MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE

Five College Film & Video Course Guide 

Spring 2010  (updated 01/20/10)

 

Note:  Course info may be subject to change and will be updated as more information becomes available.  All courses are 4 credits each unless otherwise noted.

 

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NOTES from Mount Holyoke College:

Most courses have additional screening times; some courses have prerequisites and/or have limited enrollments. 

Please check the course catalogue and supplement for more information.

 

For information about the Film Studies Program at Mount Holyoke, please call 538-2200, or visit the Film Studies Program website at www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/film.

 

Please make sure when registering that you use the FLMST course number and not the cross-listed course number.

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FILMST 202S (01) TALKING PICTURES: AN INTRODUCTION TO FILM

also (Art History 202 )

P. Staiti

TTH11:00am-12:15pm, Art Bldg. 106B (lecture) and T 7-9:30pm, Art Bldg. 106B (screening)

Some of the best feature-length films of the past century have commanded our attention because of their compelling artistry and the imaginative ways they tell stories visually and verbally. This course closely studies narrative films from around the world, from the silent era to the present, and in the process it introduces students to the basic elements of film form, style, and narration. Some of the films to be considered are: Broken Blossoms, Battleship Potemkin, Citizen Kane, Contempt, The Bicycle Thief, Ugetsu, Rear Window, Woman in the Dunes, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Days of Heaven, and Moulin Rouge.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 50; 2 meetings, (1 75 minute and 1 2-hour screening)

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  I

Five College Film Studies Major category:  1

 

FILMST 220s (01) Special Topics in Film Studies: COSTUME DESIGN IN FILM

also Theatre Arts 220 

J. Fulton

TTH 1:15-3:05pm, Rooke Theatre THEA

This course looks at the work of Hollywood and international film costume designers. We will talk about costume design as a series of deliberate choices -- choices about style, about character, about context -- by which the costume designer interprets the director's vision of the world of the film using the vocabulary of clothing. We will follow a costume history timeline, using select films as examples, and look at period research and how it has been interpreted and realized for the screen.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 20.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  V

Five College Film Studies Major category:  6

 

FILMST 220S (02) Special Topics in Film Studies: WRITING HALF HOUR TELEVISION COMEDY

B. Stevens

W 1:15-4:05pm, Art Bldg 220

(Writing-intensive) This course explores the craft of half hour television comedy writing. There will be an in-depth analysis of the writing process from inception of the original idea through execution of the completed script. The fundamentals of writing will be studied, beginning with Aristotle's precept that all good writing is both "unexpected and inevitable." There will be viewing, reading, discussion and analysis that will cover the history and evolution of the genre, its themes and forms, and its impact on culture and vice versa. Students will be expected to write either a sample episode of an existing show or an original TV series pilot, developing it from initial concept to finished script.

Does not meet a MHC distribution requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 15.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  V

Five College Film Studies Major category:  6, 8

 

FILMST 250S (01) HISTORY OF WORLD CINEMA

R. Blaetz

TTH 11:00am-12:15pm, Art Bldg 220 (lecture) and T 7-9pm, Dwight 101 (screening)

This course offers an historical survey of the cinema as a developing art form and a means of communication. We will consider the national, economic, and social conditions of an international medium that has existed for over a century. The national and thematic focus of the course shifts through the semester. For example, we will focus on U.S. film in studying the earliest developments in film technology and narrative, Soviet and French films to study the formal and social experimentation of the 1920s, and films made in Cuba and Brazil to elucidate political filmmaking in the 1960s. The course provides a background for understanding film history and pursuing further studies in the field.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 40; 2 meetings (75 minutes), 1 screening (2 1/2 hours)

PreReq:  Film Studies 201 or 202 or permission of instructor.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIA

Five College Film Studies Major category:  2

 

FILMST 260S (01) FILM GENRE: THE MUSICAL FILM

R. Blaetz

TTH 2:40-3:55pm, Art Bldg 220 (lecture) and T 7-9pm, Art Bldg 220 (screening)

This course offers a critical, historical, and theoretical approach to a specific film genre. Some examples of genres that might be studied are: the science fiction, horror, melodrama, musical, Western, detective, or gangster film.   This course explores the American musical film from its first appearance in the early 1930s in the films of Busby Berkeley to its recent revival in films such as Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. The course also examines musical films from other national cinemas that either comment self-reflexively on the genre and its American context and/or expand common definitions of the genre.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 25; 2 meetings (75 minutes) and 1 screening (2 hours, 30 minutes)

Film Studies 201 or 202 or by permission of instructor.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIB

Five College Film Studies Major category:  4, 6

 

FILMST 270s (01) National/Transnational Cinemas: THE AMAZON: FROM CANNIBALS TO RAINFOREST CRUNCH

(Component Course; Latin American Studies 287 and History 287fs)

S. Sarzynski

TTH 11:00am-12:15pm, Art Bldg 221

From the time of the conquest, the Amazon has been imagined as an exotic and savage terrain: mysterious, dangerous, and cascading in untouched natural resources. This course examines the Amazon as a historical narrative in popular culture and political struggles. We will read explorers' narratives, examine representations of the Amazon and its people in film and literature, discuss labor and the rubber industry, and analyze the environmental movement and other recent social movements.

