SMITH COLLEGE

FIVE COLLEGE FILM COURSE GUIDE for SPRING 2010

Updated 11/2/09

 

FILM STUDIES 351FILM THEORY

Alexandra Keller

T 01:00-02:50, Seelye 312

This seminar will explore central currents in film theory, including formalist, realist, auteurist, structuralist, psychoanalytic, feminist, poststructuralist, genre studies, queer studies and cultural studies approaches to questions regarding the nature, function, and possibilities of cinema.Film theory readings will be understood through the socio-cultural context in which they are developed.Particular attention will also be given to the history of film theory: how theories exist in conversation with each other, as well as how other intellectual and cultural theories influence the development, nature and mission of theories of the moving image.We will emphasize written texts (Bazin, Eisenstein, Kracauer, Vertov, Metz, Mulvey, DeLauretis, Doty, Hall, Cahiers du Cinema, the Dogme Collective, etc.), but will also look at instantiations of film theory that are themselves acts of cinema (Man with a Movie Camera, Rock Hudsonís Home Movies, The Meeting of Two Queens).The course is designed as an advanced introduction and assumes no prior exposure to film theory.Fulfills film theory requirement for the major and minor. Enrollment limited to 12.Prerequisite:200 or the equivalent.Priority given to Smith College Film Studies Minors and Five College Film Studies Majors. Priority given to seniors, then juniors.{A}4 credits

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:IIA, IV

Five College Film Studies Major category:3, 7

 

FILM STUDIES 241: GENRE/PERIOD: GLOBAL CINEMA AFTER WORLD WAR II

Alexandra Keller

TTh10:30AM-11:50AM, W7:00PM-11:00PM, SEELYE 201; SEELYE 201

Credits: 4{A}{H}Topics course.

This course examines national film movements after the Second World War. The post-war period was a time of increasing globalization, which brought about a more interconnected and international film culture. But it was also a time during which certain key national cinemas defined, or redefined, themselves as national cinemas. We will investigate both of these trends, as well as focus on the work and influence of significant directors and landmark films, emphasizing not only cultural specificity, but also crosscultural and transhistorical concerns. Films and film movements to be examined will include: Italian Neo-realism, French New Wave, New German Cinema, Brazilian Cinema Novo, Chinese Fifth Generation, Hong Kong Action Cinema, and the films of Ousmane Sembene, Thomas Gutierrez Alea, Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Julie Dash, and Spike Lee.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:IIB

Five College Film Studies Major category: 2

 

FILM STUDIES 241: GENRE/PERIOD: SCREEN COMEDY

Jefferson Hunter

WF11:00AM-12:10PM, TTh7:00PM-9:00PM, SEELYE 201; SEELYE 201

Credits: 4††††††††† {A}††††† Topics course.

Lectures, with occasional discussion, on film comedies from a variety of places and times: American screwball comedies and British Ealing comedies; battles of the sexes; the silent or non-verbal comedy of Chaplin, Keaton, and Jacques Tati; parodies of other film genres; political satire; musical comedy; adaptations of comic novels; fast-talking comedy by the Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Woody Allen, and Howard Hawks; and to sum things up, Ingmar Bergmanís Smiles of a Summer Night. Some attention to animated cartoons; occasional readings in film criticism, film history, and the theory of comedy. Prerequisite: a college course in film or literature, or permission of the instructor.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:IIB

Five College Film Studies Major category: 4,6

 

FILM STUDIES 280: INTRODUCTION TO VIDEO PRODUCTION: FIRST PERSON DOCUMENTARY

Bernadine Mellis

Spring 2010

M1:10PM-4:00PM, T7:00PM-9:00PM; SEELYE 201; HILLYR L15

Credits: 4††††††††† {A}

Introduction to Video Production: First Person Documentary

This introductory video production course will emphasize documentary filmmaking from the first-person point of view.We will use our own stories as material, but we will look beyond self-expression, using video to explore places where our lives intersect with larger historical, economic, environmental, or social forces. We will develop our own voices while learning the vocabulary of moving images and gaining production and post-production technical training.Through in-class critiques, screenings, readings and discussion, students will explore the aesthetics and practice of the moving image while developing their own original projects.

