Courses

Video: Camera, Lights, Sound

28904
38904
COVA 23800/33903
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2003-2004
J. Hoffman

COVA 23800. Lab fee $50. This intensive laboratory will explore differences between video and film, experiment with basic lighting design and set-ups, and practice field audio recording. The class will be organized around a series of shooting situations. Students will work in crews to understand modes of production. Each crew will learn to operate and maintain the Panasonic AG-DVX100 24p camera; Sachtler tripod; Arri lights, gels, diffusion, and grip equipment; and Shure mixer with Sennheiser wireless microphones. Though video or film experience is helpful, the class will be open to students who want to acquire technical knowledge of how films get made. Enrollment will be limited to 12 students who must have the consent of the instructor to register.

History of International Cinema, Part I, Silent Era

28500
48500
ARTH 28500/38500, COVA 26500, ENGL 29300/48700, MAPH 33600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2003-2004
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.

Reading and Research

59900
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2003-2004
Staff

Consent of instructor. Please register by faculty section.

Seminar: Studies in Japanese New Wave Cinema

64901
JAPN 69405
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2003-2004
M. Raine

Weekly screenings and some readings in Japanese.

Classical Film Theory

67200
ENGL 68600
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2003-2004
J. Lastra

This course examines major texts in film theory from Vachel Lindsay and Hugo Muensterberg in the 1910s through Andre Bazin's writings in the 1940s and 1950s. We will devote special attention to the emergence of issues that continue to be of major importance, such as the film/language analogy, film semiotics, spectatorship, realism, montage, the modernism/mass culture debate, and the relationship between film history and film style. We will concentrate on the major theoretical writings of Muensterberg, Rudolf Arnheim, Jean Epstein, Sergei Eisenstein, Siegfried Kracauer, Bela Balazs, Bazin, as well as writings by Walter Benjamin, Germaine Dulac, Maya Deren, Jean Mitry, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and others.

Media Archeology: Part I, The Early Moderns

68200
ARTH 44500
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2003-2004
B. Stafford

For description, see Art History

Politics of Film in 20th Century American History

21200
HIST 18500
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
B. Cumings

This course examines selected themes in 20th-century American political history through both the literature written by historians, and filmic representations by Hollywood and documentary filmmakers. We will read one historical interpretation and view one film on themes like the following: Woodrow Wilson and WW I, the emergence of Pacific Rim cities like Los Angeles, Roosevelt's New Deal, the Japanese-American experience in World War II, McCarthyism and the Korean War, the cold war and the nuclear balance of terror, the radical movements of the 1960s, and multiculturalism in the 1990s.

Chinese Cinema: 1896-1949

24601
EALC 24605, CHIN 24605
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
W. Bao

This course explores the history of Chinese cinema from its inception to the end of the Republican Period. We will focus on the way cinema helped articulate competing models of modernity revolving around issues in larger cultural contexts, including the rise of modern entertainment and consumer culture as well as the political events that overwhelmed the country (the May Fourth movement of cultural enlightenment, the Northern Expedition, the Japanese invasion and the Chinese resistance, and the postwar reconstructions). We will pay particular attention to the following issues: the exhibition contexts of Chinese cinema; questions of reception, stardom, and the cinema's public status; interactions between cinema and other media including drama, photography, and popular illustrations; the emergence of sound and its impact on the commercial and political arena; the geographical shift of film production and exhibition centers during the war. Films include early Edison shorts shot in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai in the late 1890s, the earliest extant Chinese film The Laborer's Love, 1920s' genre films (costume films, martial arts films, family melodrama), left-wing and urban films in the 1930s', films made in occupied Shanghai and Hong Kong, the 'national defense' films made in Chongqing, and postwar films from 1945 to 1949. Throughout the course, we will pursue the development of film style and film culture in relation to wider aesthetic, cultural, and political concerns. Some knowledge in Chinese desirable but not required.

Contemporary Iranian Cinema

24800
NEHC 20780
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
K. Askari

This survey course on Iranian cinema begins nineteen years before the Islamic revolution and examines the early careers of current Iranian filmmakers as well as the influence of Hollywood and the Hindi film on this period. In the post-revolutionary period, we focus mainly on the films made for international circulation. We examine the major films and directors from this period with regard to the emergence of feminist filmmaking, cinema's relation to Iranian modernity, and the transnational context of these films.