Meets MHC multicultural requirement; meets Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 25.

Film Studies 201, 202, or permission of instructor.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  none

Five College Film Studies Major category:  6

 

FILMST 295S (01) INDEPENDENT STUDY

Does not meet a MHC distribution requirement.

Req:  Soph, jr, sr, and permission of program; 1 - 8 Credits

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  see advisor

Five College Film Studies Major category:  see advisor

 

FILMST 310S (01) PRODUCTION SEMINAR: ADVANCED DOCUMENTARY SEMINAR

B. Mellis

TH 9am-12pm, Williston Memorial Library 231 (sem) and W 7-9pm, Williston Memorial Library 231 (screening)

An advanced course in the theory and practice of film/video production as an art form. Topics for the seminar will vary from year to year.

Spring 2010: 

This course will take concepts learned in introductory video production courses to the next level.  We will delve into the study of documentary history and theory, while also working on documentary projects.  Students will work in pairs or small groups to produce one project over the course of the semester, from developing a proposal through the stages of pre-production, production, and post-production.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 10; 1 meeting (3 hours), 1 screening (2 hours); a lab fee may be charged.

This is a production course. Course registration by instructor permission only. Application available at www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/film/application.html

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IV, V

Five College Film Studies Major category: 7, 8

 

FILMST 370S (01) Topics in National/Transnational Cinemas: BOLLYWOOD : A CINEMA OF INTERRUPTIONS

also (Art History 360 (Core) )

A. Sinha

M 1:15-4:05pm, Art Bldg 221 (sem) and W 7-9:30pm, Art Bldg 221 (screening)

How are we to respond to Indian popular film, which is notorious for its distracting song and dance numbers, meandering story line, and visually overblown spectacles? This seminar will develop historical and theoretical approaches to Indian films as what scholar Lalitha Gopalan calls a "constellation of interruptions." Students will examine feature films in class, write critical papers on scholarly essays, and pursue independent research projects on various aspects of Indian film.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 15; 1 meeting (3 hours), 1 screening (3 hours)

PreReq:  jr, sr, 8 credits in art history or film studies, or permission of instructor

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIB

Five College Film Studies Major category: 5, 7

 

FILMST 370S (02) Topics in National/Transnational Cinemas:  QUEER KINSHIP IN ASIAN NORTH AMERICAN LITERATURE AND FILM

also (American Studies 301. English 334s (01). Component )

I. Day

T 8:35-10:50am, Kendade 303

This course examines alternative kinship formations in Asian North American cultural production. It will focus on the gender and sexual management of racial bodies since the nineteenth century--from the U.S. Page Law of 1875 that restricted Chinese women on the basis of their presumed sexual immorality to various forms of "racial castration" that mediate Asian masculinities. We will consider how alternative kinship arrangements and queer cultural projects expose and/or upset the narrative assumptions embedded in heteronormative scripts of nationalism.

Meets MHC multicultural requirement; meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 15; 1 meeting (3 hours), 1 screening (3 hours)

PreReq:  jr, sr, 8 credits in English or film studies, or permission of instructor

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category: 

Five College Film Studies Major category:  6

 

FILMST 370s (03) Topics in National/Transnational Cinemas: ADVANCED STUDIES IN VISUAL CULTURE: MEMORY (OF) WAR

(Speaking-intensive; writing-intensive; Spanish 340 )

J. Crumbaugh

T 1:15-4:05pm, Ciruti 123 (sem) and TH 7-9pm, Ciruti 109 (screening)

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the repressive, right-wing military regime of Francisco Franco (1939-1975) have shaped contemporary thought and cultural production in Spain. Cinema in particular shows a persistent concern with war and memory. The films studied in this course raise a number of philosophical and political questions to this effect. How does the devastation of war register through the medium of film? How do censorship and propaganda condition memory, and how does the past return in a postdictatorship? What and why do people choose to remember or to forget? Films to be studied include both mainstream commercial features and experimental works, and range in genre.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement

PreReq:  Spanish 221 or Spanish 240, or permission of instructor; 4 credits; expected enrollment 16; taught in Spanish

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIB, IV

Five College Film Studies Major category: 5, 7

 

FILMST 370s (04) Topics in National/Transnational Cinemas: GLOBAL EUROPE?: IMMIGRATION AND REPRESENTATIONS OF IM/MIGRANTS IN FILM AND TEXT

