INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES 281: SPRING 2010 Every time I go to a movie its magic, no matter what the movie is about. Steven Spielberg Toto, Ive got a feeling were not in Kansas anymore. Dorothy Gale My task . . . is to make you hear, to make you feel--and, above all, to make you see. Joseph Conrad It is a surprising and memorable, as well as a valuable experience, to be lost in the woods at any time. Henry David Thoreau Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden We think too much and feel too little. Charles Chaplin The cinema is a ribbon of dreams. Orson Welles The film experience is like a seamless dream. David Howard The secret to film is that it is an illusion. George Lucas Film is the truth twenty-four times a second. Jean-Luc Godard Film is a fascinating way to discover the world and to develop an understanding of its politics, psychology, its structure, its language. James Monaco The cinema is an eye wide open on life, an eye more powerful than our own and which sees things we cannot see. Germaine Dulac I think its very important that films make people look at what theyve forgotten. Spike Lee One of the beneficial effects of film, with its magnified sights and heightened and organized sounds, is to make us more alive to the sights and sounds of the world. John Falwell What the best cultural criticism always does: shows us society at the task of imagining itself, and then falling in love with the soft-focus image in the mirror. Michael Wood Thats the great thing about movies. Youre giving people little, tiny pieces of time that they never forget. James Stewart If its a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on. Alfred Hitchcock We tell ourselves stories in order to live. Joan Didion Stories are equipment for living. Kenneth Burke Suspense, laughter, violence. Hope, heart, nudity, sex. Happy endings. Mostly happy endings. Griffin Mill A number of images put together in a certain way become something quite above and beyond what any of them are individually. Francis Ford Coppola There is one basic dramatic circumstance: Somebody wants something badly and is having difficulty getting it. David Howard Drama is life with the dull parts left out. Alfred Hitchcock Dad used to say the only causes worth fighting for were the lost causes. Jefferson Smith Show me the money. Rod Tidwell Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed works. Gordon Gecko I think it would be fun to run a newspaper. Charles Foster Kane To my big brother, George, the richest man in town! Harry Bailey INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES English 281/Cinema Studies 281: Spring Semester 2010 M 1:25-2:15 Lecture: HODGES LIBRARY AUDITORIUM W 1:25-3:20 Screening: HODGES LIBRARY AUDITORIUM F 1:25-2:15 Discussion: HODGES LIBRARY AUDITORIUM Dr. Bill Larsen 521 McClung Tower 974-2572 (No voice mail) Home 946-4098 (Answering machine) Office Hours: M 2:45--3:15, T 11:45"12:15, F 11:30"12:00, and by appointme e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Introduction to Film Studies 281 is designed to acquaint students with the history of narrative film, with the fundamentals of how film as an art form communicates ideas and evokes emotions, and with various other kinds of cinema like documentary and animated film. It also aims to train students to watch films more closely so that your viewing will become more active and hence, we believe, a richer experience. By the end of the course you should be able to: 1. Discuss in considerable detail Bordwell and Thompson's concept of film form, break down the concept into its various aspects of narrative and style, and define film terms and elements associated with film form. 2. Identify the various terms and elements of film style when you see or hear them. 3. Analyze and evaluate each of the films we screen this semester and compare their cinematic styles and narratives with those of others we screen, as well as ones you may view on your own. 4. Discuss and distinguish between various types of films, such as narrative, documentary, and animated films. 5. Trace the major developments in film history, relating the films we screen to the times and places ( film industry AND broad socio-historic contexts) in which they were made. 6. Analyze and discuss how individual films affirm, challenge, and/or call into question particular values, attitudes, and institutions of the culture in which each is produced. If you are able to do these things and are a more knowledgeable, perceptive, and sensitive viewer of films when the course is over, it will have been a success. COURSE STRUCTURE: Generally, the course will run as follows: on Mondays, I will lecture on film aesthetics and history to prepare you to view the films we will screen on Wednesdays. On Fridays, we will discuss issues raised by our lectures, readings, and those screenings. REQUIRED BOOK: Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction (8th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. ATTENDANCE: Since we will meet for a total of forty-two (42) class sessions over the next sixteen (16) weeks, and will read a substantial number of pages and screen a large number of films, you should make every effort to attend all of our class sessions. However, it is inevitable that there will be times when life and its vicissitudes and pressures may create conflicts for you. Try your best NOT to succumb to temptation, though, since the attendance policy for Introduction to Film 281 for spring 2010 is that you are allowed THREE (3) absences during the term. There will be NO distinction between excused and unexcused absences. After the THIRD absence, your OVERALL COURSE GRADE will be docked ONE (1) letter grade for each subsequent absence. We will be here for all of our sessions and do our best to make regular attendance something which will be easier for you than going for root canal or only getting re-runs of Regis and Kelli on your television. If, however, you do miss a class session, YOU are responsible for any work we will have accomplished that day. Finally, lateness to class beyond ten (10) minutes will be considered as half an absence, as will leaving class more than ten (10) minutes early. CELLULAR PHONES: Do NOT bring one to class! If you do bring one to class and it goes off in any way (rings/buzzes/audibly pulses/etc.) during a class session, you then MUST leave that class session, and it WILL be considered as an absence from class. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism is THE Unpardonable Academic Sin. Should you commit plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty in Introduction to Film Studies 281 this spring 2010 semester, though, we will NOT require that you wear the letter P or C on your chest. Nevertheless, plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty WILL NOT be tolerated in this course. Having successfully completed English 101 and 102 (or their equivalents) and many other UT courses, you should have a strong understanding of how to avoid falling victim to such temptations in your academic work. You also MUST sign the UT Honor Statement, and as a consequence, you will be expected to abide by the norms of academic honesty and integrity. BLACKBOARD: You can access our Blackboard site by logging in to online@ut. You need your UT User ID and Password, of course. We have created a single supersite for all four sections. It will be listed among your courses as INTRO to CINEMA Spring 2010. One note of caution, however, in Introduction to Film 281, Blackboard is NOT designed to take the place of/alleviate the importance of and need for regular attendance. Because Blackboard defaults to the UT net ID, you MUST have an ACTIVE UT e-mail account (OR have your other e-mail account(s) forwarded to your UT e-mail account). HODGES LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER SERVICES: The Media Center of the UT Library formerly located in 245 Hodges Library, has been relocated within the Hodges Library. The exceptional DVD and VHS collection now is available in several locations. DVD and high-use VHS titles are housed at the Circulation/Media/Reserve Desk on the second floor (at the Melrose entrance). Less frequently used VHS titles are located on the third floor for self-service retrieval. However, these items ONLY may be used within the Hodges Library building itself. This outstanding and varied collection of classic feature films, includes most of the films we will screen, as well as those you will have the chance to write on. (To write good analytical papers on films, you MUST view the film at least twice, for in most cases it is difficult to notice film style on first viewings"narrative exerts a potent influence.) In addition, we will supplement the collection with personal copies of several films which will be kept on Reserve and ONLY can be used within the Hodges Library building. DISABILITY SERVICES: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a DOCUMENTED disability or if you have emergency information to share, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 2227 Dunford Hall, 974-6087 to discuss your specific needs. Such contact with the Office of Disability Services is the ONLY way to ensure that you are properly registered for such services and therefore can receive any such course adaptations or accommodations. EXAMS: Everyone MUST take a midterm AND a final exam to be eligible to pas the course. The midterm will be held in the HODGES LIBRARY AUDITORIUM during class on MONDAY, MARCH 1 (we have the room booked from 1:25"3:30 PM). The final will be on WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, from 12:30"3:30 P.M. in HODGES LIBRARY AUDITORIUM. PAPERS: Each student also MUST write TWO (2) typewritten papers to be eligible to pass the course. The first, due MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, will be around 1200 words. The