Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course is designed to familiarize graduate students with the history and formal and stylistic elements of narrative cinema as a medium of expression, and the tenets and theoretical basis of the academic discipline known as film studies. Roughly the first half of the course will be devoted to considering film as a set of historically contingent and intertwined technologies involving representation, reproduction, distribution, and spectatorship, with a lot of attention devoted to formal analysis and the features and techniques that produce film art (mise-en-scène and color, camerawork and cinematography, editing, sound). The second half will focus more closely on one of the field's currently most popular and productive areas, cinema and/as adaptation, and its attendant subject matters and issues--narrative and narration, media specificity, authorship and intertextuality in media studies, the status of the "original" in a postmodern world, for example. and the ways these elements have been employed in various canonical films and genres from Hollywood and elsewhere over the past hundred-plus years. By the end of the course, students will have learned the rudiments of film history and formal analysis and become more sophisticated viewers and evaluators of the moving image.
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction (McGraw-Hill), 7th edition (2004; ISBN 0072484551), 8th edition (2008; ISBN 0073310271), or 9th edition (2010; ISBN 9780073386164).
Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan, eds., Adaptations: From Text to Screen, Screen to Text (Routledge, 1999; ISBN 0415167388).
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Consistent class attendance and participation in discussion; one in-class presentation (with clips) and review essay (4-5 pages); shot-by-shot analysis (2-3 pages); final formal paper (12-15 pages).