Undergraduate Courses

FILM 020: Litirature, Media, and The Arts

Interdisciplinary overview of how weather serves as a topic of human imagination and invention across such domains as literature and science, philosophy and religion, painting and popular culture. The stories we tell about weather, the temperamental and nebulous materials of weather, and the media that helps us understand it and shape it. Readings include poems, prose, and academic articles.

Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program. 

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: MW 9.00-10.15

FILM 160: Introduction to Media

Introduction to the long history of media as understood in classical and foundational (and even more recent experimental) theories. Topics involve the technologies of modernity, reproduction, and commodity, as well as questions regarding knowledge, representation, public spheres, and spectatorship. Special attention given to philosophies of language, visuality, and the environment, including how digital culture continues to shape these realms.

Prerequisite for the major.

Professor: R. John Williams
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: T Th 1:30- 2:20

FILM 162: Introductory Documentary Filmmaking

The art and craft of documentary filmmaking. Basic technological and creative tools for capturing and editing moving images. The processes of research, planning, interviewing, writing, and gathering of visual elements to tell a compelling story with integrity and responsibility toward the subject. The creation of nonfiction narratives. Issues include creative discipline, ethical questions, space, the recreation of time, and how to represent “the truth.” Materials fee: $150.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: M 1.30-5.20

FILM 240: World Cinema

Development of ways to engage films from around the globe productively. Close analysis of a dozen complex films, with historical contextualization of their production and cultural functions. Attention to the development of critical skills. Includes weekly screenings, each followed immediately by discussion.

Professor: Dudley Andrew, Professor: Marta Figlerowicz
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: MW 11.35-12.25

FILM 241: Polish Communism and Postcommunism in Film

The Polish film school of the 1950s and the Polish New Wave of the 1960s. Pressures of politics, ideology, and censorship on cinema. Topics include gender roles in historical and contemporary narratives, identity, ethos of struggle, ethical dilemmas, and issues of power, status, and idealism. Films by Wajda, Munk, Polanski, Skolimowski, Kieslowski, Holland, and Kedzierzawska, as well as selected documentaries. Readings by Milosz, Andrzejewski, Mickiewicz, Maslowska, Haltoff, and others.

Readings and discussion in English.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: MW 1.00-2.15

FILM 320: Close Analysis of Film

Ways in which traditional genres and alternative film forms establish or subvert convention and expectation and express thematic and ideological concerns. The balancing of narrative containment and excess, as well as action and image. Use of body and voice, space and music. Examples include films by Antonioni, Zhang, Ozu, and Hitchcock.

Prerequisite: FILM 150.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: M 1.30-3.20

FILM 346/760: Intermediality in Film Brigitte Peucker

Film is a hybrid medium, the meeting point of several others. This course focuses on the relationship of film to theater, painting, and video, suggesting that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, framing, color, theatricality, tableau vivant, ekphrasis, spectatorship, and new media. Readings feature art historical and film theoretical texts as well as essays pertinent to specific films. Films by Fassbinder, Bergman, von Trier, Jarman, Godard, Haneke, Antonioni, Greenaway and others.

Professor: Brigitte Peucker
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: T 3.30-5.20

FILM 350:Screenwriting

A beginning course in screenplay writing. Foundations of the craft introduced through the reading of professional scripts and the analysis of classic films. A series of classroom exercises culminates in intensive scene work.

Prerequisite: FILM 150. Not open to freshmen.

Professor: Marc Lapadula
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2016
Day/Time: Th 3.30-5.20

FILM 355: Intermediate Film Writing and Directing

In the first half of the term, students write three-scene short films and learn the tools and techniques of staging, lighting, and capturing and editing the dramatic scene. In the second half of the term, students work collaboratively to produce their films. Focus on using the tools of cinema to tell meaningful dramatic stories. Materials fee: $150.

Enrollment limited to 8. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisites: ART 141 or 142, and FILM 150.

Professor: Jonathan Andrews
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: W 1.30-5.20

FILM 356:Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking

Students explore the storytelling potential of the film medium by making documentary art. The class concentrates on finding and capturing intriguing, complex scenarios in the world and then adapting them to the film form. Questions of truth, objectivity, style, and the filmmaker’s ethics are considered using examples of students’ work. Exercises in storytelling principles. Materials fee: $150.

Limited enrollment. Priority to majors in Art and in Film & Media Studies. Prerequisites: ART 141 or 142, and FILM 150

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: T 1.30-5.20

FILM 383: Media and Revolution since 1917

Review of one hundred years of cultural production informed by the idea of social revolution. Consideration of works by Sergei Eisenstein, Esther Shub, Dziga Vertov, Sun Yu, Jean-Luc Godard, Jorge Sanjines, Chris Marker, Aldo Garay, and Hanna Polak. Topics include propaganda and agitation; modernity and capitalism as political categories; masses, classes, collectivities, parties and states; gender and political change; ownership of and control over media; politics and media shifts; and the notion of revolution and its implications for artistic practice.