Spike Lee

26100
AFAM 21401, ENGL 27902
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
J. Stewart

This course surveys what Wahneemah Lubiano calls, "the Spike Lee Discourse" - the films and other media work Lee has produced, alongside the public persona he has constructed through his appearances in print media, television, advertising and the Internet. How has Lee negotiated (and influenced) the realms of independent and Hollywood filmmaking traditions and institutions? How does he (as director, writer, producer, actor, author, entrepreneur, advertising executive) push the boundaries of auteur approaches to reading his films, as well as traditional definitions of African American cinema? How can we talk about Lee's career as a reflection of post-classical cinematic sensibilities and marketing strategies? How has he drawn from and shaped discourses on Black masculinity, entrepreneurship, and cultural politics? We will watch Lee's films (possibly in conjunction with a Doc Films series) from his student thesis film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1982) to Bamboozled (2000), read his writings, survey critical literature on his work, and place him in a series of critical/political constellations (e.g., the Black Arts movement and collective cultural production; Afrocentricity; Black conservativism; hip hop aesthetics).

Documentary Video

28000
COVA 23901
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
J. Hoffman

Digital Imaging

28800
COVA 22500
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
A. Ruttan

COVA 10100 or 10200, or consent of instructor. Using the Macintosh platform this course serves as an introduction to the use of digital technology as a means of making visual art. Instruction will cover Photo Shop's graphics program as well as digital imaging hardware (scanners, storage, and printing). In addition we will be addressing problems of color, design, collage, and drawing. Topics of discussion may include questions regarding the mediated image and its relationship to art as well as examining what constitutes the "real" in contemporary culture. Lab fee $60.

Video Workshop

28903
COVA 23801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
H. Mirra

COVA 23800 or instructor consent; lab fee $60 billed directly on tuition bill. A production course geared towards experimental works and video within a studio art context. Screenings will include recent works by Harrison & Wood, Fischli & Weiss, Martin Kersels, Jane & Louise Wilson, Halflifers, Douglas Gordon and others. Discussions and readings will address non-narrative strategies, rapidly changing technology and viable approaches to producing video art in a world full of video images. Lab fee $60.

Reading Course

29700
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
Staff

Consent of faculty adviser and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This course may be used to satisfy distribution requirements for Cinema and Media Studies concentrators.

B.A. Research Paper

29900
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
Staff

PQ: Consent of instructor. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Form. This course may not be counted toward distribution requirements for the concentration, but may be counted as a free-elective credit.

Italian Neorealism: From Obsessione to Umberto D

23200
33200
ITAL 22400/32400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
G. Alonge

This course will explore the rise and fall of the Neo-realism, from the very seeds in the early Forties, till the last Neo-realist works by Vittorio De Sica and Cesare Zavattini in the early Fifties. We will focus on the theoretical debate which took place in film journals between young scholars and future directors postulating the need for a new cinema, more related to the reality of Italian society, and we will evaluate those movies produced during the war period. The second part of the course will focus on close readings of some of the most significant Neo-realist movies. Finally, the last part of the course will be devoted to the influence of Neo-realism on the subsequent Italian cinema of the Fifties and Sixties.

Italian Renaissance: Contended Memories

23200
33300
ITAL 22500/32500
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
G. Alonge

Theoretically, the guerra di liberazione is considered to be a founding historical event in Italy, meant to give birth to the Italian Republic. However, the Resistance has never been a national myth for all citizens, and fifty years later it remains a burning memory, an issue of bitter political debate. In this long controversy, filmmakers and novelists have played a large role. The goal of this course is to present the different readings and interpretations of the Resistance, from the post-war period to the present, in various contexts and media: cinema, literature, historiography. Readings will include writers on either side of the Resistance, as well as contemporary historians like Pavone and Luzzatto.

