Courses

The Cinema of Jean Renoir

23701
33701
FNDL 23901
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
N. Steimatsky

Jean Renoir has often been dubbed – by both filmmakers and critics – as the greatest auteur. The richness and range of his production – variously described as “classic” and “modern,” quintessentially “French” and “universal” – are indeed remarkable. His experimental and narrative forays in the late-silent era, his bold appropriation of literary sources and of pictorial and theatrical models during the highs and lows of 1930s France, the continuities and breaks of his American work in the 1940s, and his subsequent return to French and international co-productions – all these form a complex creative biography, that embraces major shifts in film history while maintaining Renoir’s unique touch, his mastery of form, his conception of the social and the communal so often articulated through depth-of-field compositions and camera work. We shall explore Renoir’s exemplary works, attending to his interlacing of melodramatic, comedic, even farcical, as well as realist inspirations in their historical, political, and cultural contexts. Close viewing and analysis of the films will be accompanied by readings from the filmmakers’ own writings and interviews, criticism both contemporary to the films’ production as well as recent perspectives, and historical backgrounds.
All principal readings in English.

Japanese Yakuza Film: Cinema Against Modernity

24912
34912
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
P. Kaffen

Cinema is often taken as the privileged medium of modernity. But can cinema be against modernity? This course addresses this question by focusing on the pre-eminent “anti modern” genre of Japanese cinema: yakuza film, or films about gangsters and outlaws. Historically, the critique of modernity in Japan stimulated all manner of philosophical, artistic, and political activity under the banner of “overcoming the modern.” In terms of culture, perhaps nowhere was this expression more widespread and fraught than in yakuza film. We will explore yakuza film from its roots in the mass culture of the 20s and 30s through to its recent art-house successes. Issues of film aesthetics (realism, affect, auteurism, genre, semiotics, representation) will be discussed in relation to thematic and historical issues (utopia and fascism, violence and law, nostalgia and revolution). We will watch films by Suzuki Seijun, Kato Tai, Fukasaku Kinji, Kitano Takeshi, and Miike Takashi, among others. Additionally, connections between yakuza films and other genres of cinema (melodrama, film noir, westerns) as well as other media such as comics and video games will be another point of interest.

Acting in Cinema

28403
38403
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
J. Naremore

The aim of this course is to examine the kind of work that film actors do. We will trace the evolution of film acting from early silent pictures until now, and along the way I hope to deal with a variety of questions: How is the style of film acting affected by motion-picture genres? How is it affected by technology? What’s the difference, if any, between professional and non-professional acting? Do supporting players behave differently from lead actors? To what degree do film actors improvise, and how can we recognize it when they do? To what extent do actors behave “naturally” (whatever that means) and to what extent do they employ techniques of stylized imitation and the related arts of mime or impersonation? Our chief method of answering these and other questions will be to analyze the evidence we find on the screen in a series of widely different films. In addition to participation in discussion of the films and assigned readings, students will write an essay exam and a short analytic essay.

Montage: History, Theory, Practice

67201
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
Y. Tsivian

This seminar will look at the history of editing from early attempts at multi-shot sequencing to self-conscious experiments in "intellectual montage;" at editing techniques ranging from cross-cutting to CGI sequences; and at the variety of montage theories from Eisenstein and Pudovkin to Bazin. We will test Eisenstein's hypothesis about biological foundations of temporality in art; connect dynamic patterns of film editing to Daniel Stern's study The Present Moment;link temporal contours of cutting to theories of gendered narratology.

Cinema, Play, Modernity

67504
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
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.

Introduction to Film I

10100
ARTH 20000, ARTV 25300, ENGL 10800, ISHU 20000
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
J. Wild

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.

American Cinema Since 1960

21900
ENGL
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
K. Brown

The year 1960 is commonly understood as a watershed in United States film history, marking the end of the so-called "classical" Hollywood cinema. We will discuss this assumption in terms of the break-up of the studio system; the erosion of the Production Code; the crisis of audience precipitated by televisionÕs mass spread; and the changing modes of film reception, production, and style under the impact of video, cable, and other electronic communication technologies. We will also relate cinema to social and political issues of the post-1960s period (Civil Rights, student and women's movements, the Vietnam war, urban crisis, reproductive freedom, AIDS, the Reagan/Bush era, and the end of the Cold War) and ask how films reflected upon and intervened in contested areas of public and private experience. With the help of the concept of "genre" (and the changed "genericity" of 1980s and '90s films) and of the notion of "national cinema" (usually applied to film traditions other than the United States), we will attempt a dialogue between industrial/stylistic and cultural-studies approaches to film history.