Professor: John MacKay
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: W 9.25-11.15

FILM 395:Intermediate Screenwriting

A workshop in writing short screenplays. Frequent revisions of each student’s script focus on uniting narrative, well-delineated characters, dramatic action, tone, and dialogue into a polished final screenplay.

Prerequisite: FILM 350. Priority to majors in Film & Media Studies.

Professor: Marc Lapadula
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: W 7.00-8.50p

FILM 396:Writing for Film: Voice and Vision

Practice in all aspects of writing a screenplay. Focus on elements shared with other forms of fiction, including story, character, dialogue, and audience expectations. Students plan, pitch, outline, and write a large part of a single original screenplay, while studying screenplays and films selected to illustrate narrative modes and styles, as well as briefer examples of scene construction and dialogue.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: W 1.30-3.20

FILM 397: Writing about the Performing Arts

Introduction to journalistic reporting on performances as current events, with attention to writing in newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere. The idea of the audience explored in relation to both a live act or screening and a piece of writing about such an event. Students attend screenings and live professional performances of plays, music concerts, and dance events.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: TTh 11.35-12.50

FILM 407:War on Film

Cinematic representations of war from the American-Spanish War of 1898 to present-day military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Consideration of war experiences, including battles, resistance movements, the home front, P.O.W. camps, extermination camps of World War II, as well as different “kinds” of wars and the way representation of defensive wars differs from those of civil wars, colonial wars, guerilla wars, insurgencies, etc. Analysis of how films give narrative form to war, how heroes are portrayed, and whether the historical moment influences representation of the conflict.

Professor: Katerina Clark, Professor: Masha Shpolberg
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: W 1.30-3.20

FILM 411: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

An examination of Hitchcock’s career as a filmmaker from Blackmail to Frenzy, with close attention to the wide variety of critical and theoretical approaches to his work. Topics include the status of the image; the representation of the feminine and of the body; spectatorship; painterliness and theatricality; generic and psychoanalytic issues.

Professor: Brigitte Peucker
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: Th 1.30-3.20

FILM 423: Documentary and the Environment

Survey of documentaries about environmental issues, with a focus on Darwin’s Nightmare (2004), An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Food, Inc. (2009), GasLand (2010), and related films. Brief historical overview, from early films such as The River (1937) to the proliferation of environmental film festivals.

Professor: Charles Musser
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: TTh 11.35-12.50

FILM 456:Documentary Film Workshop

A yearlong workshop designed primarily for majors in Film and Media Studies or American Studies who are making documentaries as senior projects.

Seniors in other majors admitted as space permits.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: W 12.30-3.20

FILM 488: Advanced Screenwriting

Students write a feature-length screenplay. Emphasis on multiple drafts and revision. Admission in the fall term based on acceptance of a complete step-sheet outline for the story to be written during the coming year.

Primarily for Film & Media Studies majors working on senior projects. Prerequisite: FILM 395 or permission of instructor.

 
 
Professor: Marc Lapadula
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: Th 3.30-5.20

FILM 494: the Senior Project

For students making a film or video, either fiction or nonfiction, as their senior project. Senior projects require the approval of the Film and Media Studies Committee and are based on proposals submitted at the end of the junior year. An interim project review takes place at the end of the fall term, and permission to complete the senior project can be withdrawn if satisfactory progress has not been made. For guidelines, consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Does not count toward the fourteen courses required for the major when taken in conjunction with FILM 455, 456 or FILM 483, 484.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2017

FILM 624: The Holocaust in Italian Literature and Film

Though Italy was among the Nazi-occupied countries with the highest survival rate of its Jewish population, the Holocaust has continued to haunt the Italian literary and cinematic imagination in ways that warrant close critical scrutiny. The aesthetic and moral problem of how to represent this event in art gains special urgency in the Italian context, where a realist tradition dating back to Dante and Giotto joins forces with a postwar neorealist impulse to create a series of compelling literary treatments (Primo Levi’s above all), as well as cinematic works. In keeping with the Holocaust’s invitation to interdisciplinary study, the course examines the intersection of a number of discourses—historical, literary, cinematic—viewed from a variety of perspectives—feminist, generic, philosophical, theological, and historiographic. Since several of the authors are women, the question of the “voce femminile” and its creation of an alternative, or anti-history, is also raised.

Professor: Millicent Marcus
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2017
Day/Time: W 3.30-5.20

FILM 733/ /FILM423 Documentary and the Environment

The environmental documentary has emerged as one of cinema’s most vital genres of the past ten years (in documentary, its only rivals are probably those concerned with the Second Gulf War). As the world’s environment faces a growing crisis, documentary has come to serve as a key means to draw public attention to specific issues. This course combines screenings with readings on documentary such as Bill Nichols’s important book Representing Reality. Often films have book tie-ins, and we consider how they complement each other and work together to maximize the impact of their message. Readings also focus on news items, debates, Web sites, and other media forms that are employed in conjunction with the films.

Professor: Charles Musser
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2017