FILM COURSES OF THE FIVE COLLEGES
This list includes Five College film/video/photography courses taught at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts.
The following listings are still subject to change. Please be sure to check with school offices when registering.
The Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies
University of Massachusetts Amherst
FIVE COLLEGE FILM & VIDEO COURSE GUIDE
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS,
* Note : All courses are 3 credits.
ANTH 106O Culture through Film
Meets: W 7:30-10pm
Orchard Hill first year residential students only. Exploration of different societies and cultures, cultural anthropology through ethnographic and documentary films. Focus on non-Western cultures and ecological adaptations, sex roles, ethnicity, religion, politics, and social change. Film as a medium of communication and cross-cultural understanding. Registration avail only during summer orientation.
ANTH 306 Visual Anthropology
Course examines the politics and poetics of visual representation in the field of anthropology, focusing primarily on the moving image. Many of us have our first exposure to individuals from cultures other than our own through visual images -- film, photography, and tv. In this class, we will be critically examining how information about cultural diversity is conveyed through visual images and the historical contexts and theoretical frameworks that have shaped the various ways in which "exotic" peoples were put on display, we will look at the implicit evolutionary paradigms that informed early uses of photography for classifying racial types. From there, we turn to a survey of classic and contemporary ethnographic film. Students will be asked to examine a variety of documentary, observational, and experimental styles in both ethnographic film and "indigenous media", and to consider how relations of power and authority are embodied in both form and content. We will also look at recent attempts by native peoples to produce their own television and video as a way of resisting western-imposed media and protecting a sense of their cultural identities. Our overall goal will be to better understand how and under what conditions visual images contribute to anthropology's project of fostering meaningful cross-cultural communication. Attendance, journal, exams.
ART 230 Photography I
Meets: TuTh 8-10:45am or TuTh 1:25-4:10pm, Bart51
Intro to photgraphic tools and methods. The balance between self-inquiry and the importance of process and materials as vehicles of meaning. Critiques and slide presentations examine photography from both a personal point of view and its wider cultural context. Note: Contact Art Dept. to add course.
ART 297V/597V Personal Narrative and Historical
Memory: Intro to Video Production
Meets: Fri 11:15-3pm in FAC 440, screening Th 7-9pm FLRC 114
Through the creation of collaborative and individual works, students will learn the basics of video production: story, lighting, camera, sound, editing. Particular attention will be paid to studying works of independent video/filmmakers whose works address issues of representation, memory, and history. Limit: 12.
ART 397P Photography III
Meets: Th 1-3:45 or Tu 7-10pm Bart 51
Contact Art Dept. for more info and prerequisites.
COMM 240 Modes of Film Communication
Meets: TuTh 1-2:15 Thom 102, screening Tu 6-8pm Herter 227
Lecture, lab(screening). The nature and functions of film, including narrative and nonnarrative approaches to film communication. Topics include: components of film expression (composition, movement, editing, sound, directing, acting); designs in screen narrative; film's relationship to other arts and media; and its role as an instrument of social reflection and change. Limit: 125. Pre-reg: Comm/CAS/S majors only.
COMM 297L Special Topic: Asian Cinemas
Meets: MW 10:30-11:50am, screening Tu 6:30-8:30pm OCAM HampshireC.
Lecture, screening, discussion. Asia produces more films annually than any other part of the world. This course offers a historical overview of filmmaking throughout Asia, with an emphasis on diverse contemporary productions. Topics to be considered include the emergence of popular film genres and film stars, the relationship between film and other forms of mass entertainment, the status of the art film, technology issues, linguistic negotiations, the relationship between the state and corporate interests, assertions of national identity, international co-productions, the impact of Hollywood, modes and policies of exhibition and distribution of films, and national and international reception of Asian films. Course taught at Hampshire College. Pre-reg: Comm/Cas/s majors only. Course capacity for UMASS students: 15.