The Rom Com

25511
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
Ivan Ross

This course offers a critical survey of the history of the Hollywood romantic comedy from Buster Keaton to Judd Apatow. The course is organized chronologically--following yet scrutinizing the typical periodization from slapstick comedy to screwball comedy to the comedy of remarriage to the sex comedy to the radical comedy to the neo-traditional comedy--with attention to the formal/aesthetic features of the genre, its enduring themes, and its response to changing socio-cultural contexts. We’ll approach the films by considering film style, film narratology, genre theory, theories of comedy, popular culture studies, gender and sexuality theory, and various philosophical perspectives such as moral perfectionism.

The Horror Film

25512
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
A. Hart

Although the horror genre is often considered to begin in the early 1930s with the enormous successes Tod Browning’s Dracula, James Whale’s Frankenstein and the rest of Universal Studios’ classic monster cycle, the horrific – terror, shock, revulsion – has been an important part of the cinema since its inception. In this course, we will explore the nature of horror and the horrific in the cinema and the various perspectives that can be utilized to understand these films and their continued, remarkably resilient global appeal. The syllabus will include readings on such topics as the uncanny, the fantastic, monstrosity, abjection, anxiety, gender identity, and spectacle. The primary focus of the course discussions will be on the “threat”: a concept that includes the monster or villain, the actions or intended actions of that monster, and the way they are depicted onscreen. Although the course will attempt a long view of the genre’s history and will deal with international examples (particularly J-horror, a cycle of Japanese horror films from the 1990s and early 2000s), the privileged films in this course will be American, and from what may be understood as the beginning of the modern or post-classical era of the genre: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and The Birds, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and the films of the 1970s and early 1980s, especially the “slasher” film and its forerunners. We will deal with the increasing centrality of displays of violence and gore to the genre and the expansion of the genre to include physically unremarkable villains and little to no trace of the supernatural, which seems to culminate in the recent phenomenon of “torture porn” – as well as the concurrent spread of monsters and the monstrous into works that are decidedly outside of the horror genre (i.e. Twilight). What significance do these and other recent developments have for our understanding of horror and for the importance of the monster to the genre? Can these changes help us to understand earlier, more classical works of horror? Filmmakers to be discussed include Whale, Hitchcock, Romero, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Rob Zombie.

Reading Course

29700
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
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.

Senior Colloquium

29800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
J. Wild

CMST 10100. 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.

B.A. Research Paper

29900
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
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.

Rome in Literature and film

23202
33202
ITAL 23203/33203
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
R. West

We shall analyze films and fictional works that reflect both realities and myths about the “Eternal City,” Rome. Classical Rome will not be studied; instead the focus will be on a trajectory of works, both written and cinematic, that are set in and explore late nineteenth to late twentieth-century Rome. The goal is to analyze some of the numerous diverse representations of modern Rome that portray historical, political, subjective, and/or fantastical/mythopoetic elements that have interacted over time to produce the palimpsest that is the city of Rome. Books by D’Annunzio, Moravia, Pasolini and Malerba; films by Fellini, Visconti, Rossellini, Bertolucci, Pasolini, and Moretti. Taught in English; Italian majors will read the texts in the original Italian.

Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies

40000
ENGL 48000, MAPH 33000
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
T. Gunning

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 28500/38500, CMLT 22400/32400, COVA 26500, ENGL 29300/48700, MAPH 33600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
J. Lastra

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
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
Staff

Consent of instructor. Please register by faculty section.

Introduction to Black Cinema

21001
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
M. Adekoya

Problematic images of Blackness have plagued the cinema since its very birth. This course will concentrate on examining the ways that African Americans have responded to this history of (mis)representation both as filmmakers and as spectators. In this manner, we will analyze how African American filmmakers have themselves approached the question of how to represent Blackness. As well, we will investigate how African American audiences have negotiated their position as spectators. Moreover, we will examine other cinemas within the Black diaspora and identify if/how the patterns and concerns of various Black cinemas overlap. Throughout the quarter we will consider the overarching question of what is Black cinema?

Senior Creative Thesis

23903
ARTV 23904/33904
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
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 seminar 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.

Zizek on Film

27201
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
M. Sternstein

Slavoj _i_ek has used film as the great expositor of his theories of ideology, perversion, sexuality, politics, nostalgia, and otherness. In this discussion-heavy course we will watch a lot of film from the directorial subjects of his main discussions (Chaplin; Rossellini; Lynch; Haneke; Kie_lowski; Tarkovsky; von Trier; Hitchcock and others) alongside Zizek’s theoretical writings on their film. The course examines why for the man who has been called the “Elvis of cultural theory” film is such a perfect lens through which to examine social situatedness and intersubjective *aporia*. There is no “paperwork” assigned for the course. The course is conducted seminar style and participants are expected to be vocal, prepared and somewhat ornery.

