AMHERST COLLEGE
Courses in Film and Video Arts

English 1 (5).  RESPONDING TO FILM.  Professor Cameron.
MW 12:30-1:50
Like poems, plays and novels, films invite a response from their viewer that is at once one of pleasure and one of attentive analysis and nuanced judgment.  This course will pay attention to a number of individual films, from past and present, from this country and elsewhere, that invite and deserve such responses.  A strong emphasis in the course will be upon encouraging and disciplining the efforts of  students to find language for themselves that is adequate to what they see and hear in films and upon helping them use that language to see and hear ever more in the films they watch.  Frequent short writing assignments and at least one screening per week.

English 19.  FILM AND WRITING.  Professor Duerfahrd.
MW 12:30- 1:50
This course serves as an introduction to Film Studies and as preparation for more specialized courses in cinema analysis.  Critical readings on film are examined along with films from different periods, nations, genres, and styles in order to give class members a sense of how to read films. Writing assignments will include critical responses to both the films and the readings.

English 75 (2).  FILM NOIR, ITS CONTEXT AND ITS LEGACY.  Professor Duerfahrd.
TTh 2:00-3:20
This seminar will examine the intense period of film production and film stylization in America between 1942-1959 known as the period of Film Noir.  There will be some survey of the literary and sociological background to Noir, but emphasis will be placed on a reading of the films.   The innovation in cinematic language, the creation of a specific mood and situations of moral complexity, the ambiguity of the hero and the birth of the femme fatale:  these are some of the themes that we will consider in determining how these films function both as documents of post-war American culture and as critiques of that culture.  Wider questions will be raised about the difference between the art film and the “B” film, the official death of Film Noir and the rise of Neo-Noir, European Noir, Noir on TV.  The development of the genre will be studied through works by Wilder, Lewis, Welles, Huston, Fuller, Aldrich, Coppola. Readings will include essays by the French film critics who gave the style its name, works of film criticism, and essays on lighting by a cinematographer of the period.

English 82f.  PRODUCTION WORKSHOP IN THE MOVING IMAGE.  Five College Professor Steuernagel.
Th 1-4 and Wed evening screening 7-10
This course offers an introductory exploration into the moving image as an art form outside of the conventions of the film and television industries.  This class will cover technical and aesthetic aspects of media art  production and will also offer a theoretical and historical context in which to think about independent cinema and video art.
Limited to 15 students.  Admission with consent of the instructor.

English 83.  THE NON-FICTION FILM.  Senior Lecturer von Schmidt.
MW 2:00-3:20
The study of a range of non-fiction films, including (but not limited to) the “documentary,” ethnographic film, autobiographical film, the film essay.  Will include the work of Eisenstein, Vertov, Ivens, Franju, Ophüls, Leacock, Kopple, Gardner, Herzog, Chopra, Citron, Wiseman, Blank, Apted, Marker, Morris, Joslin, Riggs, McElwee.  Two film programs weekly.  Readings will focus on issues of representation, of “truth” in documentary, and the ethical issues raised by the films.
Limited to 25 students.

German 44f.  POPULAR CINEMA.  Professor Rogowski.
TTh 11:30- 12:50
From Fritz Lang’s thrilling detective mysteries to Tom Tykwer’s hip postmodern romp Run Lola Run, from Ernst Lubitsch’s satirical wit to the gender-bending comedies of Katja von Garnier, this course explores the rich legacy of popular and genre films in the German speaking countries.  Topics to be covered include:  adventure films, comedies, and costume dramas of the silent period, including Fritz Lang’s Spiders (1919) and Joe May’s The Indian Tomb (1920); the musical comedies of the Weimar Republic and the “dream couple” Lilian Harvey and Willy Fritsch; Nazi movie stars and the “non-political” entertainment films of the Third Reich, such as Josef von Baky’s blockbuster Münchhausen (1943); the resurgence of genre films in the 1950s (“Heimatfilme”, romantic comedies, melodramas etc.); the Cold War Westerns in the West (based on the novels by Karl May) and in the East (starring Gojko Mitic); the efforts to produce audience-oriented films in the politicized climate of the 1960s and 1970s; the big budget quasi-Hollywood productions by Wolfgang Petersen; and the recent spate of relationship comedies.  We will discuss the work of, among others, actors and performers Karl Valentin, Heinz Rühmann, Zarah Leander, Hans Albers, Heinz Erhard, Romy Schneider, Loriot, and Otto, and directors including Ernst Lubitsch, Fritz Lang, Joe May, Wilhelm Thiele, May Spils, Katja von Garnier, Detlev Buck, Tom Tykwer, and Doris Dörrie.  Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Women and Gender Studies 17  INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DIRECTORS  Professor Barr
Th 2-4:40. Screenings Wednesday afternoons and evenings.
This course looks at the films by prominent and innovative women directors from Europe, North America, and Asia. We will study a variety of films in different styles and genres (fiction, non-fiction, features, and experimental work) by such filmmakers as Chantal Akerman, Maya Deren, Claire Denis, Julie Dash, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Samira Makhmalbaf, and others. Though we will look at each work on its own terms, many of the films do share common concerns, and we will certainly consider the unusual and striking cinematic representations of domesticity, sexuality, and race offered by these film artists.