(Component Course; Speaking-intensive; writing-intensive; taught in English; German Studies 315 and European Studies 316 )

G. Davis

W 1:15-4:05pm, Ciruti 113

The course focuses on key issues facing contemporary Europe as it attempts to integrate large immigrant populations: such legal issues as the development of asylum, immigration, citizenship, and anti-discrimination/hate laws and such cultural issues as the meanings of integration vs. assimilation; multicultural vs. pluralistic societies; the roles of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in the construction of European societies and cultural identities; perceptions of (Post-)Colonialism and the interceptions of gender, race, class, and nationality; and the (dis)integrative role of language. Focus on the emergence of European Union rules vs. representative national policies in Germany, France, and Great Britain.

Meets MHC multicultural requirement; meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement

PreReq:  Previous study of German; 4 credits; expected enrollment 15; majors/minors in the department should simultaneously enroll in both German Studies 232 (taken for 300-level credit) and GRMST-315 or EURST-316 to receive major/minor credit, and read, write about, and discuss selected materials from EURST-316 or GRMST-315 in German.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category: 

Five College Film Studies Major category:  6

 

FILMST 380s (01) Topics in Film Authorship JANE AUSTEN: FICTION AND FILM

(Writing-intensive; English 320 Component )

J. Lemly

T 1:15-4:05pm, Shattuck Hall 203

Offers a critical, historical, and theoretical approach to a specific cinematic author. While most courses focus on a director or group of directors, courses may also focus on designers, technicians, performers, producers, or some combination of these personnel.

Spring 2010:  A study of Austen's six novels through the lenses of Regency culture and of twentieth-century filmmakers. How do these modest volumes reflect and speak to England at the end of world war, on the troubled verge of Pax Britannica? What do the recent films say to and about Anglo-American culture at the millennium? What visions of women's lives, romance, and English society are constructed through the prose and the cinema?

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 15; 1 meeting (3 hours) plus screenings; meets English department 1700-1900 requirement; meets English department seminar requirement

Prereq. jr, sr, 8 credits in English/Film studies beyond 101; prior work in eighteenth- to nineteenth-century literature, history, or film recommended; students should have read at least two Austen novels

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIB, IV

Five College Film Studies Major category:  4, 7 

 

FILMST 390s (01) Topics in Film Theory: FEMINIST THEORY AND FILM

(Speaking and writing-intensive course; English 385; Gender Studies 333)

E. Young

W 1:15-4:05pm, Skinner Hall 212 (sem) and M 7-10pm, Kendade 203(screening)

This seminar investigates contemporary feminist theory--including but not limited to feminist film theory--in relation to film. We will examine the influential formulations of the cinematic "male gaze" and woman's film, recent theorizations of race and sexuality in cinema, gender complexities in classic and contemporary Hollywood film, and new trends in film-making by women. Requirements include extensive readings, weekly essays, and film screenings.

Meets MHC Humanities I-A requirement.; 4 credits; expected enrollment 20; 1 meeting (3 hours) plus evening screening; satisfies MHC English department seminar requirement; satisfies MHC Gender Studies department feminist theory requirement.

PreReq: jr, sr, 8 credits in English and/or gender studies beyond 101, and permission of instructor; Film Studies 201 and/or other background in film strongly recommended. You must apply for admission to this course by completing the application at http://snipurl.com/courserequestform.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIA, IV

Five College Film Studies Major category:  3, 7

 

FILMST 390s (02) Topics in Film Theory: PHILOSOPHY OF FILM

also (Writing-intensive; Philosophy 375f (01) )

T. Wartenberg

M 1:15-4:05pm, Art Bldg 220 (sem) and W 7-10pm, Art Bldg 220 (screening)

An examination of different theoretical issues concerning the nature of film and film viewing. Topics vary yearly.

(Spring 2010) Recently, philosophers have argued that films resemble philosophy in their use of thought experiments. But the role of thought experiments in philosophy is itself contested. The seminar will investigate how thought experiments are used in science and philosophy in order to determine whether films and, more generally, art can legitimately claim that their presentation of thought experiments connects them to philosophy. Some previous acquaintance with philosophy highly recommended.

Meets MHC Humanities I-B requirement; 4 credits; expected enrollment 19; 1 meeting (2 hours) and screening

PreReq:  8 credits in department or in Film Studies or permission of instructor

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  IIA, IV

Five College Film Studies Major category:  3, 7

 

FILMST 395S (01) INDEPENDENT STUDY

Does not meet a MHC distribution requirement; 1 - 8 Credits.  A lab fee may be charged.

PreReq:  The department soph, jr, sr, and permission of program

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:  see advisor

Five College Film Studies Major category:  see advisor