Syllabus

FILM 500: INTRODUCTION TO GRADUATE FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES

Fall 2014

Seminar: Wed. 1-4 pm, Rich Building 103

Screenings: Tues. 8-10 pm, White Hall 205

Instructor

Dr. Tanine Allison

tanine.allison@emory.edu

404-712-4393 (office)

Office: 109B Rich Building

Office Hours: Mondays 9:30-11:30 am and by appointment

Readings

  • Amy Villarejo, Film Studies: The Basics, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2013)
  • John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson, eds., The Oxford Guide to Film Studies (Oxford, 1998)
  • Tino Balio, Hollywood in the New Millennium (BFI, 2013)
  • Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (NYU, 2013)
  • Additional readings will be provided for you as PDFs or online

RECOMMENDED: Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell, Film History: An Introduction, 3rd ed. (McGraw Hill, 2010)

***In addition to book costs, you should budget $12 for registering a Domain name for your website. Financial assistance for this charge is available.

 Domain of One’s Own

This course is part of the Domain of One’s Own project. As a participant in this program, you will author and administrate a personal website, create multimodal texts, and complete course work with a variety of digital tools.

  • No prior experience with web design or digital authoring is required for successful completion of course work.
  • Student work will be published to the web and available to reading publics beyond the class and university.
  • Once you have completed the course, the site you built is yours to continue to develop into a personal cyber-infrastructure that may include, but is not limited to, course projects, a professional portfolio, resume/CV documents, social media feeds, and blogs.
  • Extensive assistance is available to you from the Writing Center, the Domain program staff, and your instructors. More information can be found here: http://domain.emory.edu/.

Assignments

Ongoing Film/Media Research and Analysis

The assignments over the course of this semester will model how to do an in-depth analysis of a single media text. You will be doing weekly assignments with digital and/or audiovisual components, all published to your website. The weekly assignments will culminate in a final project that will take the form of nontraditional, digital scholarship, such as a website, video essay, or podcast. Training will be provided on some available tools, but it will also be up to you to learn digital tools on your own and push yourself to the limit of your digital literacy.

Assignments will include blog posts, a plot segmentation, a summary of reviews/reception materials, a shot-by-shot breakdown, a literature review, and research into the production process. In addition to writing these in fairly traditional formats (prose, summaries, outlines), you will also be asked to translate these assignments into audiovisual texts, using such techniques as infographics, social media feeds, video annotations, screenshots, GIFs, and other formats.

Weekly due dates will be provided, but you should expect to work on this as an ongoing project throughout the semester.

Cinematheque Blog Post

This semester we are starting a new blog that will provide content related to our weekly Cinematheque film series. Your job is to pick one film that we are showing this semester and write a blog post about it that will be published soon after the film is shown. This can be a review, analysis, history, or other response, but should be written as a blog post with links and images and a general audience in mind.

Discussion Leader and Respondent

Each week, one of you will be assigned to be a discussion leader—you will do the readings closely and bring discussion questions to class relating to the readings and connecting them to the film screening. Also, each week, one of you will be assigned to be a respondent; you will do the readings closely and come ready to be a “first respondent”—to think through the questions of the discussion leader and provide the first comments.

Policies

Grading

The final grade for the course will be determined holistically, based on the overall effort devoted to the course. The final grade can be affected by excessive absences, late assignments, and lack of preparation for class.

Attendance and Participation

Attendance at all classes and screenings is required, as is active participation in class discussions. As an integral part of a small, graduate-level class, I expect you to come to class prepared to discuss the week’s material and actively engage with the class.

Laptop/Electronics Policy

Laptops and electronic devices are not allowed at screenings (except during special tweeting sessions). Laptops in class are to be used solely for taking notes and accessing digital course materials. Please shut your laptops whenever we have a guest speaker, student presentation, or watch video clips.

Emory Writing Center

The Emory Writing Center offers 45-minute individual conferences to Emory College and Laney Graduate School students. It is a great place to bring any project—from traditional papers to websites—at any stage in your composing process. Writing Center tutors take a discussion- and workshop-based approach that enables writers of all levels to see their writing with fresh eyes. Tutors can talk with you about your purpose, organization, audience, design choices, or use of sources. They can also work with you on sentence-level concerns (including grammar and word choice), but they will not proofread for you. Instead, they will discuss strategies and resources you can use to become a better editor of your own work. The Writing Center is located in Callaway N-212. Visit http://writingcenter.emory.edu for more information and to make appointments.