COMM 331 Program Processes in Television
Meets: TuTh 9-12 or TuTh 2-5 or WF 9-12 S. Coll 120
Lecture, studio. Intellectual and practical aspects of communication through the television production process. Theoretical and practical application as integrated in the creation of television content. Comm Jr/Sr only. Course capacity: 36 (3 sections, 12 students each).
COMM 340 History of Film I
Meets: Th 1-2:15, screening Th 6-8pm Herter 227, disc sect: F 9:05, 10:10, 11:15, 12:20;1:25 S. College 108
Lecture, lab, discussion. A survey of key events and representative films that mark the history of motion pictures in the U.S. and other countries to 1950. In addition to identifying and providing access to major works, the course is designed to facilitate the study of the various influences (industrial, technological, aesthetic, social, cultural, political) that have shaped the evolution of the medium to the advent of television. Capacity: 150 (6 disc sect, 25 each).
COMM 341 Principles and Techniques of Filmmaking
Meets: TuTh 1-2:15 SC 108
Lecture, studio. Intro to basic 16mm b/w filmmaking: using Bolex cameras, we learn the concepts of composition, lighting, storytelling, and editing. (There is some access to sound equipment, but no capacity to do "live sound" synch work.) Each student shoots and edits a few individual films as well as one group project, and thus develops a small portfolio of film work over the course of the semester. Emphasis is on creative experimentation and applying fundamental visual/technical skills to produce interesting work. Pre-reg: Comm Srs. only. Capacity: 12.
COMM 493E Seminar: Screenwriting
Meets: TuTh 11:15-12:30 S. Coll 108
Lecture, discussion. An examination of the art, craft, and business of screenwriting from theoretical and practical perspectives. Topics include: the nature of screenplay formats and structures; creation and development of premise, plot, character, and action; scene writing; adaptation issues; place of the screenwriter in the collaborative process of filmmaking; marketing strategies. The focus will be on scriptwriting for storytelling movies and, to a limited extent, television. In-class activitiets will include exercises in visual thinking, scene analyses, and staged readings. Written work will include several screenwriting projects. Prerequisite: 3 hrs. in COMM courses. Prereg: COMM SRs only. Capacity: 20.
COMM 493I Seminar: American Cinema in the 60's
Meets: MW 1:25-3:20 SC 108 Lecture, discussion, lab. This course will explore the relationship between cinema and social life in American in the tumultuous era known as "the sixties" (roughly 1963-1973). We will trace several themes (institutional authority, notions of sanity and power, gender politics, issues of war and peace, civil rights) across films of various genres made in that period and also look at recent films (both narrative and documentary) set in the sixties to consider the politics of historical representation. Individual research projects; class reports; take-home exams. Prereq: Comm 342 or permission of instructor. Prereg: Comm Srs only. Capacity: 20.
COMM 597C Special Topics: Film & Video in
(Cross-listed as EDUC 539)
Meets: Tu 4-6:30pm Furcolo 21B Lecture, discussion. This course is designed to explore and encourage the use of creative and relevant films and videos in educational settings and to examine the visual, psychological, and technical methods used by filmmakers to convey their messages. A wide variety of films and videos will be shown and their potential for use in many settings will be explored. Emphasis will be on developing critical, aesthetic, and social media awareness, examining stereotyping and sex roles in the cinema and facilitating productive and open-ended discussions. Students will be expected to attend all screenings and participate in discussions. Two papers and one research project will be assigned. Prereg: Comm Jr/Srs only. Course capacity for Comm students: 20.
COMM 793D Seminar: Film Cultures and Community
Meets: M 3:35-7:30pm SC 108 Combining methodologies and theories of cultural studies and film/media studies, this course will examine the ways cultural productions, especially cinema, participate in the process of community-formation. In addition to the social dynamics of audience/reception, topics to be considered include the politics and practices of public programming and exhibition, distribution networks, and co-production and collaboration. Theoretical readings will focus on issues of community, natoin, the local and the global, identity, and diaspora. Course participants will develop individual research projects -- and will also be invited to assist in the construction of a collaborative project dealing with local Asian communities and popular culture. While film is central to the course, students are welcome to broaden their inquiries to other arenas of visual culture such as art exhibition and performance, public monumnets, folk heritage festivals, outreach programs, museums, clubs, television, the Internet, etc. Course assignments will likely include short writings, presentations, and a final research project. Prereg: Graduate students only. Capacity: 10.
