Hampshire College Film Courses 




Robert Seydel

M 1-3:50 FPB Class Enrollment: Open Cap 16

This course will introduce students to interdisciplinary work in media production. The focus of the class will be on a wide range of artistic and literary texts concentrated on the image, activity, and poetics of the walking artist, a figure of nomadic, restless, journeying intensity. From the nineteenth century flaneur, summarized in authors such as Walter Benjamin and Charles Baudelaire, to the mid-twentieth century Situationists, the urban walking artist plays a central role in our understanding of space, solitude, and the dynamics of contemplation and the crowd. Here travel and travail share a bodily and mental labor, and determine a journeying and wandering related to chance effects and the density of environment. But as well, the image of the walking arts extends from previous centuries' mendicant friars, pilgrimages, and such primary poetic representations as the wandering poets of Japan, consolidated in the latter instance in Basho's haiku diary, "The Far Road to the Deep North." Walking, writes Bruce Chatwin, whose book "The Songlines," will be a core text for the class, "is not simply therapeutic for oneself, but is a poetic activity that can cure the world of its ills." Through readings, including texts, among others, by Anne Carson, Robert Walser, and Rebecca Solnit, film screenings, the examination of a variety of artists, including Hamish Fulton and Richard Long, and a series of student projects in photography, video, and writing, among other media, the class will test this proposition, and immerse itself in the walking arts as both a way of being in the world and a history of production that stretches into the deep past and informs an ongoing terrain of contemporary practice. This class will prepare students for continued work in media and media production. There is a lab fee charged for the course. EXP, PRS, REA, WRI



kara lynch

TTh 10:30-11:50 & 2 hour lab/screening afternoon or evening , FPH 107

Enrollment: 0pen Cap 16

This course will introduce students to interdisciplinary work in media. Students in this class will be active readers, lookers, thinkers, and makers. War is a subject making activity. Whether through first-hand oral accounts, painting, photography, film, video or live web-streaming, war is imaged for our consumption and contemplation. This class will consider the relationship between images and military proliferation within daily life. We will look at how images function in both pro and anti-war debates and how they are crucial to our understanding of death and violence when associated with war. We will concentrate on modern warfare and the camera’s framing of these engagements. This class will introduce students to critical skills that will enable them to describe, interpret and evaluate the ways in which images represent the world around us. Response, research, reflection and revision are key concepts within the structure of this class. Weekly reading and looking assignments will provoke written and visual responses. Students will participate in group work and dynamic class discussions. This class will prepare students for continued work in media and cultural studies, media production and the social sciences.



Abraham Ravett

F 10:30-11:50 & 1:30-3:00 + evening screening, FP Enrollment: First Year Cap 13

"Certain people start with a documentary and arrive at fiction...others start with fiction and arrive at the documentary."-Jean Luc Godard

The objective of this course is to introduce non-fiction film and video practice to a group of twelve in-coming students. Through a combination of screenings, lectures, readings and technical workshops, we will explore a critical/historical overview of this genre and incorporate our knowledge and experience into several cinematic profiles chosen by members of the class. Meeting times are 3 hours per week plus an evening screening. There is a lab fee for this course. EXP, MCP, PRJ, PRS, REA, WRI



Lise Sanders

TTh 10:30-11:50 & W 7-9 screening, FPH 108 Seminar Enrollment: Open Cap 23

This course is designed to introduce students to key issues in film studies, focusing on the history of American cinema from 1895 to 1960. We will pay particular attention to the "golden age" of Hollywood, with forays into other national cinemas by way of comparison and critique. Screenings will range from actualities and trick films, to the early narrative features of D. W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, and Lois Weber, to the development of genres including film noir (Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep), the woman's film of the 1940s (Mildred Pierce, Stella Dallas), the western (High Noon, Duel in the Sun) and the suspense film (Rear Window, North by Northwest, Psycho). Several short papers and in-class discussions will address how to interpret film on the formal/stylistic level (sequence analysis, close reading, visual language) as well as in the context of major trends and figures in film theory. REA, WRI, PRS




Simin Farkhondeh

W 1-3:50 & T 6:30-9:30pm screening, Lib basement scr108 Enrollment: Prereq Cap 16

This course examines social and artistic aspects of video, exploring video as a medium, particularly as it is utilized by women, people of color, lesbians and gays, grassroots activists, as well as other peoples who are under and/or misrepresented by mainstream media. Students will learn about the history of video technology, and how certain developments within it made video an accessible and powerful tool for self-expression and political intervention. The course will look at various genres such as documentary, agit prop, experimental and video essays among other video practices.

Teamwork is essential to video production. Students are expected to share responsibilities as cinematographers, lighting and sound technicians, scriptwriters, and editors to complete their projects.

Class activities include screening of independent videos, several video projects and writing assignments, in-class presentations and critics and group discussion of selected screenings and readings. Emphasis is put on both theoretic knowledge and hands on skills such as camera work, sound, lighting and non-linear editing.