Reading Course

29700
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
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
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
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.

New Media Theory

32310
ENGL 32310
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
P. Jagoda

New media technologies have enabled a variety of creative innovations, including computer games, digital environments, social networking sites, electronic literature, and interactive virtual maps. Through a study of contemporary media theory, we will analyze what precisely is “new” about new media. While this course focuses on new media “theory,” we will think carefully about questions of methodology. In particular, is it possible to write new media theory without hands-on engagement with digital technologies and design experience? Readings by theorists such as Alexander Galloway, Mark Hansen, N. Katherine Hayles, Friedrich Kittler, Lev Manovich, and Lisa Nakamura will help us think about concepts such as computer interactivity, digital visual culture, virtual embodiment, and network aesthetics. Along the way, we will play video games, read electronic fictions, analyze Facebook, experiment with the Processing open source programming language, and meet inside the virtual world Second Life. In addition to shorter assignments such as blog entries, students will focus on a final project that will take the form of either a traditional research paper or a digital media piece with included commentary (e.g., a piece of electronic fiction, a Machinima film, a digital visualization, or an interactive web project). Students need not be technologically gifted or computer savvy, but a wide-ranging imagination and interest in new media culture will make for a more exciting quarter.

La Nouvelle Vague/The French New Wave

23700
33700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
J. Wild

Neither a coherent movement nor a precise style, La Nouvelle Vague was nonetheless a watershed moment in the history of modernism. In this class, we will study the French New Wave’s emergence from the context of post WWII modernization and Existentialism, cinephilia and film criticism and theory. With an examination of canonical and lesser-known films (1950-early 1970s), we will pursue our study from the standpoint of cinematic ontology and French cultural and political history. We shall explore how this cinema considerably expanded the parameters of modern art practice and intellectual thought as well as redirected assumptions surrounding the medium’s formal and philosophic capacities. Films by Rohmer, Rivette, Truffaut, Godard, Eustache, Varda, Raynal, Chabrol, Rouch, Resnais, Garrel, and others.

Cinema in Africa

24201
34201
ENGL 27600/37600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
L. Kruger

This course examines cinema in Africa as well as films produced in Africa. It places cinema in Sub-Saharan Africa in its social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts ranging from neocolonial to postcolonial, Western to Southern Africa, documentary to fiction, art cinema to TV. We will begin with La Noire de... (1966), ground-breaking film by the "father" of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene, contrasted with a South African film, The Magic Garden (1960) that more closely resembles African American musical film, and anti-colonial and anti-apartheid films from Lionel Rogosin's Come Back Africa (1959) to Sarah Maldoror's Sambizanga, Ousmane Sembene's Camp de Thiaroye (1984), and Jean Marie Teno's Afrique, Je te Plumerai (1995). The rest of the course will examine cinematic representations of tensions between urban and rural, traditional and modern life, and the different implications of these tensions for men and women, Western and Southern Africa, in fiction, documentary and ethnographic film.

Cities in Sinophone Cinemas

24611
34611
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
X. Dong

From the treaty port of Shanghai to the imperial capital of Beijing, from the “re-colonized” city of Taipei to the “floating city” of Hong Kong, and from an anonymous city in inland China to global Chinatowns, cities in Chinese-language cinemas at once reflect and participate in the historical transformations of modern China and the negotiation between national, local and cosmopolitan identities. Meanwhile, throughout its history, the motion-picture medium has shown an affinity with the city as an audio-visual ensemble, which in turn has provided constant inspiration for cinematic experimentation. Taking the chronotope of the “sinophone city” as an entry point, this course participates in both the on-going discussion of cinematic cities and the emerging discourse on the phonic articulation and visual mediation of a global sinophone culture. No knowledge of Chinese is required.

Cinema in Japan: Art and Commerce in a Transnational Medium

24903
34903
EALC 24903/34903
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
M. Raine

This course surveys Japanese cinema from its prehistory to the work of contemporary transnational auteurs. We will focus on both aspects of the object of study: Japan and the cinema. Each week will present, in roughly chronological order, a "moment" from the history of Japanese cinema and a methodological issue in film studies brought into focus by that week's films. For example, we will study vernacular modernism in 1930s Japan, the war film and theories of propaganda, genre theory and 1950s program pictures. We will of course pay attention to the Masters of Japanese cinema (Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa, et. al.) but we will also study film in relation to broader cultural movements such as the "new wave" and the "political modernist" turn. We will also interrogate theories of national cinema and study theories of ethnicity and recent Japanese representations of the Other. All readings on the course are in English; no Japanese is required, though accommodations will be made for students who wish to read original language material.

