DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

FALL 2015 FILM COURSES

104 INTRO TO FILM

same as MACS 104

The goal of this course is to develop students’ abilities to view films critically and to deepen their understanding of the cinema experience. The course first teaches analysis of narrative strategies, shot properties, mise-en-scène, acting, editing, and the use of sound in films, especially classical Hollywood movies. The course then focuses on the study of different genres and styles of films, including documentaries, feminist films, westerns, musicals, and melodramas, in terms of how they present ideological points of view and/or fulfill certain wishes of the spectator.

English/MACS 104 is an appropriate prerequisite for English /MACS 273 (an intermediate course in film analysis) and other advanced film classes. The course presents one film program including a feature film per week, shown in a required screening lab on Monday afternoon. Each section meets for two 75-minute lecture-discussion sessions per week. All sections use an introductory textbook (most of them assigning Film Experience by Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White, but carefully check the bookstore’s listing of the section letter assigning the text or go to class first). All sections also make additional reading assignments (essays and book chapters), available in a photocopied reader or on library reserve. Sections are designed so that each student contributes extensively in the discussions; attendance and participation are crucial in this course.

The minimum formal assignments are about 12-15 pages of expository writing (usually in 2 or 3 short essays, although some instructors may assign more writing), a midterm, and a three hour final exam; most instructors also give quizzes. On the exams, most instructors give a factual section (identification, brief answer) and a section of essay questions. This course earns 3 credit hours and qualifies as a General Education course in Humanities and the Arts. (Multiple sections)

273 S AMERICAN CINEMA SINCE 1950, S. Camargo. Lect: TUTH 2-3:15; Screening W 5-7:30 pm

same as MACS 273

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

This English department-based cinema-studies course analyzes selected films made in the last sixty-five years in the U.S. from key critical approaches including perspectives on authorship, genre, narrative, gender and racial representation, and the impact of spectacle. While it does not offer a film historical survey, the course addresses a range of latter 20th–early 21st century cinematic developments in the context of major transitions in the American film industry and in society. Among the trends we will examine are the dominant stylistic and ideological models of classical Hollywood and the shift away from those during the late 1960s; the emergence of the New Hollywood in the 1970s with its stylistic eclecticism and emphasis on formulaic blockbusters; and the typical Hollywood ways of representing key social issues such as race.

Requirements: scrupulously regular attendance of the twice-weekly class meetings and the required weekly film lab from 5-7:30 p.m. (even if the film is widely available); systematic, thorough reading of the substantial course packet of essays and book excerpts; frequent quizzes; and two medium-length analytic essays.

275 AE1 AM INDIAN & INDEGENOUS FILM, Diaz. Lect: MW 11; Screening: TU 1-3:20

same as AIS 275, MACS 275

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

Introduction to representations of American Indians and Indigenous peoples in film. Reconstructions of American Indians within the Western genre and more recent reconstructions by Native filmmakers will be considered. Other topics may include the development of an indigenous aesthetic; the role of documentaries and nonfiction films in the history of Native and Indigenous film; the role of commerce in the production of Native films.

325 M TOPICS IN LGBT LIT & FILM, Foote. TUTH 9:30-10:45

meets with GWS 325

TOPIC: Lesbian/Queer Media Cultures

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) - REPCIS

Discusses how various LGBT/Q communities were consolidated or drawn together by print and invented in the very acts of writing, distributing, purchasing, and reading print artifacts. Students examine early homophile publications, the rise of presses dedicated to LGBT/Q literature, independent bookstores and distribution networks, as well as the contemporary world of zines, blogs, chatrooms, fan fiction, and online journals, to see the intersection of sexuality, community, identity, and the print sphere. Students will learn how to historicize the rise of various LGBT/Q subcultures through a long history of print and how to navigate and understand the gregarious contemporary world of online publishing and social networking.