second, due MONDAY, APRIL 19, will be around 1500-1800 words. Each paper should be carefully organized and contain a clearly articulated thesis statement in the opening paragraph. These papers also should reveal your growing understanding of the cinema as an art form and medium of expression. We will provide more specific instructions regarding the papers about three to four weeks before each one is due. QUIZZES: At the beginning of each Friday that we meet for the discussion session, we will have a quiz. These quizzes may NOT be made up and your cumulative score of the highest TEN (10) will count as 20% of your overall course grade. Be sure to arrive promptly, because we will collect the quizzes quickly. You may drop your THREE (3) lowest quiz grades. (And you will have a chance for two additional quiz grades, as well. See below: DOCUMENTARY FILM WORKSHEET and OPTIONAL WORKSHEET.) N.B.: If you do not stay for the entire discussion session, then your quiz grade will NOT count as a grade. DOCUMENTARY FILM WORKSHEET: In order to include Documentary film in our studies this semester and still be able to screen as many narrative films as possible, each student MUST screen (outside of class) any one of the assigned Documentary films AND complete and turn in the worksheet for that particular film to be eligible to pass the course. The worksheet, which is due NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, APRIL 9, then will be counted as a fourteenth quiz grade. OPTIONAL WORKSHEETS: Since we do not have a Friday discussion section session either the week of Spring Recess, I will prepare an OPTIONAL worksheet focused on the lecture, readings, and feature film for that week. You then MAY complete and submit this worksheet. If you do submit it, then it would count as an additional quiz grade. GRADING: Each Exam, each Paper, and your Cumulative Quiz Grade will count 20% of your grade. The quality of your participation in class discussions will be taken into account when deciding borderline grades. To receive credit for having passed the course, you MUST take the two (2) Exams, turn in the two (2) Paper assignments, AND complete the Documentary Film Worksheet. READING AND VIEWING SCHEDULE FA: Film Art: An Introduction: (8th edition) I. THE NEO-FORMALIST TEXTUAL APPROACH TO FILM THE STUDY OF FILM and FILM HISTORY: PART I JANUARY 13: Introduction to the Course; Prehistory of Movies; Cinema of Attractions: Lumiere and Pathe short films 1895-1906); and Early Narrative Cinema: A Trip to the Moon (Georges Melies, 1902) and The Great Train Robbery (Edwin Porter, 1903); and Early Animation: Gertie the Dinosaur (Winsor McCay, 1914). 15: D.W. Griffith and the Development of Film Form; A Corner in Wheat (DWG, 1909) and The Girl and Her Trust (DWG, 1912); FA: Chapter 1 (pp. 10"25, 34"42), and pp. 440--444 and 444"447; Sample Quiz. 18: NO CLASS: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY. 20: Introduction to Film Form and Narrative; FA: Chapter 1 (pp. 2"9), Chapter 2 (pp.54"71), and Chapter 3 (pp. 74"82, and 86--96); Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924). 22: Discuss Narrative, Buster Keaton, and Sherlock, Jr.; Quiz #1. 25: Film Style I: Cinematic Style, Mise-en-scene, Silent Comedy, and Chaplin; FA: Chapter 4 (pp. 112"133, 136"140, 140"153, and 134"136). 27: City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931). 29: Discuss Cinematic Style, Mise-en-scene, Chaplin, and City Lights; Quiz #2; Distribute Paper #1 topics. FEBRUARY 1: Film Style II: Cinematography, ; FA: Chapter 5 (pp. 162"178, 179"181, and 182--213), and pp. 30"32. 3: Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954). 5: Discuss Cinematography, Alfred Hitchcock, and Rear Window ; Quiz #3. 8: Film Style III: Editing and Conventions of Classical Hollywood Cinema; The Odessa Steps Sequence (Eisenstein, 1925); FA: Chapter 6 (pp. 218245, 250"260, and 246"249), and pp. 453--456. 10: Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959). 12: Discuss Editing, and Conventions of CHC, Wilder, and Some Like It Hot; Quiz #4. 15: Film Style IV: Sound, Genre, and the Musical; FA Chapter 7 (264"279, 284"292, and 280"283), and pp. 318-321, 325-326, 326"328, 332--336, and 456"459. 17: Steamboat Willie (Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, 1928) and Singin in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952). 19: Discuss Sound, Genre, the Musical, Steamboat Willie and Singin in the Rain; Quiz #5. 22: Synthesizing Film Form; Welles, and Citizen Kane; FA: Chapter 8 (pp 304--309), and pp. 96--106 and 309"315; PAPER #1 IS DUE. 24: Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941). 26: Discuss Orson Welles, Citizen Kane and Review Film Form for Midterm Exam; Quiz #6. MARCH 1: MIDTERM EXAM"-HODGES LIBRARY AUDITORIUM from 1:25"3:30 PM. II. INTERNATIONAL CINEMA AFTER WWII, IDEOLOGY, ANIMATION, and DOCUMENTARY FILM 3: International Films, National Cinema Movements, Documentary Film, and Italian Neo- Realism; Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948); FA: pp. 459"461 and 338"342. 