The East Asian Film Musical

24907
34907
EALC 24907/34907
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
M. Raine

The film musical appears as a quintessentially American form. From the development of the genre in synchronization with early sound technology to its full efflorescence in the MGM Broadway adaptations of the 1950s, nothing spoke the capital intensity of hallywood and the ideology of Americanism more clearly than the musical. This course studies East Asian emulation of Hollywood’s “transmedia exploitation” of popular music, revues, and musical films but also the musical that blazed regional circuits through East Asia, from “oriental jazz” and the wartime films of Yamaguchi Yoshiko/Ri Ko-Ran to postwar Toho travelogues and contemporary films featuring East Asian pop stars. Main focus on Japan; also films from Hong Kong, Manchuria, and Taiwan.

Theories of Media

27800
37800
ARTH 25900/35900, ARTV 25400, ENGL 12800/32800, ISHU 21800, MAPH 32800
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
W.J.T. Mitchell

Any 10000-level ARTH or ARTV course, or consent of instructor. This course explores the concept of media and mediation in very broad terms, looking not only at modern technical media and mass media but also at the very idea of a medium as a means of communication, a set of institutional practices and a habitat in which images proliferate and take on a “life of their own.” Readings include classic texts (e.g., Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and Cratylus, Aristotle’s Poetics); and modern texts (e.g., Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media, Regis Debray’s Mediology, Friedrich Kittler’s Gramaphone, Film, Typewriter).

Documentary Video

28000
38000
ARTV 23901/33901
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
J. Hoffman

This course focuses on the making of independent documentary video. Examples of direct cinema, cinéma vérité, the essay, ethnographic film, the diary and self-reflexive cinema, historical and biographical film, agitprop/activist forms, and guerilla television are screened and discussed. Topics include the ethics and politics of representation and the shifting lines between fact and fiction. Labs explore video pre-production, camera, sound, and editing. Students develop an idea for a documentary video; form crews; and produce, edit, and screen a five-minute documentary. A two-hour lab is required in addition to class time. Lab fee $50.

Barthes: Text & Image

48711
GRMN 48711, ARTH 48711
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
S. Ludemann, N. Steimatsky

Roland Barthes's incisive criticism stands as a major contribution to literary theory, to the semiotics of culture, and to contemporary conceptions of the image – still and moving. His work spans a wide variety of topics (including literature, photography, film, mythology, fashion, advertising, conversation, sport, love, and himself), propelling semiotics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and post-structuralism towards an incisive and eloquent reflection. Although Barthes did not develop an explicit theory of the imaginary, the relationship of texts and images, the symbolic and the imaginary, are among his constant concerns. Are images 'just another type of text', or is there an independent sphere of the imaginary which escapes structural, or even cultural analysis? This question will be among the guiding themes of the seminar. All principal readings are in English.

Reading and Research

59900
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Staff

Consent of instructor. Please register by faculty section.

The Silent Avant-Garde

65201
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
J. Wild

This course will examine the long-standing relationship between the cinema and primarily European and American avant-garde artists and movements between 1890 and 1935. By exploring the theoretical, practical, and more conceptual adoption of the cinema by artists working across media, this course will ask how the cinema and filmmaking practices transformed the history and theory of vanguardism. The following movements will be considered: Les Incohérants; Futurism (Italian and Russian); Cubism; Vorticism; Dada; Constructivism; Surrealism; the Cinéclub movement and little magazines dedicated to modernism will also be studied. Emphasis will be placed on primary documents and significant cultural events and manifestations of the period, but classic theories of the avant-garde will also be read (Bürger, Poggioli). Films by Bauer, Bragaglia, Ivens, Léger, Clair, Moholy-Nagy, Steiner, Richter, Ruttmann, Vertov, Dulac, Epstein and others will be shown.

Introduction to Film I

10100
ARTH 20000, ARTV 25300, ENGL 10800, ISHU 20000
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
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.