This is a beginning course that will cover the basics of shooting, lighting, audio, and digital editing. Prerequisite: 200 (which may be taken concurrently). Priority given to Smith College Film Studies Minors and Five College Film Studies Majors. Permission of the instructor required. Enrollment limited to 13. Download the application.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:V

Five College Film Studies Major category:8

PENDING CAP APPROVAL. This introductory video production course will emphasize documentary filmmaking from the first-person point of view. We will use our own stories as material, but we will look beyond self-expression, using video to explore places where our lives intersect with larger historical, economic, environmental, or social forces. We will develop our own voices while learning the vocabulary of moving images and gaining production and post-production technical training. Through in-class critiques, screenings, readings and discussion, students will explore the aesthetics and practice of the moving image while developing their own original projects. Prerequisite: FLS200 Introduction to Film Studies. Enrollment limited to 12. Priority given the Five College Film Studies majors. (E)

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 266: SOUTH AFRICAN LITERATURE AND FILM

Katwiwa Mule

TTh1:00PM-2:50PM, location TBA

Credits: 4††††††††† {L}

A study of South African literature and film since 1948 in their historical, social, and political contexts. How do writers and film makers of different racial and political backgrounds remember and represent the past? How do race, class, gender, and ethnicity shape the ways in which they use literature and cinema to confront and resist the racist apartheid state? How do literature, film, and other texts such as testimonies from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission function as complex cultural and political sites for understanding the interconnections among apartheid taxonomies, various forms of nationalisms, and the often hollow post-apartheid discourse of non-racial "New South Africa?" Texts include testimonies from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, novels such as Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country, Mazisi Kunene's Mandela's Ego, Njabulo Ndebele's The Cry of Winnie Mandela, Nadine Gordimer's July's People, J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, Athol Fugard's Tsotsi and Zoe Wicomb's You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town. We will also analyze films such as Cry the Beloved Country, Sarafina!, Tsotsi, Cry Freedom, and South Africa Belongs to Us. (E)

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:IIB

Five College Film Studies Major category:5

 

FRENCH 244: FRENCH CINEMA: "ON THE MOVE": RESTLESSNESS IN FRENCH CINEMA

Martine Gantrel-Ford

TTh10:30AM-11:50AM, M7:30PM-9:30PM , location TBA

Credits: 4††††††††† {A}{F}††††††††††† Topics course.

Topics course. Even before the 'road movie' became a cinematic genre, the French New Wave made restlessness its signature theme. In the first half of the term, we will explore how the French New Wave used restlessness both as a theme and a narrative device to frame the existential quest and the crisis of meaning experienced by its young and attractive protagonists. In the second half of the semester, we will investigate the new meanings today's cinema has put on restlessness and the various ways in which it has built upon the formal innovations of the New Wave. Works by directors such as Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, and Manuel Poirier. Readings in film criticism and film history. Students will be encouraged to develop a specifically cinematic discourse through close analysis of individual films. Papers and weekly screenings required. Course taught in French. Prerequisite: FRN 230 or permission of instructor.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:IIB

Five College Film Studies Major category:5, 6

 

PSYCHOLOGY 314: SEM IN FOUNDATIONS OF BEHAVIOR: COGNITION IN FILM

Maryjane Wraga

W2:10PM-4:00PM , location TBA

Credits: 4††††††††† {N}††††† Topics course.

This seminar explores the cognitive processes underlying human perception and comprehension of film, the techniques film makers use to capitalize on these processes, as well as the general portrayal of cognition by film makers. We will read and discuss empirical articles and view relevant examples of film. Topics range from change blindness and apparent motion to various depictions of amnesia in 20th century film. Prerequisite: PSY 218 or PSY 219 or permission of the instructor.

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:IV, V

Five College Film Studies Major category:7

THEATER 318 MOVEMENTS IN DESIGN:PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR FILM

Prof. Edward Check†††††† echeck@smith.edu†††††††††††††††††† Cap 12

M, W10:00-11:50AM, Mendenhall CPA, room T109

Filmmaking is storytelling. This story can be told by the actors or by its visuals. Every film employs a production designer who, with the director and cinematographer, is in charge of the visual design of the film. In this class we will learn how a production designer breaks down a script to determine which scenes should be shot on location and which should be built as sets. Each student will then make design choices for the entire script. Whether picking out locations or creating sets to be shot on a soundstage, this class will examine what makes one design choice better than another. Students will also learn the basic skills to communicate their designs through storyboards, model building and drafting. Enrollment limited to 12 students. {A} 4 credits

Undergraduate UMass Film Studies Certificate category:V

Five College Film Studies Major category:8