Fall 2012 - Graduate Course Descriptions

McLean, Adrienne
Discipline and Number
HUAS 6310 Section 001
R Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Introduction to Film Studies

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) and the ways these elements have been employed in various canonical films and genres from Hollywood and elsewhere over the past hundred-plus years.  In the second half we will turn to a sampling of topics and questions  and methods of study to which the field has devoted considerable scholarly attention throughout its history, and that continue to form the basis of much ongoing research and published work.  By the end of the course, students will have learned the rudiments of film history and theory as well as formal analysis and, in the process, become more sophisticated viewers and evaluators of the moving image. 

Required Texts:

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). NOTE: You do not need any CDs or extra material that once came with these texts.

Other required articles and book chapters from a variety of sources will be put on electronic reserve or posted on eLearning.

In addition, there are out-of-class screenings assigned throughout the semester (all films are available for viewing in the UTD library). These films are to be considered required texts as well.

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 (4-5 pages); final formal paper (12-15 pages).

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