Israeli Cinema: Identity, Memory, Narrative, Conflict

24802
NEHC 24802
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
D. Galili

The current version of the description reads: "This class surveys the history of Israeli film as well as critical methods with which to approach it. The principal interest of the class is to examine Israeli films as a “national cinema” by considering the various ways in which they reflect, enforce, and perpetuate – and also criticize and deconstruct – the dominant Israeli national ideologies and myths. We will explore how the developing Israeli film industry related in different historical moments to the efforts of the Israeli state to define its own identity, history, borders and aesthetic traditions, and discuss the film in light of topics such as the Zionist conception of Jewish history, the trauma of the holocaust, the project of Israeli nation- building, and the changes in Israeli culture’s representations of “others” on grounds of nationality, religion, ethnicity, and gender. Class screenings will include Israeli films that range from the pre- Israeli state Zionist propaganda films, to the nationalistic-heroic cinema of the young state, the mid- 1960s attempts at establishing an “Israeli New Wave,” and to today’s unprecedented international critical and commercial success of Israeli cinema."

The American Avant-Garde Cinema

25513
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
A. Hart

There has been an alternative cinema in the United States from the earliest days of Hollywood, but it wasn’t until the 1940s, with the first works of such figures as Joseph Cornell, Kenneth Anger and, especially, Maya Deren, that disparate film artists came together in what would become a coherent avant-garde filmmaking community or movement. Inspired by developments in poetry, dance, painting, and music, and by European filmmakers like Sergei Eisenstein and Jean Cocteau, these filmmakers set about creating a new genre of film, and a new kind of film language. A remarkable flourishing of independent, personal cinema soon followed, in an incredible variety of styles. This class will look at the historical development of the American avant-garde cinema from these early filmmakers through the intensely creative, productive period of the 1960s, and the fragmented state of the avant-garde in the years that followed. Using methodologies taken from cinema studies and other disciplines, especially art history, and looking at the films alongside contemporaneous work in other mediums, we will attempt to develop a valid critical language to describe and analyze these sui generis films and filmmakers. Filmmakers studied include Deren, Anger, Cornell, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baillie, Bruce Conner, Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, Michael Snow, Paul Sharits, Ernie Gehr, Hollis Frampton, Jonas Mekas and Joyce Wieland.

Reading Course

29700
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
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
  • 2010-2011
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.

Agitation and Propaganda

24905
34905
EALC 24905/34905
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
M. Raine

5/34905 This class traces the deployment of cinema as both national culture and "optical weapon" during a time of total war. We will study the Film Law of 1939 and the "national policy films" and "people's films" that attempted to raise the aesthetic and technical level of cinema in Japan in order to compete with the memory of Hollywood films both at "home" and in the Asian countries occupied by Japan. The class will include films made under Japanese sponsorship in the colonies of Taiwan and Korea as well as in the puppet state of Manchuria and the occupied territory of Shanghai. We will also study local sources of wartime Japanese cinema -- the prewar leftist film movement, the documentary film movement, the narrative avant-garde -- in the context of the broader image culture of wartime Japan. No knowledge of Japanese is required: separate section for discussion of Japanese and other Asian sources.

Cinema in Wartime Japan and its Territories

34906
EALC 44905
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
M. Raine

This seminar explores the history of cinema as a new medium for "propaganda and agitation" in the context of Japan's wars in Asia and the Pacific, 1937-1945. The emphasis is less on policy decisions than on their cultural consequences: how did the Tripartite Alliance, the Film Law, and the military situation affect the production, distribution, and reception of cinema in Japan and the occupied territories? What are the connections between cinema and other media and is there such a thing as a wartime style? In brief, the argument of the course is that propaganda in Japan, as elsewhere, was part of a broader project of agitation. Cinema was treated as a new medium, specially tasked not only to convey "information" but to elicit intense emotions from subjects of the nation, the Empire, and local military power that justified their suffering. That project often relied to a surprising extent on medium-specific, even modernist, modes of representation. We will study Japanese films in the context of a global 1930s "reactionary modernism" while simultaneously exploring more local sources of wartime cinema, in the prewar leftist film movement, the documentary film movement, the narrative avant-garde, and the broader image culture of wartime Japan. We will also explore how the medium was deployed in Japan's colonies (Taiwan and Korea), client states (Manchuria), and occupied territories (Eastern China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc). This history of cinema highlights concepts that are essential to broader histories of the period: for example: identity, complicity, nationality, and collaboration. English will be the lingua-franca for the course but we will also read primary and secondary Japanese documents, and material in other languages.

Documentary Video: Production Techniques

28001
38001
ARTV 23902, HMRT 25103/35103
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
J. Hoffman

ARTV 23901 or consent of instructor. 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. Post-production covers editing techniques and distribution strategies. Students then screen final projects in a public space. Lab fee $50.

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