A $50 lab fee provides access to equipment and editing facilities. Students are responsible for providing their own film, tape, processing and supplies. There are weekly evening screenings or workshops, which students must attend. Prerequisite courses include a 100-level course in media arts (Introduction to Media Arts, Introduction to Media Production, Introduction to Digital Photography & New Media, or equivalent and must be completed and not concurrent with this course.



Baba Hillman

T 12:30-3:20, T 7-9pm screening, PFB Classroom Enrollment: Prereq Cap 16

This course teaches the basic skills of film production including cinematography, editing, lighting, and sound recording. Students will complete a series of individual and collaborative 16mm filmmaking assignments as well as a final individual project. Digital video and nonlinear editing will also be introduced. Weekly screenings and critical readings will introduce students to a wide range of approaches to the moving image. A $50 lab fee provides access to equipment and editing facilities. Students are responsible for providing their own film, tape, processing and supplies. Prerequisite courses include a 100-level course in media arts (Introduction to Media, Introduction to Digital Photography & New Media or equivalent) and must be completed before registering for this course.



Jacqueline Hayden

M 9-11:50, PFB Classroom Enrollment: Prereq Cap 16

This course explores the intersections of digital and traditional photographic imaging in terms of technique, critical theory, history and aesthetics. Three objectives will be emphasized: first the acquisition of basic photographic skills including composition exposure processing and printing in digital format (both b & w and color, production and post production techniques with Adobe Photoshop); second, familiarity with historical and contemporary movements in photography and the development of visual literacy; and third to begin the process of realizing each individuals creative goals the students will be directed to work in a variety of photographic forms. Projects are designed to develop basic technical proficiency in the photographic medium as well as the necessary working skills and mental discipline so important to a successful working process. Students will have weekly shooting and printing assignments and in addition will complete a portfolio by the end of the semester. Technical workshops will meet once a week for two hours (outside of class time). A lab fee of $50 entitles the students access to digital laboratory and special equipment and materials. Students must provide their own paper. It is expected you will have your own digital camera, although you may take cameras out from the Film/Photo/Video equipment room. Prerequisite: 100 level course in Media Arts (Introduction to Media Arts (photo, film or video), Intro to Digital Photography & New Media or its equivalent).



Penny Lane

M 1-4:50, Library basement Enrollment: Prereq Cap 16

What is the role of the artist on the internet? How are identities, ideologies and communities reformulated through the internet? Are the promises of this new technology just so much hype? This theory / practice course will focus on an exploration of these questions as well as foundational technical/aesthetic skills in digital imaging and web design. Foundational skills we will cover include Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Projects may include interactive narrative, reblogging, parody, and network building. Projects will reflect equal attention to student’s conceptual, technical and artistic development. We will examine net art, e-identities and the body politic, satirical websites, blogging culture, the new networks (MySpace, message boards, chatrooms) and contagious media. Readings will include writings by Marshall MacLuhan, Donna Haraway, Carbon Defense League, Critical Art Ensemble and Kevin Kelly. Prerequisite: Intro Media Production.



Kane Stewart

TH 2:30-5:20 & T 7-9pm lab, PFB classroom Enrollment: Inst perm Cap 16

This class is a forum in which students can develop their creative vision in photography through the acquisition of skills with larger format cameras, color and digital technologies. Knowledge of the aesthetic and social context of photographic practice will be emphasized. Students can expect bi- weekly to monthly assignments, reading relevant texts in the history and theory of photography and complete short writing assignments. Additionally, this course will be enhanced through attending visiting artist lectures and exhibitions as well as film and video screenings. The lab fee of $50 entitles the student to darkroom facilities, lab supplies, and chemicals. Students must supply their own film and paper. An additional lab workshop will meet once a week for two hours. Instructor Permission. A college-level Photography I class is a prerequisite.



Abraham Ravett

Th 9-11:50, Th 7-9pm screening, PFB classroom Enrollment: Inst perm Cap 16

This course emphasizes developing skills in 16mm filmmaking. The course will cover the basics of 16mm sound-synch including pre-planning (scripting or storyboarding), cinematography, sound recording, editing and postproduction finishing. We will also explore the use of " recycled images" in the construction of found footage films. Students will be expected to complete individual projects as well as participate in group exercises. Reading and writing about critical issues is an important part of the course and students will be expected to complete several writing projects. Workshops in animation, optical printing, video editing, digital imaging and audio mixing will be offered throughout the semester. Students are expected to attend these workshops as well as attend screenings of seminal film and video works in documentary, narrative and experimental genres. A $50 lab fee entitles students to use camera and recording equipment, transfer and editing facilities, plus video and computer production and post-production equipment. Students must purchase their own film and pay their own processing fees. Required screenings and workshops often occur in the evening. Film Workshop I will be considered a prerequisite. Instructor permission is required.



kara lynch

W 7-10pm, Film/Photo classroom Enrollment: Inst perm Cap 16

The archive is rich space for research, dreaming, interrogation, contemplation and action. This course is an intermediate level class that concentrates on non-fiction media production. This course will interrogate the documentary format and expand the definition while introducing students to techniques and strategies for getting their non-fiction projects from concept to completion. In this course students will produce works across various media: audio, video, digital, new media, installation, and performance that may access, disrupt, reconfigure and engage memory and vision via the archive. Requirements for this class include: attendance, participation in discussions and in-class critiques, outside theoretical readings, labs and film/video screenings, weekly journal entries, production assignments, in-class workshops and a written proposal, treatment and budget for their final projects. Supplementary workshops will concentrate on skills necessary for work in digital, film/video and audio production, including: lighting, field + studio recording, editing, sound design, installation + the web. The goal of the course is for students to produce non-fictional work from start to finish with a group and individually and practice their skills as producers, directors, writers, thinkers and artists. prerequisites include: Video/film I or equivalent, media studies/theory class, and one related social theory/literature course.