Beginning Photography

27600
37600
COVA 24000
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
L. Letinsky

COVA 10100, 10200, or consent of instructor. A camera and light meter are required. Photography affords a relatively simple and accessible means for making pictures. Through demonstration, students are introduced to technical procedures and basic skills, and begin to establish criteria for artistic expression. Possibilities and limitations inherent in the medium are topics of classroom discussion. Class sessions and field trips to local exhibitions investigate the contemporary photograph in relation to its historical and social context. Course work culminates in a portfolio of works exemplary of the student's understanding of the medium. Lab fee $60.

Advanced Black & White Photography

27701
37701
COVA 27801
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
L. Letinsky

COVA 10100 or 10200, and 24000 or 24100, or consent of instructor. Throughout the quarter, students concentrate on a set of issues and ideas that expand upon their experience and knowledge, and that have particular relevance to them. All course work is directed towards the production of a cohesive body of either color or black-and-white photographs. An investigation of contemporary and historic photographic issues informs the students' photographic practice and includes visits to local exhibitions, critical readings, darkroom techniques, and class and individual critiques. Lab fee $60.

Color Photography

27900
37900
COVA 24300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
L. Letinsky

COVA 10100 or 10200, and 24000 or 24100, or consent of instructor. Throughout the quarter, students concentrate on a set of issues and ideas that expand upon their experience and knowledge, and that have particular relevance to them. All course work is directed towards the production of a cohesive body of either color or black-and-white photographs. An investigation of contemporary and historic photographic issues informs the students' photographic practice and includes visits to local exhibitions, critical readings, darkroom techniques, and class and individual critiques. Lab fee $60.

Issues in Film Music

28100
38100
MUSI 22900/30901
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
B. Hoeckner

This course will explore the role of film music from its origins in silent film, its significance in the classical Hollywood movie, to its increasingly self-reflexive use in recent cinema (both avant-garde and commercial, Western and non-Western). We will look at the ways music plays a central role both as part of the narrative and as non-diegetic music, how its stylistic diversity contributes its own semiotic universe to the screen, and how it became a central participant in twentieth-century visual culture. Since the course will partly focus on technical, compositional, and stylistitic aspects of film music, some reading knowledge of music can be helpful, but is not a prerequisite.

Novel Films: Cinematic Adaptations of Russian and Polish Literary Works

28300
38300
ISHU 26601/36601, SLAV 26600/36600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
B. Shallcross

In this course we examine the phenomenon of translating literature into filmic texts. In juxtaposing literature and films, we critically evaluate the dominant concept of faithfulness to the literary originals. Filmic adaptations are viewed as creative commentaries on literary works and interpreted in conjunction with recent theoretical thought.

African American Literature on Film

41100
ENGL 47100
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
J. Stewart

This course surveys a range of 20th century African American literary works that have been adapted to the screen in order to explore the formal and stylistic relationships between literature and the cinema, as well as our approaches to them as objects of study. How are different literary forms and genres and approaches (i.e., novels, plays, short stories, poetry, autobiography, melodrama, social realism) translated into cinematic terms? What tools of literary analysis can or should we bring to the interpretation of cinematic texts - adaptations and others? How can we think about the "authorship" of an adaptation? How are films with Black literary origins presented to and received by different readers/audiences? We will pay particular attention to the ways in which race inflects issues of production, representation and address between literary and cinematic institutions. Texts include essays on adaptation by Bazin, Eisenstein, Naremore and cases of adaptation such as A Raisin in the Sun; Native Son; "King of the Bingo Game"; Cotton Comes to Harlem; The Color Purple; Daughters of the Dust.

Film Acting

48401
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
P. Wojcik

This course explores acting in film from critical, historical, and theoretical perspectives. We'll consider how film has borrowed from theatrical traditions and how acting has been transformed in the age of mechanical reproduction and through film editing, sound technologies, and digital imaging. We'll consider links between theatrical traditions and film, such as reading Chaplin and the Marx Brothers against commedia dell'arte, and vaudeville; Lillian Gish's performance in D.W. Griffith films against 19th century traditions of pantomime and melodrama; the Method in theatre and film; and improvisation in Cassavetes films. We'll consider avant-garde practice, Brechtian performance, and the use of non-actors in film. We'll consider institutional factors, such as historical casting practices, that affect acting. We'll consider the role of character actors and the meaning and practice of typecasting. Students will be expected to write one 15 page paper and weekly one page comments on readings. There will be one screening a week.

