

Documentary Production 2

23931
33931
ARTV 23931, ARTV 33931, HMRT 25107, HMRT 35107
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017

Documentary Video Production II focuses on the shaping and crafting of a non-Fiction video. Enrollment will be limited to those students who have taken Documentary Production I, and the class will continue working on the documentaries begun in the fall. Students will learn about grants and budgeting and will be expected to write a treatment detailing their project. Production techniques will concentrate on the language of handheld camera versus tripod, interview methodologies, microphone placement including working with wireless systems and mixers, and lighting for the interview. Post-production will cover editing techniques including color correction and audio sweetening, how to prepare for exhibition, and distribution strategies. A public screening of student work will take place Spring quarter.

Classical Film Theory

27220
37220
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
D. Rodowick

This seminar 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.

Contemporary Documentary

28202
38202
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
D. Bluher

Description coming soon.

The Films of Josef von Sternberg

26000
46000
FNDL 26001
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
T. Gunning

Few figures in the history of cinema are as complex as Joseph von Sternberg. He can be seen both as the epitome of Hollywood glamour and as an excluded outsiders. He worked primarily in the USA, but made two of his most famous films in foreign countries (Der Blaue Engel, Germany 1930 and Anatahan, Japan 1957). A pioneer in international sound cinema, he was also an established director during the silent era.  A lynchpin of the Paramount Studio, he was also one of the first independent filmmakers with his debut feature The Salvation Hunters. This course will explore Sternberg’s manufacture of an authorial directorial persona and unique stylistics (and its relation to the “auteur theory”); his relation the Hollywood studio system of collaboration and his relation to the stars system, with especial attention to the films he made at Paramount with Marlene Dietrich.  Most of Von Sternberg’s surviving works will be screened.

History of International Cinema 2

28600
48600
ARTH 28600,ARTH 38600,CMLT 22500,CMLT 32500, ENGL 29600,ENGL 48900,MAPH 33700,ARTV 26600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
D. Morgan

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.

Performance Theory: Action, Affect, Archive

62201
ENGL 59306
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
L. Kruger

This PhD seminar offers a critical introduction to performance theory and its applications not only to theatre but also to performance on film and, more controversially, to ‘performativity’ to fictional and other texts that have nothing directly to do with performance. The seminar will be organized around three key conceptual clusters: a) action, acting, and other forms of production or play, in theories from the classical (Aristotle) through the modern (Hegel, Brecht, Artaud), to the contemporary (Richard Schechner, Philip Zarilli, and others) b) affect, and its intersections with emotion and feeling: in addition to the impact of contemporary theories of affect and emotion (Massumi, Sedgwick) on performance theory (Erin Hurley), we will read earlier modern texts that anticipate recent debates (Diderot, Freud) and their current interpreters (Joseph Roach, Tim Murray and others), as well as those writing about the absence of affect and the performance of failure (Sara Bailes and others) c) archives and related institutions, practices and theories of recording performance, including the formation of audiences (Susan Bennett and with evaluating print and other media yielding evidence of ephemeral acts, including the work of theorists of memory (Pierre Nora) and remains (Rebecca Schneider), theatre historians (Rose Bank, Jody Enders, Tracy Davis and others) as well as current theorists on the tensions between the archive and the repertoire (Diana Taylor) or between excavation and performance (Michael Shanks/ Mike Pearson) Requirements: one or two oral presentations of assigned texts and final paper. To prepare PhDs for professional writing, final paper will take the form of a review article (ca 5000 words) examining key concepts in the field and the controversies they may engender, by way of two recent books that tackle these concepts.

Remapping New Waves: New Cinema and New Theories in Japan

64904
EALC 44904
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
T. Tsunoda

We have recently seen a growing number of works that aimed at a broader and renewed understanding of the new cinemas of the 1960's in Japan, with more complex accounts of the historical, geographical, and geopolitical trajectory of the Japanese New Wave. Ongoing investigations have largely ascribed its rise to Oshima Nagisa, the central figure in the publicity-driven phenomenon known as the “Shōchiku Nouvelle Vague” (Nūberu Bāgu). Amidst these new scholarly texts, there are still a series of theoretical and historical/historiographical questions that have remained under-explored: where did the Japanese New Wave come from, and what actually constituted it? How did the emergence of the new cinema intersect with larger media, social, and intellectual history? Did the cinematic medium have to be radicalized in order to become ‘new’? How was such ‘newness’ visualized, accousticized, and registered by other sensory cues in the cinema? How was the emergence of the new cinema in dialogue with institutions? Placing films in the contexts of the era’s media-scape, this course will delve into an analytical reconsideration of this rich period of Japanese cinema specifically from the perspective of the Japanese New Wave. While we will aim to capture the exhilaration of the Japanese New Wave by closely analyzing existing studies on some of its key makers and their works, special attention will be given to what has been left out of the category as it is conventionally understood, such as educational and industrial films.

