Amherst College


ASIAN LANG & CIV 42.  THE SUPERNATURAL IN JAPANESE FICTION, FILM, & ANIMATION.
Professor Caddeau .MW 12:30+
This course begins by examining the role of the supernatural in Buddhist tales, popular legends, and lyric poetry from early Japan.  We will then explore the supernatural as it appears in the literary and visual arts of the Edo period (1600-1868) and make our way to contemporary fiction, film, and animation.  Major themes and topics of discussion include: realism and fantasy;
tradition and modernity; war, peace and innocence; and violence and the gothic.  Readings include works by Akinari, Kyoka, Ogai, Soseki, Tanizaki, Oe, and Murakami.  Screenings include films directed by Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Honda, Masumura, Teshigahara, Miyazaki, Takahata, and Oshii.  Attendance at weekly film screenings in addition to scheduled class.Film screenings to include:  Grave of the Fireflies (1988), directed by Takahata Isao; Maboroshi (1995),  directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu; Godzilla (1954), directed by Honda Ishirô; Ugetsu (1953), directed by Mizoguchi Kenji; Ghost in the Shell (1995), directed by Mamoru Oshii.

ENGLISH 19.  FILM AND WRITING.
Senior Lecturer von Schmidt.
TTh 10+A first course in reading films and writing about them.  A varied selection of films for study and criticism, partly to illustrate the main elements of film language and partly to pose challenging texts for reading and writing.  Frequent short papers.  Two 90-minute class meetings and two screenings per week.
 
 
 

ENGLISH 75-03.  FASCINATION, SEDUCTION, AND BELIEF IN THE CINEMA.
Professor Duerfahrd.
TTh 2+The course will explore the nature of authority both within films (between characters) and over their audience.  What is a state of fascination?  What is our relation to a fascinated screen character?  How do films engender fascination and towards what purposes?  Is it a state of heightened or absent attention, of activity or passivity, of remembering or forgetting? How are men and women differently fascinated?  How does fascination become seduction?  In examining the procession of hypnotic figures, magicians, and enigmatic masters that dates back to the very origins of cinema, we will also be asking about how we are fascinated and what this tells about ourselves and why we keep going back to the cinema.  Themes will include:  the erotic value of technology; the relation between fascination and consumption; adult- or child-like wonder; the political uses of fascination; violence and repetition; the femme fatale; the cult film and imitation as a response; the “blockbuster” and our belief in the “special effect.”  Films include Nosferatu, Vertigo, Teorema, Triumph of the Will, The Magician, Being There, F for Fake, Close Encounters, Eyes Wide Shut.  Readings will include Bellour, Baudrillard, Mulvey, Kracauer, Epstein, Barthes, and writings on hypnosis by Borch-Jacobson and Freud.  Some prior film class experience preferable.

ENGLISH 84-01.  TOPICS IN FILM STUDY.  GLOBAL CINEMA/THIRD CINEMA.
Visiting Lecturer Barr.
Th 2-4:40This course surveys international cinema after 1960 with an emphasis on the fiction feature films of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, but it will also consider films from Europe and the United States.  Contrary to popular belief, most of the world’s films are made outside of American and European studios.  Culturally rich, formally innovative, and politically provocative, Third World and postcolonial cinema forms a vital current within world cinema.  The course will emphasize close textual analysis of films by, among many others, Sembene, Cissé, Tahinik, Pontecorvo, Makhmalbaf, and Trinh, and we will also explore economic, social, cultural, historical, and other methods of looking at film.  Weekly readings in postcolonial criticism and in film history, theory, and criticism.  Three class hours and two screenings per week.Not recommended for first-year students.

ENGLISH 84-02.  TOPICS IN FILM STUDY.  THE AUTEUR FILMMAKER IN POSTWAR ITALY.  Professor Cameron
TTh 11:30+A study of the work of Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini and Bertolucci, among others.  Attention will be given to the roots and legacy of the neo-realist movement in the politics and society of postwar Italy, as well as to the auteur movement generally in European cinema of the 1950s and 1960s.  Three class hours and two screenings per week.English 19 or another film course strongly recommended.

ENGLISH 89.  PRODUCTION SEMINAR IN THE MOVING IMAGE.
Five College Professor Miller.
Tu 2-5 and Wed evening screening 7:30-9:30
The topic varies from year to year.  In spring 2004 the topic will be “Non-Fiction Production:  Theories and Practice.”  The aims of this seminar are two-fold:  first, to continue
our exploration into the art of film and video through production workshops, camera and editing exercises, and self-directed projects.  Second, to continue an introduction to the aesthetics and forms of film and video art through weekly screenings, readings, writing, and class discussion.  This semester’s selected topic will act as a loose construct to examine the nature, form, and function of non-fiction film/video practices by focusing on its outer limits–the places where its status and meaning (as documentary) is challenged.
Not open to first-year students.  Requisite:  English 82f (or its equivalent).  Admission with consent of the instructor.  (Contact English Department before Registration.)

ENGLISH 92.  PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE PHOTOGRAPHIC.
Professor Duerfahrd.
MW This course surveys the history of photography:  its origins, movements, styles, and artist figures.  We will explore the range of personal and political purposes of the photograph in documentary, crime scenes, medicine, legal identity, portraiture, war reportage, aerial surveillance, colonization, pornography, journalism, and advertisement.   Particular attention will be given to the work of Atget, Nadar, Anonymous, WeeGee, Cartier-Bresson, Stieglitz, Frank, Winogrand, Kruger, Arbus, and Mapplethorpe.  Periods under examination include the New Realism, the Photo-Secession, Surrealism, Postmodernism, and the Direct Style.  The specific goal of the class will be for students to discover a way to relate to photographs and to develop ways of speaking and writing about them.  Works by Sontag, Benjamin, Barthes, and writings by the photographers will help us learn to understand the photographic moment in an analytical and creative fashion.  The more general ambition of the class will be to explore questions of evidence, blur, focus, the caption, memory and nostalgia.   We will raise these issues through our investigation of both the evolution of photography and of other media in which the photographic effect is readable:  in painting (the photo-realists, Warhol and Richter), film (Antonioni, Marker, and Farocki), and literature (Sebald and Breton).

FRENCH 32.  EUROPEAN FILM.
Professor Caplan.
MW 2+A study of issues concerning European film, with particular focus announced each time the course is offered.  The topic for spring 2004 is:  Masterpieces of French Film.  We shall view some of the greatest films that have been made in France, including (among others) works by Jean Renoir (Boudu Saved From the Waters, Grand Illusion, Rules of the Game), Robert Bresson, Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad, Hiroshima My Love), Francois Truffaut (The Four Hundred Blows, Shoot the Piano-Player), and Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, My Life to Live, Contempt).  No previous training in cinematic analysis is required.  Conducted in English.
 
THEATER AND DANCE 50.  PERFORMANCE AND VIDEO.
Amherst College Professor Woodson and Smith College Professor Blum.
M 7-9:30 (production sessions–technology, editing)
F 1-4 (camera work, showings)This course explores relationships between video and live performance.  Experiments will include:  creating short performance pieces and/or choreography specifically designed for the video medium; creating short pieces that include both live performance and video;  and creating short experimental video pieces that emphasize a sense of motion and musicality in their conceptualization and realization.  An emphasis is placed on a sense of reciprocity between different media and between different compositional approaches in performance and video/film.  Class sessions will include studio practice (working with digital cameras and editing systems and with sound editing) and regular viewings and critiques.  Students will work both independently and in collaborative teams.
Requisite:  previous experience in either dance, theater, music composition, creative writing and/or video production or by consent of the instructors.  Limited to 10 students.