***Writing Center tutors are trained to work with Domain of One’s Own projects!

 

 Schedule

Week 1: THINKING ABOUT “NEW” MEDIA

Wed 8/27: Introduction to the class, in-class screenings of early films

 

Week 2: NEW/OLD, PRECLASSICAL/POSTCLASSICAL: UNDERSTANDING MEDIA PERIODIZATION

Discussion Leader: Olivia

Respondent: Kara

Assignment (due Tuesday 9/2 at 6pm): Create a Domain of One’s Own, install WordPress, and get started on the design of your site

Tues 9/2 screening: Hugo (Martin Scorcese, 2011, 126 min.)

Wed 9/3: Villarejo: Ch. 1 (“Introduction to Film Studies”); Oxford: “Introduction to Film Studies,” Dyer (3-10), “Early American Film,” Gunning (255-271), and “Post-classical Hollywood,” Kramer (289-309); PDF: “The Cinema of Attraction: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant-Garde,” Gunning

Recommended: Film History Ch. 1 (“The Invention and Early Years of the Cinema, 1880s-1904), Ch. 2 (“The International Expansion of the Cinema, 1905-1912”), and Ch. 28 (“American Cinema and the Entertainment Economy: The 1980s and After”)

 

Week 3: CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA AND NARRATIVE

Discussion Leader: Pedro

Respondent: Ryan

Assignment (due Tuesday 9/9 at 6pm): Select the film/media text that you will work with over the course of the semester, watch it again, and write an initial blog post with your reactions to viewing it and an explanation of why you are interested in this text. Write this as a blog post—include images, links, and/or online videos.

Tues 9/9 screening: Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942, 102 min.)

Wed 9/10: Villarejo: Ch. 3 (“The History of Film”); Oxford: “American Cinema and Film History,” Belton (227-237) and “Classical Hollywood Film and Melodrama,” Kaplan (272-288, including 2 sections on Casablanca); PDF: “Classical Hollywood Cinema: Narrational Principles and Procedures,” Bordwell

Recommended: Film History Ch. 10 (“The Hollywood Studio System, 1930-1945”)

 

Week 4: ANTI-CLASSICAL CINEMA AND THE LANGUAGE OF FILM ART

Assignment (due Tuesday 9/16 at 6pm): Plot segmentation/narrative analysis

Tues 9/16 screening: Week-end (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967, 105 min.)

Wed 9/17: Villarejo: Ch. 2 (“The Language of Film”); Oxford “The Film Text and Film Form,” Kolker (11-29, including excerpts about Written on the Wind and Citizen Kane) and “The French Nouvelle Vague,” Forbes (461-465); PDF: “Godard and Counter-Cinema: Vent d’Est,” Wollen; “The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice,” Bordwell

Recommended: Film History Ch. 16 (“Postwar European Cinema: Neorealism and Its Context, 1945-1959) and Ch. 20 (“New Waves and Young Cinemas, 1958-1967”)

 

Week 5: INDUSTRY AND AUDIENCE

Discussion Leader: Ryan

Respondent: Olivia

Assignment (due Tuesday 9/23 at 6pm): A/V adaptation of plot segmentation

Tues 9/23 screening: Battleship (Peter Berg, 2012, 131 min.) with live-tweet

Wed 9/24: Villarejo: Ch. 4 (“Production and Exhibition”) and Ch. 5 (“Reception”); Oxford: “Film Audiences,” Gripsrud (202-211); “Film Policy: Hollywood and Beyond,” Moran (365-370); PDF: “How to Recognize a War Movie: The Contemporary Science-Fiction Blockbuster as Military Recruitment Film,” Allison

Recommended: Film History Ch. 22 (“Hollywood’s Fall and Rise: 1960-1980”)

 

Week 6: DOING FILM HISTORY

Discussion Leader: Pedro

Respondent: Kara

Assignment (due Tuesday 9/30 at 6pm): Summary/analysis of reviews/journalism

Tues 9/30 screening: Memories of Murder (BONG Joon-ho, Korea, 2003, 132 min.)

Wed 10/1: All of Hollywood in the New Millennium, by Tino Balio; PDF: “Why American Studies Needs to Think about Korean Cinema, or, Transnational Genres in the Films of Bong Joon-ho,” Klein

Recommended: Film History Ch. 27 (“Cinema Rising: Pacific Asia and Oceania Since 1970”) and Ch. 29 (“Toward a Global Film Culture”)

 

Week 7: GENRE AND IDEOLOGY

Discussion Leader: Rachal

Respondent: Kara

Assignment (due Tuesday 10/7 at 6pm): A/V adaptation of review summary

Tues 10/7 screening: Tenebre (Dario Argento, Italy, 1982, 110 min.)