History of International Cinema, Part II, Sound Era

28600
48600
ARTH 28600/38600, COVA 26600/36600, ENGL 29600/48900, MAPH 33700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
R. Gregg

This is the second part of the international survey history of film covering the sound era up to 1960. It is strongly recommended that students take the first section first. This course focuses on industrial practices and aesthetics during Hollywood's studio era (1927 to 1960) and alternatives to the Hollywood film, including French poetic realism, Italian neorealism, and Japanese cinema. We will also consider the important political, economic, social and cultural forces, which influenced Hollywood and other cinemas during this period, particularly the rise of fascism in the 1930s, WWII, Hollywood's postwar economic struggles, and various national new wave cinemas. Screenings will include films by Berkeley, Renoir, Huston, Welles, De Sica, Ozu, Hitchcock and Godard.

Reading and Research

59900
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
Staff

Consent of instructor. Please register by faculty section.

Seminar: Drama, Theatre, Image, Performance

62200
CMLT 42600
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
L. Kruger

This PhD intensive reading course examines theoretical texts that deal with the interdisciplinary issues arising out of the confluence and conflict of word, image, and performance in various cultural contexts. Central concerns will include dramatic action, theatricality, visual and aural representation, and the competing phenomenologies of audience experiences of performance and cinema/video. We will be looking closely at the nature of drama and theatre, the mediation of performance through cinema and video, and the ways in which drama and theatricality manifest themselves in cultural activity more broadly. We will also scrutinize the ways on which metaphors of theatricality and performativity have been appropriated by other disciplines. Requirements: ACTIVE class participation; two presentations (P/F) and a short position paper (grade).

Animate and Inanimate: Cinema's Uncanny Relations to the Illusion of Life

65200
ENGL 63601, ARTH 49400
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2003-2004
T. Gunning

This seminar will explore the nature of film's relation to animation, the "bringing to life" through moving images. It will explore cinema's relation to other traditions of life-like illusions (from automatons to panoramas), its exploration of the thresholds between animate and inanimate in horror films, (The Bride of Frankenstein) fairy tales (The Return to OZ) and comedies (Lubitsch's Die Puppe), and all of these in relation to what is technically referred to as film animation, both animated films which bring things to life (Brothers Quay, Svankmajer, Cohl) as well as abstract animation which aspires to trace patterns of animation (Fischinger, Ruttmann, Breer). Issues of 19th century vitalism (Henri Bergson) and the role of motion in the aesthetics of the cinema will be explored as well as discussion of new foundation for a theory of cinematic specificity. Freud and Jentsch's discussions of the Uncanny and the literature these essays have prompted will be central to our discussions, as well as readings of fiction by Hoffman, Hawthorne, Baum and others.

Introduction to Film I

10100
ArtH 19000, COVA 25300, ENGL 10800, GSHU 20000
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
J. Lastra

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.

Surrealism and the American Cinema

25800
ENGL 28400, ARTH 27000
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
J. Lastra

From the early 1920s on, both "official" and "unofficial" Surrealists have shaped film history in profound ways. In addition to a substantial body of films that might be identified as surrealist in their own right the Surrealists identified and promoted certain American films, filmmakers, and genres as packing a powerful surrealist punch regardless of their apparent ignorance of the movement. The aesthetic and moral agendas of Surrealism were decisively shaped by their encounter with American film, and in response, Surrealists helped set the agenda for film criticism and film theory to the present day. Taking American slapstick films as a starting point, this course will approach the Hollywood cinema as what Miriam Hansen has called a "Vernacular Modernism," in order to understand the dialectical relationship between mass culture and modernist art movements. In addition to Hollywood films, we will study the films of key American Surrealists including Joseph Cornell, Maya Deren, and Bruce Conner, and investigate how elements of the surreal persist in contemporary film

Digital Imaging

28800
COVA 22500
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
A. Ruttan

COVA 10100 or 10200, or consent of instructor. Using the Macintosh platform this course serves as an introduction to the use of digital technology as a means of making visual art. Instruction will cover Photo Shop's graphics program as well as digital imaging hardware (scanners, storage, and printing). In addition we will be addressing problems of color, design, collage, and drawing. Topics of discussion may include questions regarding the mediated image and its relationship to art as well as examining what constitutes the "real" in contemporary culture.