COMLIT 121 International Short Story: Fiction
Meets: TuTH 11:15-12:05 For students who love to read, discuss, and write about fiction. An interest in film and in writing stories is also a plus. We'll think, talk, and write about how stories are told. Looking at language, voice, texture of a story, the choices and strategies a writer has made, the way the writer 'uses' a reader -- draws us in, subverts our expectations; at the particular way this happens in short fiction where economy and brevity are essential; and in cinematic stories. Stories by a wide variety of writers from around the world: Yamamoto, Butler, Silko, Achebe, Gordimer, Tan Wang, Vargas Llosa, Cisneros, Erdrich, Alexie, Angelous, Kincaid, Hurston. Films by C. Haid, C.Eyre, E. Palcy, J. Singleton, J. Turturro, G. Nava, O. Stone, T. Bui. We will be partners in exploring what these many texts have to say and the ways they go about doing it. Where needed, I will give presentations and background. However, the substance of the course is what you make of class discussion. A variety of approaches include: discussion of the texts outside class in small groups; responsibility in pairs for prompting class discussion; preparation of short creative exercises relative to the day's readings. 3 short papers, one longer critical paper, one short creative writing assignment, occasional in-class writing, essay exam at semester' end, substantive daily class participation.
COMLIT 383 Narrative Avant Garde Film
Meets: lect M 4-7:25pm, disc Tu 2:30, 2:30, 4, 4, 7pm
Lecture, discussio. Explores modern origin of experimentation in avant garde modes such as Expressionism, Surrealism, and contemporary results of this heritage, to determine if film is the most resolutely modern of the media. Emphasis on the ways in which Avant garde films can problematize themselves throught the ploys of telling a story. By means of a self-consciousness of storytelling which undermines viewer identification, the drive for closure, the demand for origins and order, and even cause and effect, these avant garde films restore to playfulness its strength and ambiguity. Requirements: five page paper for midterm; final paper or project; attendance.
COMLIT 384 Vietnam War in Literature and Film
Meets: lect Mon 3:35-5:30pm, screening W 5-7pm, disc THh 10:10, 11:15, Fri 10:10, 11:15
Lecture, disc. The study of literature and film of the Vietnam War experience teaches students to see how creative writers, translators, screen writers, and filmmakers are integrally involved in the production of culture. Students will focus on "images" of the war as presented in literature and film . By analyzing similarities and differences, students will learn how images are manipulated by writers to achieve calculated effects, some of which reinforce or subvert powerful cultural and political institutions. THe readings will be inter-textual, ranging from traditional Vietnamese folk poetry to mainstream Hollywood films. Texts generally will be studied in pairs, such as Marguerite Duras'novel "North China Lover" and Jean-Jacques Annaud's film "The Lover"; or Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now". Other authors include: Michael Herr, Robert Stone, Le Ly Hayslip; filmmakers Stanley Kubrick, Oliver Stone, Trinh Minh-ha. Critical thinking will be emphasized as students will be encouraged to identify both calculated and unconscious shifts in the derived texts. Students will become acquainted with a comparative methodology as well as the important role screenwriters play in facilitating cultural exchange. Requirements: class participation, journal, two papers.
