AMHERST COLLEGE

ENGLISH

English 01-05 RESPONDING TO FILM

TTh 2 Professor Cameron Limited to 20 students.

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 20 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF FILM

TTh 2 Professor Duerfahrd Limited to 20 students. This is an introductory class for students who are seeking to familiarize themselves with the history of cinema from the silent era to the present, its periods, genres, styles and directors. It is an opportunity for beginning students to learn how to observe, describe, and think critically about film, and how to raise questions about scene, shot, frame, camera movement, and editing style in order to understand the effects (historical and personal) that each film renders. Some theoretical texts will help us explore the ways in which these aspects of the medium have been addressed.

English 75-02 FILM NOIR, ITS CONTEXT AND ITS LEGACY

MW 12:30 Professor Duerfahrd

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 82 PRODUCTION WORKSHOP IN THE MOVING IMAGE

T 2-4:40 and Tu evening screening 7:30-10 Five College Professor Hillman Limited to 15 students.

Admission with consent of the instructor. This course will introduce students to media criticism and production. Students will gain experience in basic pre-production, production and post-production techniques and will learn to think about and look critically at the moving image. Course requirements include the completion of two short video assignments and one longer final project. The course will include workshops in videography, writing for the moving image, narration and sound recording, and non-linear editing.

English 84 TOPICS IN FILM STUDY: "THE ROMANCE IN FILM"

TTh 11:30 Senior Lecturer von Schmidt

The topic changes each time the course is taught. In fall 2004 the topic will be "The Romance in Film." We will look at the romance, and the generic forms it has taken in Hollywood and elsewhere: classical romance, melodrama, screwball comedy, romantic comedy, the musical. How has the screen romance variously reflected and/or shaped our own attitudes? We will look at examples representing a range of cultures and historical eras, from a range of critical positions. Three class hours and two screenings per week.