Video I: Short Experiments

28900
COVA 23800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
H. Mirra

COVA 10100 or 10200, or consent of instructor. An introduction to video making, with digital cameras and non-linear (digital) editing. Students will produce a group of short works, which will be contextualized by viewing and discussion of historical and contemporary video works. Video versus film, editing strategies and appropriation are some of the subjects that will be part of an ongoing conversation.

Senior Colloquium

28900
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
J. Lastra

CMS 101. Required of all Cinema and Media Studies concentrators. This seminar is designed to provide senior concentrators with a sense of the variety of methods and approaches in the field (such as formal analysis, cultural history, industrial history, reception studies, psychoanalysis). Students will present material relating to their B.A. project, which will be discussed in relation to the issues of the course.

Reading Course

29700
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
Staff

Consent of faculty adviser and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This course may be used to satisfy distribution requirements for Cinema and Media Studies concentrators.

B.A. Research Paper

29900
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
Staff

Consent of instructor. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Form. This course may not be counted toward distribution requirements for the concentration, but may be counted as a free-elective credit.

Queer Representation in Film before Stonewall

20900
30900
GNDR 22700/32700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
R. Gregg

This course examines the representation of queer sexuality and culture in classical Hollywood films from silent film to 1970. The course will pay particular attention to the changing modes of Hollywood production, the impact of censorship before, during and after the Hays Code, the shifting codes used to connote queerness (even when it was prohibited) and the ways different audiences read these codes. We will analyze these representational shifts in relationship to broader changes in the understanding of gender and same-sex desire. Finally, Hollywood films will be compared to experimental film and early German cinema.

Film in India

24100
34100
ANTH 20600/31100, HIST 26700/36700, SALC 20500/30500
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
R. Inden

Considers the film world from 1975 to the present. Most attention will be paid to the Hindi film and especially to its "peculiar" features, for example, the song and dance. Emphasis is placed on the reconstruction of film-related activities which can be taken as life practices from the stand point of "elites" and "masses," "middle classes," men and women, people in cities and villages, governmental institutions, businesses, and the "nation." The course will rely on people's notions of the everyday, festive days, paradise, arcadia and utopia to pose questions about how people try to realize their wishes and themselves through film. How film practices articulated with nationalism, first in the wake of a failing "socialist pattern of development," and, then, with "liberalization," of the promise or threat "free markets" would bring, will be the major concern. A brief look will also be taken at how film is related to other media such as television. Some comparisons with Hollywood will be made. Students will be asked to familiarize themselves with existing approaches to Indian film against the background of more general approaches to film and the media. Some knowledge of Hindi desirable but not required (films will be subtitled in English and have English synopses). One film per week will be shown. Requirement: One 10-page paper, written in two stages.

The Horriffic and Terrible: The Technological Body of Japanese Cinema

24600
34600
JAPN 22100, GNDR 22200
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
J. Hall

The course examines the cinematic and narrative presentation of gender, technology, and the body in popular Japanese cinema from 1923 to the present. While attention is naturally given to the political culture and popular motivations behind mid-century monster and horror films such as Godzilla or The Invisible Man and late-century anime/animation such as Neon Genesis Evangelion or Ghost in the Shell, the course pays equal attention to a study and theorization of machines and their humans in the context of heavy industry, wartime mobilization, and mass-produced consumer durables. Examination follows Marxist, feminist, and post-colonial perspectives.

Photo & Film: Theory/Practice

27500
37500
COVA 24000
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
L. Letinsky

COVA 101, 102, or consent of instructor. A camera and light meter are required. Photography affords a relatively simple and accessible means for making pictures. Through demonstration, students are introduced to technical procedures and basic skills, and begin to establish criteria for artistic expression. Possibilities and limitations inherent in the medium are topics of classroom discussion. Class sessions and field trips to local exhibitions investigate the contemporary photograph in relation to its historical and social context. Course work culminates in a portfolio of works exemplary of the student's understanding of the medium. Lab fee $40.

Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies

40000
ArtH 39900, ENGL 48000, MAPH 33000
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2002-2003
M. Hansen

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.

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