Fall 2021 Courses
|SCRN 2001-1||Introduction to Screen Arts||M||4:30 - 7:20 PM||P. Catalanotto|
|SCRN 2001-2||Introduction to Screen Arts||M / W||3:00 - 4:30 PM||P. Catalanotto|
|SCRN 2001-3||Introduction to Screen Arts||T / TH||10:30 - 11:50 AM||N. Arnold|
|SCRN 3001-1||Special Topics in New Media||T/TH||1:30-2:50 PM||J. Buch|
|SCRN 3010-1||Cinematography||M||6:00-8:50 PM||G. Pitre|
|SCRN 3011-1||Editing||W||4:30 - 7:20 PM||P. Catalanotto|
|SCRN 3012-1||Film Directing||M||3:00 - 5:50 PM||G. Pitre|
|SCRN 3502-1||Special Topics in Italian Cinema||T / TH||1:30 - 2:50 PM||P. Chirumbolo|
|SCRN 3503-1||Japanese Horror||W||4:30 - 7:20 PM||K. Barton|
Aesthetics in Art Cinema
|T / TH||12:00 - 1:20 PM||K. Heck|
|SCRN 4046-1||Advanced German Film||T / TH||3:00 - 4:20 PM||G. Hachmann|
|ENGL 2009-1||Writing Screenplays||TH||3:00 - 5:50 PM||Z. Godshall|
|ENGL 2009-2||Writing Screenplays||M||3:00 - 5:50 PM||M. Kornhauser|
|ENGL 4009-1||Intermediate Screenwriting||T||3:00 - 5:50 PM||M. Kornhauser|
|AAAS 2410||Black Pop Culture||TBA||TBA||E. Birthwright|
|CHIN 2070||Chinese Cinema||W||3:00 - 5:50 PM||G. Zhou|
|CMST 2012||Intro to Film||M / W / F||1:30 - 2:20 PM||E. Brown|
|CMST 3040||Performance Composition||M / W / F||9:30 - 10:20 AM||D. Terry|
|CMST 3107||Rhetoric in Contemporary Media||M / W / F||10:30 - 11:20 AM||J. Butcher|
|ENGL 2231-1||Reading Film: Science Fiction and Society||T / TH||3:00 - 4:20 PM||J. Buch|
|ENGL 2231-2||Reading Film: The Seven Deadly Sins (and Cardinal Virtues) in Cinema||T||5:00 - 7:50 PM||J. Leibner|
|ENGL 2231-3||Reading Film||M / W / F||9:30 - 10:20 AM||L. Nohner|
|HNRS 2021-1||Contemporary Global Cinema||M / W / F||12:30 - 1:30 PM||T. Khannous|
Graduate Minor Courses
|ENGL 7009-1||Advanced Screenwriting Seminar||W||3:30 - 6:20 PM||Z. Godshall|
|ENGL 7783-1||Cinematic Judgement||TH||3:00 - 5:50 PM||K. Heck|
|CMST 7944-1||Performance and Media: the Video Essay||T||3:00 - 5:50 PM||P. Suchy|
In this introductory course, students can expect to get a taste of different aspects of filmmaking and video production as well study a variety of filmmakers, styles, and genres. Approaches and assignments will vary depending on the instructor.
As digital platforms and filmmaking continue to evolve, it can be difficult to make sense of it all. The intersection of technology and narrative offers possibilities for telling stories in exciting new forms. Study what’s happening with streaming, podcasts, virtual reality, augmented reality, video games, and other interactive content and put what you learn into practice by completing your own New Media project over the course of the semester.
With this hands-on introduction to the art and practice of cinematography, students interested in motion picture camera technique, either as professional specialty or as one of several crucial disciplines of screen storytelling, will learn the principles, procedures and equipment that go into shooting moving image on-screen media. Emphasis will be on how to control and manipulate lighting, framing, movement, and image qualities to shape mood, convey emotion, tell story, and create a coherent look.
SCRN 3011 explores editing theory and history as well as offering students a chance to learn practical skills on the Adobe Premiere editing platform. The course functions as an in-depth study of the history, concepts, and skills involved in film and video editing techniques. Additionally, students will receive formal instruction and practice in non-linear editing software as a means to gain a better understanding of concepts such as montage, continuity, and narrative.
Students interested in directing, producing, acting in or crewing on movies will learn the elements, techniques, and disciplines that go into directing a film as they develop skills in on-screen storytelling; manipulating performance, mood, and emotion; logistical, technical, and artistic problem-solving; and managing time, money, and people.