5: Discuss International Films, National Cinema Movements, Documentary Film, Italian Neo- Realism, and Bicycle Thieves: Quiz #7; Distribute Documentary Worksheets. MARCH 8"12: NO CLASSES: SPRING BREAK. 15: Art films, the Auteur, Parody, and Ingmar Bergman. 17: Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957) and De Duva [The Dove] (George Coe and Anthony Lover, 1968). 19: Discuss Art films, the Auteur, Bergman, and Wild Strawberries; Quiz #8. 22: French New Wave and Truffaut; FA: pp. 461--463. 24: The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959). 26: Discuss the French New Wave, Truffaut, and The 400 Blows; Quiz #9. 29: German Cinema, Ideology, Tom Tykwer, and Animation; Duck Amuck (Charles M. Chuck Jones, 1953) and Frank Film (Frank Mouris, 1973); FA: pp. 83"85, 370"373, and 373"375; ; Distribute paper #2 Topics.; Distribute Optional Worksheet/Bonus Quiz. 31: Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1999). APRIL 1: NO CLASS: SPRING RECESS. 5: Indian Cinema/Bollywood, Ideology, Animation, and Mira Nair; Neighbors (Norman McLaren, 1952) and Tin Toy (John Lasseter, 1987); FA: pp. 419"426 and 426"430. 7: Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) 9: Discuss Indian Cinema, Ideology, Animation, Nair, and Monsoon Wedding; Quiz # 10; DOCUMENTARY WORKSHEET and OPTIONAL WORKSHEET/BONUS QUIZ ARE DUE. 12: New Zealand and Australian Cinema, Ideology, Animation, and Niki Caro; Creature Comforts (Nick Park, 1990) and clip from Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001). 14: Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002) 16: Discuss New Zealand and Australian Cinema, Ideology, Animation, Caro, and Whale Rider; Quiz #11. 19: Ideology, Genre and the Musical Revisited, and Irish Cinema; FA: Review pp. 318-321, 326-328, and 332"336; PAPER #2 IS DUE. 21: Once (James Carney, 2006). 23: Discuss Ideology, Genre and the Musical Revisited, Irish Cinema, and Once; Quiz #12. 26: Ideology, the New Hollywood, and American Independent Film, and Robert Altman; FA: pp. 463--468, 25"29, 33"34, and 42"46. 28: The Player (Robert Altman, 1992). 30: Discuss: Ideology, the New Hollywood, American Independent Film, Altman, and The Player; 100 Years of Cinema (Chuck Workman, 1990) and September 11 (Mira Nair, 2002); Quiz #13. MAY 3: Study Session: Room 253 Hodges Library, 12:001:00. 5: FINAL EXAM, HODGES LIBRARY AUDITORIUM, 12:30-"-3:30 PM. I stick my neck out for nobody. Richard Blaine Some people take, some people get took. And they know theyre getting took and theres nothing they can do about it. Fran Kubelik Look at the way she moves. Its like jellp on springs. I tell ya, Joe, its a whole different sex. Jerry When I hear his key in the lock at night my heart starts to beat faster. Im just so happy hes coming home. We have so much fun together. Anne Bancroft Shut up! You had me at hello. You had me at hello. Dorothy Boyd Heres looking at you, kid. Richard Blaine Whats the Czech for Do you love him? Guy in Once Shes gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen. Lloyd Dobler Eventually you love people"friends or lovers"because of their flaws. Karen Allen With great power comes great responsibility. Peter Parker My people, my people, what can I say, say what I can. I saw it but didnt believe it, I didnt believe what I saw. Are we gonna live together, together are we gonna live. Mister Senor Love Daddy I want to question what the outside is and who defines it. I often find those that are considered to be on the outside extremely inspiring. Mira Nair I look for a thematic idea running through my movies and I see that its the outsider struggling for recognition. I realize that all my life Ive been an outsider, and above all being lonely but never realizing it. Martin Scorsese Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes). Walt Whitman The first draft of anything is shit. Ernest Hemingway We do not write in order to be understood, we write in order to understand. Cecil Day-Lewis Man is but a network of relationships and these alone matter to him. Antoine de Saint Exupery Do not remove a fly from your friends forehead with a hatchet. Chinese proverb The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. James Taylor A pro is someone who can do great work when he doesnt feel like it. Alistair Cook Close the door. Unplug the phone. Cheat, lie, disappoint your pals, if necessary, but get your work done. Garrison Keilor Wise leader, forgive me. I am only a fledgling new to flight. Koro Apirana Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this. Martin Scorsese Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary. John Keating Roads? Where were going, we dont need roads. Dr. Emmett Brown Every great film should seem new every time you see it. Roger Ebert So many movies, so little time. Charles Mal
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