All required readings are in English. Participants with reading ability in Japanese will be asked to take on additional readings in Japanese and present on them in class. 

Introduction to Film

10100
ARTH 20000,ENGL 10800,ARTV 25300
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Staff

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.

Film and the Moving Image

14400
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
A. Willis

This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema. Screenings are a mandatory course component.

Open only to non-CMS majors. May not count toward a CMS major. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical and visual arts.

 

Film and the Moving Image

14400
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
J. Lastra

This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema. Screenings are a mandatory course component.

Open only to non-CMS majors. May not count toward a CMS major. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical and visual arts.

 

Film and the Moving Image

14400
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Staff

This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema. Screenings are a mandatory course component.

Open only to non-CMS majors. May not count toward a CMS major. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical and visual arts.

 

The Uncanny in Cinema

14509
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
T. Gunning

The uncanny is an experience or quality that by definition remains difficult to grasp; something that is mysterious and enigmatic, yet also seems oddly familiar.  It is an atmosphere, mood or perhaps a theme that movies have explores since nearly the beginning of cinema (or perhaps even before…) To explore this term this class will draw largely on a tradition of commentary on the German word Das Unheimliche, usually translated as uncanny, that can be traced among Ernst Jentsch, Sigmund Freud, and Martin Heidegger and its relevance to film studies. Freud and his disciple Otto Rank before 1920 related the uncanny to the cinema, and cinema’s ability to evoke the uncanny has been frequently observed. On the one hand, the cinema’s ability to portray uncanny events (as in Rank and Freud’s invocation of the 1913 film the Student in Prague) appears generically in films of fantasy or horror. In addition, some theorists have felt that film as a medium could be best approached via the uncanny. In this class, we will read a series of the key texts and try to survey the terrain of the concept of the uncanny. We will screen films that evoke the experience through their narrative and stylistics, and we will discuss the usefulness of the term for theorizing both film and electronic media, both new and old.

Open only to non-CMS majors. May not count toward a CMS major. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical and visual arts.

Chinese Musical Film

24615
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
X. Dong

Description coming soon.

Crowd, Audience, Spectator

27004
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
J. Wild

Crowd, Audience, Spectator: these three terms or concepts have been central to the understanding, theorization, and study of cinema since the pre-narrative era of the cinema of attractions (1895-1907). In this class, we will examine the fundamental literature, both historical and theoretical, on these topics as they span the history of the field, and as they also introduce the related concepts of mass culture, the public sphere, identification, female/queer/black/resistant spectatorship, among others. While the class will additionally provide the student with methodological skills for researching audiences and film receptions, we will also consider concepts such as the mob and mob violence; the politics, theory, and aesthetics of assembly; uprisings; and occupations. In this way, this class will consider material and questions from the silent film period to our contemporary moment in political life and experience beyond, but also including, the cinema.

Popular Science and New Media: Methods, Theory, and Practice

27811
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
M. Kressbach

This course explores affinities between new media forms and technologies (e.g., digital cinema, video games, streamable television, fitness trackers, smartphone apps) and contemporary science and medicine (e.g., infectious disease, noninvasive surgical procedures, drug addiction treatment). How do new media represent scientific processes and expertise? What are the particular habits and patterns produces by new media technologies? And how do they affect medical research methods and practice? Readings and screenings draw from across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and range from scholarly works to news articles, blog posts, videos, and mobile apps. Students will be asked to analyze, operate, and play with scientific new media. Central texts include recent science-driven films, like Contagion and The Martian, virtual dissection and surgical training smartphone apps, and pandemic games Infection and Bio Inc. The variety of activities will ask students to question the many ways in which new media respond to and shape scientific and medical research—and vice-versa.