COMLIT 695A International Film Noir
Meets: W 2:30-5:30pm
Lecture. Often referred to as the only indigenous American film style, 'film noir' in its very appellation reveals that its major effects (for certain modern conceptions of cinema) lay elsewhere. We will examine film noir in its American heyday (1945-1957) and how it came to be a major propelling force in the new European cinema of the 1960's (Godard, Cahiers du Cinema). How film noir displaces American social mores and their constitution of 'reality' within the imaginary and symbolic fields, and within the sypmtomatic concretization of those fields that is normative (dominant) cinema. How film noir both makes film different and allows already latent difference to be manifested. How film noir takes shape in the U.S. as expression of the inexpressible (and 'unheimlich') or at least of the allusion to it; which in the lens and on the screen of directors such as Godard and Fassbinder becomes psuedomorphic, presenting a critique of American imperialism both public(political) and private (psychic) -- the American way of death and love (or, as the title of one work would have it, "Love and Napalm: Export USA). Films by American directors: Aldritch, Ray, Fuller, Kubrick, Welles; foreign agents: Lang, Ophuls, Siodmark, Sirk, Von Sternberg; Europeans: Godard, Fassbinder, Wenders. Prereq: 2 prior film courses or permission of instructor.
COMLIT 236 Digital Culture
Meets: MW 2:30-3:20, disc sections also
An introduction to the cyberage and its cyberarts. Designed especially for 'humanists' (but also aimed at science and engineering undergraduates), it is a humanistic, non-technical look at computers, technology, and the emerging new digital culture, and the meaning of it all. The orientation of the course could be summed up by saying that 'it's not a peek under the hood, it's a 'driving school'; in other words, it will not deal with the underlying technology, mathematics, scientific or engineering issues, but rather with what this new tool (the computer) and this new medium (cyberspace) mean for the non-scientific world, for everyday life, for social and political 'digital empowerment', and especially for literature and the arts. It will address areas such as: 'digital culture' (primary focus) referring to actual works of art (literature, painting, film, video, photgraphy, music, performance art, etc) in their new digital forms, and the implications of nonlinear 'hypertext'('hypermedia') both for artistic creativity, and for the theory and criticism of the arts, esp. literature; 'digital culture' in its general meaning of an emerging new civilization: the social, political, economic, psychological, and even religious implications of the digital revolution.
EDUC 505 Documentary Filmmaking for Education
Meets: Wed 4-6:30 Furcolo 21B
Creative and practical use of filmmaking to document a wide variety of educational activities. The emphasis will be on making Super-8mm films using live-action photography, as well as editing and sound techniques.
EDUC 539 Using Film and Video in Education
Meets: Tu 4-6:30 Furcolo 21B
The use of creative and stimulating films in educational settings; the techniques used by filmmakers; methods for structuring film discussions.
French and Italian
FRENCH 350 French Film
Meets: Tu 11:15-12:30 or 1-2:15 or 2:30-3:45, Mon 4-7pm Herter
Weekly film and video screenings, lectures, discussion sections. Cinematic representations of contemporary French and Francophone identities in recent feature and documentary film, with special attention to the work of younger filmmakers. The development of French film from the 1930's and its relations to French society. Analysis and reading of specific films, the ideology of different film practices, and relevant aspects of film theory, including questions of representation. Films by directors such as Vigo, Carne, Renoir, Bresson, Resnais, Godard, Truffaut, Ackerman, Kurys, Tavernier.
GERMAN 304 From Berlin to Hollywood: The Horror
Meets: lecture and disc TuTh 1-2:15, screenings Wed 6-9pm
Examines the origin and development of the horror film genre, as it has expressed issues of social concern throughout the 20th Century. We will study the roots of horror from a German cinematic tradition aned follow its legacy into Anglo-North American filmmaking, while developing skills to 'read' movies from more informed perspectives. A wide range of titles will be screened, from classics to camp, gory to parody. What, and how, does the horror movie tell us about unconscious fears and desires, political climates, views on sexuality? These are some of the questions to be studied, as sex and violence continue to be subjects of considerable debate in various media. Course taught in English.
LEGAL 397X Media Censorship
Meets: Tu 2:30-5:30
The regulation of film content: legal regulation (obscenity laws) adn self-regulation (particularly with respect to Hollywood and the Hays Office). Regulation based on political content, as during the McCarthy period. Regulation of political content...(contact instructor for complete description).