In-depth study of various aspects of contemporary Italian cinema. Italian cinema of the 21st century in the context of profound cultural, social, and aesthetic changes in contemporary Italy. Productions by representative directors such as Vicari, Garrone, Moretti, Rorhwacher are included. Knowledge of Italian not required. Offered in alternate years.
Contemporary Japanese horror cinema has spawned so many imitators of its subject matter, style, and cinematic technique that it has practically become a movement unto itself. We will consider everything from vengeful ghost stories to serial killer thrillers, body horror to techno-horror, while considering the following: 1) What does J-horror owe to traditional folklore and forms of visual art? 2) How are monsters conceived and depicted, 3) modernity problematized, and 4) what makes us afraid? How does horror elicit feelings of dread, suspense, terror, shock, and fear? What is so pleasurable about horror and what is the sociological function served by such affective states? No previous classes in Japanese culture or language are required, and all readings, films and discussions are in English.
The subject of this class is the mode of cinematic production known as “global art cinema.” This mode plays a prominent role in the history and arrangement of film, but its status, structure, and contours are notoriously difficult to define. In this course, we will explore global art cinema, attempting to map its invention and significance while also thinking about what role it might play in the current industrial landscape.
Global art cinema, sometimes called festival circuit cinema, has been described as an aesthetic category, which is to say that it has certain locatable characteristics that link the disparate films it describes together. But it has also been classified as a mode of film production, defined not by its form but by its significance as an alternative site of production set against Hollywood and other forms of commercial filmmaking. The industrial and aesthetic definitions of global art cinema are frequently at odds, and the task of this class will be to determine what global art cinema even is, where it comes from, what kinds of tendencies link these films together, and why this genre (if it is a genre) is important to the history of narrative filmmaking.
*Cross-listed as GERM 4046
This course provides an overview of German cinema from the 1930s to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary film, and introduces the basics of film analysis. The overarching topic this semester will be doubling, duality and duplicity. The topic is prominent in film history in general—exploring the complexities of reality beyond a straight-forward surface appearance is an issue dear to the hearts of many filmmakers around the world. In German cinema, the topic takes on special relevance as figures of duality provide a vehicle to explore the complicated history of the 20th century when Germany saw two dictatorships. Both during and after the reign of these authoritarian regimes, duplicity was widely common, often offering the only possible way to survive. We will first explore this in Fritz Lang’s M (1930), a prescient vision of the doubling of city live and the danger of fascist politics. Doubling is also a major theme in Josef Sternberg’s iconic and often cited film The Blue Angel (1932) which provides a glimpse of the politics of escapism and distraction that later fueled the Nazi film industry. With Leni Riefenstahl’s highly controversial documentary Olympia films (1938), we are looking at how National-Socialist propaganda recreated its own mythology from ancient Greek traditions. The rigorous persecution by the Nazi regime as well as the oppressive culture politics of the Socialist regime of East Germany forced opponents and victims to seek cover identities, either to hide their opposition and pretend cooperation, or to feign opposition in order to spy on critics. We will see how Rainer Maria Fassbinder’s drama The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978) exposes a culture of duplicity after the fall of the Nazi regime and provides an example for how the German film industry struggled to free itself from the dark shadow of the past. Both Wolfgang Becker’s comedy Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) and Judith Kaufmann’s spy thriller Two Lives (2012) address the difficulties in dealing with a double identity or double reality after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Beyond the historical references, contemporary filmmakers from Germany and Austria use doubling as a means to explore the tensions of life in the 21st century. Fatih Akin’s hyperlink film The Edge of Heaven (2007) shows the difficulties of living a Turkish-German identity and offers a compelling vision of transnationalism. Julian Pölsler‘s horror film The Wall (2012) creates an uncanny split of reality which isolates a single character in a space that is equally beautiful and terrifying. Maren Ade’s satiric comedy Toni Erdmann (2016) exposes the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of modern business culture through the figure of a witty prankster. Sebastian Schipper’s drama Victoria (2015) offers in a single-shot a fascinating portrait of Berlin’s nightclub scene where high-flying joy and ecstasy meet merciless brutality.
Students will learn the fundamentals of writing a feature film script by writing a series of short scripts and the first act of a feature script. In addition, films will be watched and studied, in and out of class, culminating in a short critical paper. Other forms of writing, such as collaborating with partners, web-series, and television, may be discussed and/or practiced. Students will workshop their scripts and critique each other's work.
Prequesite: ENGL 2009. Practice in advanced screenwriting; students will be required to scene card and write a feature length screenplay, critique each other's work, and present an analysis of the films watched over the semester.
Chinese cinema from 1896 to the present, emphasis on the New Chinese Cinema since the 1980s. Screening and analysis of representative films. Knowledge of Chinese not required. The directors under discussion include Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Jia Zhangke, Ang Lee and others.