Wed 10/8: Villarejo: Ch. 6 (“The Future of Film”); Oxford: “Marxism and Film,” Kleinhas (106-113); “Film and Psychoanalysis,” Creed (77-90); “Hollywood Film and Society,” Kellner (354-364, including “Hollywood and Ideology” excerpt); PDF: “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess,” Williams; “A Semantic/Syntactic Approach to Film Genre,” Altman

Recommended: Film History Ch. 16 (also listed under Week 4) and “Italy: Young Cinema and Spaghetti Westerns” (414-418)

 

Week 8: UNDERSTANDING MEDIA

Discussion Leader: Olivia

Respondent: Ryan

Assignment (due Wednesday 10/14 at 10 am): Analysis of production process

Tues 10/14 screening: NO SCREENING—FALL BREAK

Wed 10/15: Oxford: “Film and Changing Technologies,” Kipnis (595-604); PDF: Excerpts from Understanding Media (1964), McLuhan; Introduction to Software Takes Command, Manovich

Recommended: Film History Ch. 30 (“Digital Technology and the Cinema”)

 

Week 9: TELEVISION

Discussion Leader: Kara

Respondent: Pedro

Assignment (due Tuesday 10/21 at 6pm): A/V adaptation of production analysis

Tues 10/21 screening: Class choice (TV shows)

Wed 10/22: Oxford: “Film and Television,” Hill (605-611); PDF: Introduction to The Television Will Be Revolutionized, Lotz; excerpts from Television: Technology and Cultural Form, Williams; “Television’s Next Generation: Technology/Interface Culture/Flow,” Uricchio

 

Week 10: MEDIA AND SOCIETY

Discussion Leader: Rachal

Respondent: Olivia

Assignment (due Tuesday 10/28 at 6pm): Literature review

Tues 10/28 screening: Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013, 85 min.)

Wed 10/29: Introduction and Ch. 1-3 of Spreadable Media

 

Week 11: SPREADING MEDIA

Discussion Leader: Ryan

Respondent:

Assignment (due Tuesday 11/4 at 6pm): A/V adaptation of literature review

Tues 11/4 screening: YouTube Night—each student is responsible for 5-10 minutes of programming (from YouTube and other online sources)

Wed 11/5: Ch. 4-7 and Conclusion of Spreadable Media

 

Week 12: GENDER AND PERFORMANCE

Discussion Leader: Rachal

Respondent: Olivia

Assignment (due Tuesday 11/11 at 6pm): Shot-by-shot analysis

Tues 11/11 screening: Dil Se (Mani Ratnam, India, 1998, 163 min.)

Wed 11/12: Oxford: “Film Acting,” McDonald (30-35); “Film Costume,” Gibson (36-42); “Film Music,” Gorbman (43-50); “Feminism and Film,” White (117-134, including readings of Rebecca); “The Star System and Hollywood,” Butler (342-353); “Indian Cinema,” Rajadhyaksha (535-542, including section on “Popular Hindi Cinema”)

Recommended: Film History “India” (373-377) and “India: Mass Output and Art Cinema” (621-626)

 

Week 13: RACE AND ETHNICITY IN FILM AND MEDIA

Discussion Leader: Rachal

Respondent: Pedro

Assignment (due Tuesday 11/18 at 6pm): A/V adaptation of shot-by-shot analysis

Tues 11/18 screening: Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968, 96 min.)

Wed 11/19: Oxford: “Race, Ethnicity, and Film,” Wiegman; “Film and Cultural Identity,” Chow; PDF: “Colonialism, Racism, and Representation: An Introduction,” Stam and Spence; “Black Spectatorship: Problems of Identification and Resistance,” Diawara; “White,” Dyer

 

Week 14: NO CLASS OR SCREENING—THANKSGIVING

 

Week 15: ANIMATION AT THE BEGINNING/END OF CINEMA

Discussion Leader: Pedro

Respondent: Kara

Assignment: Bring rough draft of final project to class and be prepared to show

Tues 12/2 screening: Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, Israel, 2008, 90 min.)

Wed 12/3: LAST CLASS; Oxford: “The Documentary,” Izod and Kilborn (426-433); “The Animated Film,” O’Pray (434-439); PDF: “Digital Cinema and the History of a Moving Image,” Manovich

 

FINAL PROJECT DUE: December 9 at 8 pm (note: This is Emory’s last day of classes; we will not plan to have a screening this day.)