MUSIC 190F Music in Film
Meets: TuTh 8-9:15am Herter 227 The aesthetics and dramatic techniques of film music since 1895. Excerpts from commercial silent era and sound films studied as examples of film music development and the composer's art. Students construct two soundtracks for specific scenes.
MUSIC 190H Music in Film
Meets: TuTh1-2:15 Herter 227
Honors course only. See description above.
POLSCI 293A Politics in European Film
Meets: M 12:20, Tu 7-9:30pm
One way to comprehend the political history of Europe in the 20th Century is to see it as a confrontation between the attempt to institute revolutionary change and the reaction (often preemptory) against this attempt. Film has been intimately bound up with this confrontation, partly as an instrument for use by both impulses and partly as a chronicler of the struggle. The emergence of mass politics at the core of the struggle between revolution and reaction has its counterpart in the emergence of film as a key element in mass culture. The logic of revolution and reaction has also played a role in the development of film as cultural form. Course presents a series of films for discussion and analysis of revolution and reaction as political and aesthetic phenomena. Films may include: Eisentstein's "Potemkin", Riefenstahl's "The Triumph of the Will", Rosselini's "Rome, Open City", and Bertolucci's "The Conformist". Readings will provide background and critical commentary on each film. Writing assignments include short analysis of each film and two essays. Registration in POLSCI H03 is optional.
PORT 597A Brazilian Film
Meets: TuTh 1-2:15, FLRC, Herter Annex
Intro to Brazilian culture through film by focusing on important features of Brazilian society past and present: the colonization process; slavery and the resistance; economic development; immigration; urban problems; life in the backlands; the dictatorship and its aftermath; race, class, gender as factors in shaping life in Brazil. A second aim of the course is to study the development of Brazilian cinema through the past fifty years, focusing especially on the movement known as cinema novo. A third aim: to develop analytical skills and writing abilities in relation to film. We will view a dozen films and discuss them weekly, using books and articles about Brazil and Brazilian cinema. Requirements: active participation, film/video viewing, readings, oral reports, short and long paper. Course taught in English, films in Portuguese with English subtitles.
SPAN 497A Spanish Cinema: From Bunuel to Almodovar
Meets: TuTh 4-6pm
Analysis of ten films by some of the most important Spanish directors from the '60's to the '90's, with special attention to films of Bunuel and Almodovar. Some topics to be covered: representation of violence, repression, religion, gender, sexuality....contact instructor/department for complete description.
ENGL 19 Film and Writing
Meets: MW 12:30-1:50
A first course on 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 90min class meetings and two screenings weekly.
ENGL 83 The Non-Fiction Film
The study of a range of non-fiction films, including (but not limited to)the 'documentary', ethnographic film, autobiographical film, the film essay. Will include the work of Eisenstein, Vertov, Ivens, Franju, Orphuls, Leacock, Kopple, Gardner, Herzog, Chopra, Citron, Wiseman, Blank, Apted, Marker, Morrris, Joslin, Riggs, McElwee. Two film programs weekly. Readings will focus on issues of representation, of 'truth' in documentary, and the ethical issues raised by the films.
ENGL 84(01) Global Cinema/Third Cinema
Meets: TuTh 11:30-12:50
This course surveys international cinema after 1960 with an emphasis on the fiction feature films of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, but it will also consider films from Europe and the U.S. Contrary to popular belief, most of the world's films are made outside of American and European studios. Culturally rich, formally innovative, and politically provocative, analysis of films by, among many others: Sembene, Cisse, Tahinik, Pontecorvo, Makhmalbaf, and Trinh. We will also explore economic, social, cultural, historical, and other methods of looking at film. Weekly readings in post-colonial criticism, film history, theory, and criticism. 3 class hours and 2 screenings weekly. Not recommended for first-year students.