Simin Farkhondeh

Th 3-6pm, FPH 101 Enrollment: Inst Perm Cap 16

Iran is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, going back over 3500 years. Image making is not a new concept for this ancient culture. Americans and the West tend to associate two conflicting sets of images with Iran: Ayatolla Khomeini and the hostage crisis, "Axis of Evil", Islamic fundamentalism, Shi'I terrorists, and the revolution; or Persia as the English imperialists called Iran, is imagined as mysterious and exotic: home of spiritual poetry, sensual music, the land of gardens, Rosewater and Thousand and One Nights. Both of these constructions render Iran/Persia as alien and other, representing everything that "we" are not. Studying Iranian Cinema provides an opportunity to examine some of our own silent, "privileged" constructions of the Western identity.

Cinema came to Iran not too much later than its first screenings by the Lumiére Brothers in Europe. This course will look at the development of Iranian Cinema over the decades taking into account the many socio-political upheavals, imperialist interventions and their impact on this art form. We will be looking at silent and sound films spanning a period of over a hundred years. Class activities include screening of Farsi language fiction and documentary films; in-class presentations and group discussion of selected screenings and theory readings. Class writing assignments can be interpreted as short video/film projects with prior instructor agreement. Whereever required technical workshops will be provided outside of class for those students who want to turn their written assignments into films. Some written assignments will be required of all students. Instructor permission required.



Eva Rueschmann Enrollment: Open Cap 25

W 2:30-5:20 & M 7-10pm screening, FPH 101 or 102, ELH or WLH for screening

This course examines the European New Waves of the 1960s and 1970s, a pivotal and vital era of artistic innovation and revisionism in narrative filmmaking. Focusing on the cinema of this period as a cultural text and formal experiment, we will explore how individual films addressed the traumatic legacy of fascism, the impact of the cold war and radical politics, and engaged with various cultural revolutions on both formal and thematic levels. Strong emphasis will be placed on the emergence of cinematic “modernism” to expand traditional film language, visual representations of social and psychological realities, and the complexities of perception. We will look at key works from France, Italy, Eastern Europe, particularly Poland and Czechoslovakia, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and others and films by Truffaut, Godard, Fassbinder, von Trotta, Bertolucci, Fellini, Chytilova, Wajda, Bergman and many others. Readings will cover film and social history, film theory and manifestos, and criticism.



Sandra Matthews

TTh 9-10:20am, FPH 101 Enrollment: Open Cap 25

Roland Barthes called a photograph “this image which produces Death while trying to preserve life”. Throughout its history, photography has been closely linked with memory. Through viewing images, reading, writing, research and discussion we will investigate the ways in which photographs have been used to memorialize people, places and events. Themes will include landscape photographs as sites of memory, photographs of or relating to death, still lives, and portraits made for personal or institutional recordkeeping, among others. We will explore the spectrum of sentiment in photography, and the relationship between photographs and history. This course is affiliated with the “Sites of Memory” project.



Penny Lane

T 12:30-3:20, Library basement Enrollment: Inst perm Cap 16

This course is designed for students with some knowledge of video editing who want to become post-production perfectionists by exploring advanced functions of Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack and DVD Studio Pro. Basic skills in After Effects, Motion and ProTools will also be introduced. Students should expect to further develop their artistic voices through artful use of post-production techniques. Techniques may include: sound sweetening, color correction, effects, motion graphics and compression formats. Instructor permission required.



Robert Seydel

W 1-3:50pm, PFB classroom Enrollment: Inst perm Cap 16

This course is open to advanced students beginning their Division III concentration or to late Division II students. The class will investigate the various strategies employed in building larger chains of meaning across multiple images, and will examine narrative, documentary, and poetic approaches to the work of expansive photographic construction. The course will study such historical models as Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Minor White and contemporary photographic artists like Susan Meiselas, Bill Burke, and Fazal Sheikh, with the goal of understanding representational speech as multiple and sequential, and simultaneously to develop such skills in our own work through a variety of exercises. Movement of images, the construction of knots and thematics across a body of photographs, speed, pacing, conceptual density, and formal and intellectual rhyming from image to image will be the focus of the class. In addition, students will do advanced work in the explication and enunciation of their artistic and intellectual goals. Students in media other than photography, such as painters, printmakers, video and installation artists, who are working through or are interested in ideas of seriality, are welcome to participate. There is a lab fee charged for the course.