CMST 3040 Performance Composition is a hands-on course in experimental composition and non-linear editing. Each student will create pieces that connect their unique perspective on the world with audiences. Students will have the option of competing assignments as digital or “live” embodied performances. The course provides opportunities to develop skills in reading, writing, analyzing, and performing a broad range of texts and to become better acquainted with how texts, particularly performance texts, are composed.
This course will teach the language and analysis of film through classic and contemporary works of Science Fiction, with a focus on how the genre is used to examine and comment on social issues. We will look at film and cinematic storytelling by exploring the terminology and application of film techniques, genre, and theme, and by examining literary techniques as they are employed in film.
The course will be an examination of these Eternal Human characteristics that have been demonstrated in the characters and plots of American and international cinema. We will examine how artists have been inspired by and depicted Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Lust, Envy and Pride, as well as Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, and Kindness. For each sin and virtue, we will dissect a specific movie, exploring that theme and why the good and bad things we do and feel hold us captive. The class will also focus on the cinematic language of structure, editing, and cinematography in shaping these films.
This course examines how femininity, masculinity, and fear intersect in contemporary horror films. We will examine how the genre articulates cultural anxieties and crises during specific historical moments. Students will explore these anxieties and crises as they relate to issues of gender and sexuality. The course will pay close attention to the ways in which horror films represent and reconfigure notions of sexuality and gender and the ways they reinforce and/or challenge social norms. Key questions at the heart of the course include: How have women and men been imagined and visualized within these texts? What kinds of social expectations and ideologies of gender and sexuality do they reflect? As the semester progresses, students will have the opportunity to further shape these and many more questions.
This workshop, available to graduate students, focuses primarily on writing, structuring, and revising a feature length film. Films and scripts will be required viewing and reading.
Approximate weekly reading load and content: As a workshop, much of the reading load will depend on what the students submit. In general, each week, students should expect to read 50-100 pages of student work (outlines, synopses, screenplays), about 50 pages from screenwriting texts and analytical works, and watch 1 film per week.
Anticipated assignments: Building blocks for an original screenplay (5-15 pages), portions of an original screenplay (20-60 pages), peer critiques (200-300 words; avg. 2 per week), Pitch presentation (10 minutes; oral, visual, written), and a complete draft of a feature-length screenplay (80-120 pages).
This class will ask after the nature and uses of aesthetic judgements, with a specific focus on what they might offer to politics. It will additionally focus on the particular role of negative judgements, how they might differ from those that are positive and what the demands of negativity help to encourage. To do this, we will read works from Hannah Arendt, Immanuel Kant, Theodor W. Adorno, Frank B. Wilderson III, bell hooks, Laura Mulvey, and a range of other sources. It should be added that this class will be concentrated on the uses of aesthetic judgement, and so the function and form of artistic critique will be essential to our discussions. With this in mind, this class will weekly screen films that speak to the issues outlined in the readings.
Approximate weekly reading load and content: One film and either a critical book or three to four essays per week.
Anticipated assignments: A series of about three five-page responses to the readings as well as a twenty-page final essay.
Since Web 2.0, the video essay has proliferated on platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube, in channels and sections of journals such as Every Frame a Picture and Sight and Sound, in specialized journals such as The Society for Cinema Studies' [in]Transition, on websites devoted to cinema such as MUBI and Fandor, and in special issues of the performance studies e-journal Liminalities. As the website for the Middlebury Workshop on Videographic Criticism notes, "the dramatic evolution of media technology over the past two decades affords boundless possibilities for presenting of humanities scholarship, especially scholarship whose object is media itself – motion pictures, television, and other electronic audiovisual forms. The core challenges facing this emerging mode of scholarship are not just technological, but also pedagogical and rhetorical." [Aspects of this course have been adapted from the Middlebury Workshop.]
In this course, we will explore the history and practice of the video essay. We will immerse ourselves in examples of the form as we work to understand the video essay as scholarship with its own possibilities--not just as an illustrated traditional essay, but as an integral form of performative scholarship. We will also consider issues such as copyright and legitimation of the video essay in academe. At the beginning of the seminar, each of the seminarians will select media objects (films, television series or episodes, new media works, etc.). Each student will work through a series of videographic assignments based on these objects, showing and telling at our seminar meetings along the way, and culminating in the production of a full video essay and an accompanying text situating that essay historically and theoretically--the video essay itself serves as the "seminar paper." Experience with video technology is not a prerequisite, but you will be expected to use or learn to use audio and video technology and have access to an editing program such as iMovie or Premiere (available in Studio 151).