AMHERST

 

ASLC 33 01 KOREAN CINEMA

Jeeyoung Shin

MW 02:00-03:20, screening time additional

This course will provide an overview of South Korean cinema within its historical, political, cultural, and aesthetic contexts. The course will be divided into two parts: the first half will concentrate on Korean film history, and in the second, students will learn how to analyze individual contemporary Korean films with respect to formal techniques, narrative conventions, and broader issues of cultural and political context, including genre conventions and innovations, hybrid culture, gender and sexuality, cultural nationalism, social transformation, and the representation of history. Weekly screenings will expose students to a wide range of genres and topics, and to the historical stages in the development of Korean cinema. No prior knowledge of Korean history, culture, or language will be required.

 

ENGLISH 19 FILM AND WRITING

Senior Lecturer von Schmidt.

TuTh 10:00-11:20AM, screening time additional

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. Limited enrollment.

 

ENGLISH 82 PRODUCTION WORKSHOP IN THE MOVING IMAGE

Professor Brand.

Th 2-5 Barker Room & screenings Wed 4 and 7 in Webster 217

Through individual and group video production projects, this course will introduce a critical approach to making, seeing and thinking about film and video. The course introduces a history, theory and practice of contemporary film and video art and provides the technical and conceptual skills to complete creative individual video projects. Over the course of the semester, students will gain basic skills in video production, including camera work, editing and sound recording. While students will be expected to become proficient in computer editing software, this course is NOT aimed at software training. Students will submit weekly written responses to theoretical and historical readings and to screenings that represent a variety of aesthetic approaches to the moving image. There will be a series of video assignments culminating in an individual final project. The course will stress the development of a personal vision that challenges conventional cinematic forms. Limited to 15 students. Admission with consent of the instructor.

 

ENGLISH 84 TOPICS IN FILM STUDY: “BAD FILMS”

Professor Duerfahrd.

MW 12:30-1:50, screening time additional

The topic changes each time the course is taught. In spring 2006 the topic will be “‘Bad’ Films.” This course is devoted to examining the “other end” of the great film spectrum and exploring what we can learn from bad movies, the poorly dubbed and unconvincing trash that is usually projected at drive-ins, not in classrooms. Some questions we will raise include: Is taste in film similar to taste in other cultural expressions, and is our taste always our own? How are the processes of audience participation/identification different in the case of bad films? How does film challenge our normative distinctions of high/low and good/bad? We will critically reassess terms like “budget,” “prequel,” and “shlock.” We will review auteur theory in order to assign blame and responsibility. Wood, Meyer, Wishman, Spielberg, Gordon, and Waters will provide our canon. Camp, kitsch, spaghetti westerns, sci fi from the 50s, and driver’s ed films will be served. Requisite: a previous course in film study.

ENGLISH 92. PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE PHOTOGRAPHIC

Professor Duerfahrd.

TTh 2-3:20, screening time additional

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).

 

THEATER AND DANCE 27. THE CHANGING IMAGES OF BLACKS IN FILM

Professor Mukasa

MW 12:30-1:50, screening time additional

(Also Black Studies 18 and English 93.) Images in film reflect our culture. We can learn a great deal about the social dynamics, power struggles, truths and manipulations in American culture by examining the changing images in film over time. Arguably the most important social dynamic in our country’s history has been that of race relations, something seen most poignantly in the context of Black and White. By examining the changing images of Blacks in film, we can see that film is not a neutral reflection of “reality” but a way to represent and shape social reality to the advantage and disadvantage of those seeking social control and social liberation. As we survey films from history and our present, we will look at how images tell stories, how they need to be seen in context, and how dramatic structures reflect social constructs. In this class our journey will take us from the celebration of the Ku Klux Klan in what some still consider to be our most important film to Mammies and coons, from brave early attempts at independent Black filmmaking to the popularity and paradoxes of Blaxploitation; from “Super Sidney” to our modern era of Black characters reflecting hope and ambiguity. Examining the changing images of Blacks in film provides a fascinating look at the pain and promise of our attempts to use film to define and redefine ourselves as a nation.

 

 

THEATER AND DANCE 50. VIDEO AND PERFORMANCE

Professor Woodson.

F 2-5

This advanced production class will give students an opportunity to explore various relationships between live performance and video. 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 projected video; and creating short experimental video pieces that emphasize a sense of motion in their conceptualization and realization. Techniques and languages from dance and theater composition will be used to expand and inform approaches to video production and vice-versa. Sessions include studio practice (working with digital cameras and Final Cut Pro digital editing) and regular viewing and critiques. Students will work both independently and in collaborative teams according to interest and expertise.

Requisite: Previous experience in theater, dance, music composition, and/or video production or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.