Mount Holyoke College

Film & Video Course offerings
Fall 2010

(updated 4/12/10)

[Spring 2010 Courses Archived]

NOTE: Most courses have additional screening times; some courses have prerequisites and/or have limited enrollments.  For more information, please call 538-2200, or visit the MHC Film Studies Program website at

MHC students:   When registering please use the FLMST course number, NOT the cross-listed course numbers.


TTH 11-12:15, location TBA               
G. Davis
Description TBA
MHC First Year Seminar
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  none
Five College Film Studies Major category: 6

FLMST-201-01 INTRODUCTION TO FILM                                                                         
TTH 11-12:15, 220 Art Bldg and T 7-9 screening, Dwight 101
R. Blaetz
This course teaches the basic concepts and critical skills involved in interpreting film. Through lecture, reading, discussion, and screening of films both in and outside of class, the student will become a more informed and sophisticated observer of the cinema. During the first half of the semester, the class will study form and style in narrative film as well as in nonnarrative practices such as avant-garde and documentary filmmaking. For the remainder of the course, the class will examine some of the major critical approaches in the field.'
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  I
Five College Film Studies Major category:  1

Also (SPAN-240-01)                       (In Spanish)                                                                     
TTH 11-12:15, location TBA    and TH 7-9 screening, location TBA 
J. Crumbaugh
This course offers a broad introduction to the history, politics, and aesthetics of Latin American and Spanish cinema in the context of, and in contrast with, cinemas from other regions, especially hegemonic Hollywood aesthetics. This course will also focus specifically on introducing students to the basic terminology and methodologies of film analysis, thus preparing them for the department's film seminar (Spanish 320) and other advanced courses in film studies.
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  I, IIB
Five College Film Studies Major category:  1
TH 9-12, LITS 231 and W 7-9 screening, LITS 231
B. Mellis
In this course, we'll radically rethink what it means to use film to tell the truth, bear witness, or represent reality. We'll explore work that challenges conventions while still locating itself (if uneasily) under the umbrella of documentary. Through screenings, readings and our own video projects, we will investigate various critical interventions into the form. We will look at the diary film, performative documentary, reworked archival imagery, the essay film, ambient video, multimedia, hybrid forms, queered texts, and more. As an introduction to video production, the course will provide a foundation in the principles, techniques, and equipment involved in making short videos.
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  V
Five College Film Studies Major category:  8
FLMST-230-01 DOCUMENTARY FILM                                                                                        
MW 2:40-3:55, 220 Art Bldg and T 7-9 screening, 220 Art Bldg
R. Blaetz
This course examines the principles, methods, and styles of nonfiction film. Beginning with the 'actualites' of film history's first practitioners and ending with contemporary self-reflexive films, such as Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line, the class studies films that strive to represent some aspect of the real world as opposed to the fictional worlds of narrative cinema.                                                                                                                                               
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:   IIB
Five College Film Studies Major category:  4, 6

Tu TH  11:00 AM-12:15PM  , location TBA
Christian Gundermann  
We will be reading a number of key feminist texts that theorize the construction of sexual difference, and challenge the oppression of women. We will then address queer theory, an off-shoot and expansion of feminist theory, and study how it is both embedded in, and redefines, the feminist paradigms. This redefinition occurs roughly at the same time (1980s/90s) when race emerges as one of feminism's prominent blind spots. We will study these shifts through the analysis of a few moving pictures, or, to put it differently: all you always wanted to know about feminism, but didn't think to ask film makers such as Almodovar, Hitchcock, Jarman, Pasolini, Varda, and others.'
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIA, V
Five College Film Studies Major category:  6

FLMST-320-01 VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE MATERIAL WORLD                                
(also ANTHRO-310-01)
W 1:00-4:00, location TBA             
D. Battaglia
In this course we go behind the scenes and behind the screens of anthropological films, museum exhibitions, 'small media' events such as television, and publications such as National Geographic Magazine, to explore the social contexts of image production, distribution, and interpretation. Focusing on visual activism and ethics, we consider how popular portrayals of our own society and of others' both shape and are shaped by hierarchies of value in the material world. Finally, we leave the walls of the classroom to produce home movies of places which others call home - workplaces, temporary shelters, artistic environments, and so forth.
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIA, IV, V
Five College Film Studies Major category:  6, 7

FLMST-320-02 NOTABLE NOVELS IN FILM (component)                          
(also FRE-311-01)                       (in French)
W 1:15-4:05, location TBA                         
N. Vaget
Focusing on late Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century French novels, we will explore the historical and cultural background of a decadent French aristocracy and witness the triumph of the Bourgeoisie. As visual resources we will use paintings by Boucher, Fragonard, Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Degas, as well as cinematic interpretations of Laclos' Les Liaisons dangereuses, Diderot's La Religieuse, and literary works by George Sand, Stendhal, Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, and Maupassant. Literacy in technology is an integral part of this course, and students will learn to produce a digital narration in iMovie as a term project.
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIB, IV, V
Five College Film Studies Major category:  6
FLMST-370-01 TOPICS: NAT’L/TRANS NAT’L: THE FRENCH NEW WAVE                          
(also FREN-331-02)                       (in French)                       
T 1:15-4:05, location TBA             
C. Le Gouis
The New Wave was a series of films made in the 1960s by a group of pioneers, who had seen almost every film ever made and particularly admired American and Russian cinema. This creative explosion, a reaction to 'cinema de Papa,' won an aesthetic and political victory against an increasingly affluent, self-satisfied society, and brought about a revolution in the film industry.  Course taught in French.
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIB, IV, V
Five College Film Studies Major category:  5, 7

FLMST-380-01 NATURAL’S NOT IN IT: PEDRO ALMODÓVAR                                
(also SPAN-340-01)                       (in Spanish)
T 1:15-4:05, location TBA 
This course studies the films of Pedro Almodovar, European cinema's favorite bad boy turned acclaimed auteur. On the one hand, students learn to situate films within the context of contemporary Spanish history (the transition to democracy, the advent of globalization, etc.) in order to consider the local contours of postmodern aesthetics. On the other hand, the films provide a springboard to reflect on larger theoretical and ethical debates. For instance, what can a weeping transvestite teach us about desire? What happens when plastic surgery and organ transplants become metaphors? Under what circumstances, if any, can spectators find child prostitution cute? Course taught in Spanish.
Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIB, IV, V
Five College Film Studies Major category:  4, 7