Syllabus

SYLLABUS

(screenings are subject to change)

INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS CINEMA?

Week 1 (January 9 + 11): Dimensions of Film

Reading:

The Film Experience (hereafter, TFE): “Studying Film,” 5-15, and “Encountering Film,” 17-27.

Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.”

Recommended: TFE, “History and Historiography,” 55-93.

Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman, and Haley Sweetland Edwards, “TIME Person of the Year 2017: The Silence Breakers.” 

Feature:

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954, USA, 112m)

 

UNIT I: UNDERSTANDING FILM FORM/FILM STYLE

Week 2 (January 16 + 18): Mise-en-scène

Reading:

TFE:  “Encountering Film,” 27-53, and “Mise-en-Scène: Exploring a Material World,” 97-127.

Feature:

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014, USA, 100m)

 

Week 3 (January 23 + 25): Cinematography

Reading:

TFE: “Cinematography: Framing What We See,” 129-165.

Feature:

The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015, Taiwan, 105min)

 

Week 4 (January 30 + February 1): Editing I: Continuity Editing

Reading:

TFE: “Editing: Relating Images,” 167-207.

Feature:

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942, USA, 102min)

 

Week 5 (February 6 + 8): Editing II: “Alternative” Forms

Essay Part I: Shot List, due at the start of class Tuesday

Reading:

Sergei Eisenstein, “A Dialectic Approach to Film Form.”

André Bazin, “The Myth of Total Cinema.”

Feature:

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013, USA, 91m)

 

Week 6 (February 13 + 15): Sound

Essay Part II: Sequence Analysis, due at the start of class Tuesday

Reading:

TFE: “Film Sound: Listening to the Cinema,” 209-239.

Feature:

Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952, USA, 103m)

 

UNIT II: STORIES AND STRUCTURES 

Week 7 (February 20 + 22): Narrative

Reading:

TFE: “Narrative Films: Telling Stories,” 243-281.

Tom Gunning, “The Cinema of Attraction(s): Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant-Garde,” in Wanda Strauven, ed., The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007), 381-388.

Feature:

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941, USA, 119m)

 

Week 8 (February 27 + March 1): Midterm

Midterm Exam: Thursday, March 1

 

Week 9 (March 6 + 8): Genre

Reading:

TFE: “Movie Genres,” 339-373.

Scott Foundas, “Cinematic Faith” [interview with Christopher Nolan], Film Comment (Winter 2012/2013).

Feature:

The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008, USA, 152m)

 

Week 10 (March 13): Documentary

NO CLASS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 15

Reading:

TFE: “Documentary Films: Representing the Real,” 283-309.

Peter Knegt, “Decade: Agnes Varda on The Gleaners and I” IndieWire, December 5, 2009.

Feature:

The Gleaners and I  (Agnès Varda, 2000, France, 82min)

 

Week 11 (March 20+22): Spring Break 

 

UNIT III: EXPLORING THE ALTERNATIVES

 

Week 12 (March 27 + 29): Experimental Film

Reading:

TFE: “Experimental Film and New Media,” 311-337.

Stan Brakhage, “from Metaphors on Vision,” in The Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism (New York: NYU Press, 1978), 120-128.

Screenings:

Un Chien Andalou (Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali, Spain, 1929)

A MOVIE (Bruce Conner, USA, 1958)

Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, USA, 1963)

Dog Star Man: Prelude (Stan Brakhage, USA 1961-1964)

The Flicker (Tony Conrad, USA, 1966)

 

Week 13 (April 3 + 5): Art Film

Reading:

David Bordwell, “The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice.” 

Jean-Michel Frodon, “Interview with Léos Carax.”

Screening:

Holy Motors (Léos Carax, 2012, France, 116min)

 

Week 14 (April 10 + 12): Ideology and Critique

Reading:

TFE: “Reading About Film,” 377-407.

“Do The Right Thing,” David Bordwell and Kristen Thompson, Film Art, 410-415.

Feature:

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989, USA, 120m)

 

CONCLUSION: CINEMA IN THE DIGITAL AGE 

Week 15 (April 17 + 19): New Frontiers

Reading:

Stephen Prince, “Painting With Digital Light,” in Digital Visual Effects in Cinema, 56-98.

Feature:

Zodiac (David Fincher, USA, 2004, 162m)

 

Week 16 (April 24): Final Exam Review

Final Exam: MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2:50pm-5:40pm