373 N SPECIAL TOPICS IN FILM STUDIES, T. Newcomb. TUTH 10-1150

same as MACS 373

TOPIC: Haunted Cinema

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this section of ENGL/MACS 373 we will examine narrative films about haunting—featuring ghosts, vampires, demons, and other weird creatures—to explore the many ways in which cinema is itself a “haunted” cultural form with complex, fascinating, sometimes troubling psychic, emotional, religious, and political meanings. Our examination will range from some of the earliest cinematic haunting narratives to some very recent Hollywood films.

We’ll consider these far-reaching questions, among others:

How can cinema, that quintessentially 20th-century art form, reveal to us what forces and fears haunt the modern world? In what ways is cinema a “haunted” form, and the viewer of films both haunter and haunted? How can cinematic narratives of haunting provide us with powerful metaphors of hidden interconnection, even some degree of religious or spiritual experience, in the fragmented, skeptical environment of modernity? How do these narratives allow us to explore anxieties and fantasies involving identity, gender, and sexuality that often seem taboo in our everyday lives?

>

Attendance at weekly screenings, multiple analytical essays, a final exam, and consistent class participation will be required.

373 G SPECIAL TOPICS IN FILM STUDIES, Soto-Crespo. MW 4-5:50

same as MACS 373

TOPIC: Documenting America

From hoarders to living wild at the fringes of America, and from unfettered economic ventures to the comic lives of eccentric overachievers, this course examines the language and visual composition of works produced by documentary directors in the United States. We will explore the ways in which documentary filmmaking shapes our image of America in the works of Michael Moore, Errol Morris, Andrew Jarecki and others. Documentary films try to capture a social reality unmediated by fantasy and as such they provide us with a piercing look at who we are. By studying the composition of narrative voice and sequence, the course emphasizes on documentary as a narrative form designed to integrate critical perspectives with social action. This course takes advantage of the many media available for us to expand our appreciation of a multilayered society. Our syllabus includes films, reading assignments, and opportunities to listen to public speakers.

Themes for discussion include: war and its aftermath, the state of the economy, health care, mental illness, poverty, world resources, food production, and the environment.

Attendance at weekly screenings, multiple analytical short essays, a midterm and a final exam, and consistent class participation will be required.

TEXTS: (selection) Chomsky, Noam, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order; Mitchell, W. J. T., Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to the Present; Nichols, Bill, Introduction to Documentary, 2nd edition. Indiana UP, 2001;

Documentary Films: (selection) Dylan Avery, Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup, 2009, 99 min.; Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop, 2010, 87 min.; Marshall Curry, If a Tree Falls, 2011. 85 min.; Josh Fox, Gasland. 2009, 106 min.; James Gandolfini, Alive Day Memories, 2007, 57 min.; Robert Greenwald, Wal-Mart, 2005, 97 min.; Werner Herzog, Into the Abyss, 2012, 107 min.; Andrew Jarecki, Capturing the Friedmans, 2003, 109 min.; Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11, 2004, 122 min.; Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, Catfish, 2011, 88 min.; Errol Morris, Tabloid, 2010, 88 min.

374 T WORLD CINEMA IN ENGLISH, S. Camargo. TUTH 3:30-5:20

TOPIC: The Great White North: Films of Canada

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this course we will get to know our neighbor to the north. You may be surprised at how many well-known directors and actors are Canadian. Canadian directors whom we will meet include David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, John Maddin, and Patricia Rozema. Canada, like every other country, uses its national cinema as an expression of, exploration of, and advertisement for its national identity. We will look at Canadian films with the aim of discovering what issues Canadians see as central, as worthy of display, and as problematic. We will look at the relationship between these film representations and actual social and political ideas and practices. We will also see how Canada negotiates its economic and industrial relationship to the 800-pound gorilla of the film world: Hollywood.

Evaluated work will include short response papers, two or three medium-length papers, and a research paper of a reasonable length. While previous experience in film studies is a plus, it is not required for enrollment in this course.

Get in Touch

Search Type