The New Latin American Cinema and Its Afterlife

21806
31806
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
S. Skvirsky

This course will introduce students to Latin American film studies through an assessment of its most critically celebrated period of radical filmmaking. The New Latin American Cinema (NLAC) of the late 1950s-70s generated unprecedented international enthusiasm for Latin American film production. The filmmakers of this loosely designated movement were defining themselves in relation to global realist film traditions like Italian Neorealism and Griersonian documentary, in relation to--mostly failed-- experiments in building Hollywood-style national film industries, and in relation to regional discourses of underdevelopment and mestizaje. Since the late 1990s, a reassessment of the legacy of the NLAC has been taking shape as scholars have begun to interrogate its canonical status in the face of a changed political climate.  In the sphere of filmmaking, contemporary Latin American new wave cinemas are also grappling with that legacy-sometimes disavowing it, sometimes appropriating it. We will situate the NLAC in its historical context, survey its formal achievements and political aspirations, assess its legacy, and take stock of the ways and the reasons that it haunts contemporary production.

(Re-) Presenting the Real: Nonfiction Cinema in Japan and East Asia

24924
34924
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
T. Tsunoda

The primary aim of the course is to investigate the theories and practices of documentary film in Japan. Spanning the 1920s to the present, we will engage in rigorous examination of the transformations of cinematic forms and contents, and of the social, cultural and political elements bound up with those transformations. We will also juxtapose aspects of Japanese documentary film with global movements, and wider theories of documentary and non-fiction. Each week we will engage with theoretical or analytical readings, through which we will explore: 1) how particular ethics and politics are imbricated in various documentary modes and genres; 2) the specific cases of Japanese documentaries and their styles/techniques; and 3) the way these films and film movements measure them against today’s media regime (and how they can be understood in light of that regime). Last, another thread will look at the various traces of Japanese documentary filmmaking practice that have had an impact on other filmmakers and national cinemas, from works by Chris Marker, Abbas Kiarostami and Wim Wenders to recent independent documentaries in East Asia. To locate such traces in the transnational framework, the final sections of the course will be devoted to China’s new documentary film movement since the 1990s and contemporary Taiwanese documentaries.

Long-Take Cinema

25506
35506
REES 26066, REES 36066
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
R. Bird

As a stylistic device, the long take has long been a definitive feature of art cinema, being particularly conspicuous in filmmakers who make ethical and even metaphysical claims for their “slow cinema.” After surveying the use of the long take in silent and classical cinema (including Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock), we will concentrate on the long-take style that spanned the art cinemas of Western Europe (Michelangelo Antonioni, Chantal Akerman), Russia and Eastern Europe (Miklós Jancsó, Andrei Tarkovsky), and Central Eurasia (Ebrahim Golestan). We will then consider its influence on contemporary art cinema, from Aleksandr Sokurov and Béla Tarr to Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman). Along the way we will also consider the long-take style in documentary cinema, and will also consider the links between long-take cinema and certain tendencies in video art, exemplified by the work in video of Sharon Lockhart and James Benning. We will close by considering the feature films of artists Steve McQueen and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. Treating long-take style as a distinct approach to cinematic realism, in each case we will evaluate the claims made for the ethical, metaphysical and even political valences of the long take, with readings by filmmakers and by theorists from Henri Bergson and André Bazin to Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Rancière, Laura Mulvey and beyond.

Global Melodrama

25519
35519
LAC 25519, LACS 35519
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
S. Skvirsky

This course is a comparative examination of screen melodrama. The first part of the course will offer an overview of the critical literature on melodrama and a survey of significant film melodramas from around the world. In the second part of the course, we will narrow our focus to melodramas from the two regions: the United States and Latin America. The conceit of the course is to put different regional traditions of melodrama into conversation. In addition to offering a basic orientation, the class will also test the boundaries of the category in our work on the racial melodrama and the conjuncture of documentary form and melodrama.  Other topics will include melodrama as a mode and as a genre; melodrama and national allegory; melodrama and revolution; melodrama and realism; melodrama and emotion; melodrama and the temporally displaced spectator.

Ernst Lubitsch: An International Style

26302
36302
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
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.

Ernst Lubitsch: An International Style

26302
36302
FNDL 26507
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
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.

Political Documentary Film

28201
38201
ARTV 28204, ARTV 38204
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
J. Hoffman

This course explores political documentary film, its intersection with historical and cultural events, its relationship to the State, as well as its opposition to Hollywood and traditional media.  We will examine how various documentary modes of representation produce meaning, and how films express themselves a political. The relationship between the filmmaker, film subject and audience will be considered.  How political documentaries are disseminated and hopefully become part of political struggle will be a major theme.  The course will concentrate on political documentary film in the U.S. after WWII.

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