ENGL 84(03) European Auteur Cinema
Meets: TuTH 2-3:20pm
A study of the concept of authorship in cinema as it evolved in Western European cinema mainly in the postwar years. Film by Bergman, Rossellini, Antonioni, Fellini, Bresson, Truffaut, Godard, Pasolini, perhaps others. Readings by Andre Bazin and others, including the filmmakers themselves. Not recommended for 1st year students.
ART 18 Photography I
Meets: TuTh 1-4
An introduction to b/w still photography. The basic elements of photographic technique will be taught as a means to explore both general pictorial structure and photography's own unique visual language. Weekly assignments, critical readings, slide lectures about the work of artist/photographers, one short paper, a final portfolio involving an independent project of choice. Two 3hr meetings per week. Limit 12.
ART 28 Photography II
Meets: TuTh 9-11am
AMER ST 11(01) The City: New York
America has often been defined as a nation of nations, a country formed by diverse peopples of different ethnic, cultural, and racial backgrounds. This course asks the question whether and how these peoples have forged a cohesive national identity. We will explore issues of immigration, citizenship, cultural nationalism, and efforts at Americanization from colonial times to the present, with a special emphasis on 1880-1924. Topics to be considered will range from Cherokee Removal in the 1830's to Japanese American internment camps in the 1940's, from early 20th century social work projects to contemporary debates over affirmative action, from the Statue of Liberty to mistrelsy and salsa. Materials to be examined include memoirs, novels, legal documents, government policies, films and other artifacts of popular culture.
GERMAN 60F Performance
Meets: MW 2pm
What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European (primarily German) culture in the 20th century. Focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, discourse, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance, gender, and critical cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, www) and deliver critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, CD, CDROM, and Internet form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and contemporary theater, performance, dance, opera, new media, and performance art. A number of films will be screened, including: 'Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari', Oskar Schlemmer's 'Das Triadische Ballett', Fernand Leger's 'Ballet Mechanique', and Kurt Jooss' 'Der Grinne Tisch'. In English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.
WAGS 31 Sexuality and Culture
Meets: TuTh 1-11:20
An examination of the social and artistic construction of genders, bodies, and desires. In any give semester, the course may examine particular historical periods, ethnic groups, sexual orientation, and theoretical approaches. The topic changesd from year to year. In 1999 this course examined gender and sexuality as separate categories by focusing on cross-dressing. Drawing on a wide range of theorists (sexologists, anthropologists, medical doctors, historians, literary critics) and a variety of literary texts and films, the course considered the ways in which anatomy and gender, culture and desire can be seen as both united and disconnected. Preference given to juniors and seniors who have taken one course in either Engliish or Women's and Gender Stuedies. Limit 30.
WAGS 32 Sex, Self and Fear
Meets: W 2-4pm
Freud located identity formation in the emotion of fear - a boy's fear of castration, a girl's terror at lack. Later theories have agreed that worries about exposure, ridicule, and confession shape the sexual self. Our course will explore the gendered origins and effects of fear, asking how fear of the other sex, fear about the self, ground identity. We will try to differentiate among forms of fear, comparing anxiety, obsession, trauma, and phobia. Course material will include fiction (Pat Barker's 'Regeneration'; Lydia Chukovskaya's 'Sofia Petrovna'; Toni Morrison's 'Jazz'; Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein'); poetry (by Anna Akhmatova, Rita Dove, Thom Gunn, Elizabeth Macklin): theory (Freudk, Torok, Abraham); quasi-autobiography (Kenzaburo Oe's 'A Quiet Life'; Nathalie Sarraute's 'Childhood'), and film ('Carrie', 'M', 'A Perfect World', 'Psycho', 'Vertigo'). We will ask what cultural and psychological work fear performs: what fears are required for liberation from social taboos? How do adults contain (and repeat) the fears that ruled childhood? Why do we like to be frightened?
HACU 107 Retrofuturism
Meets: TuTh 10:30-11:50, screening Tu 6:30-9:30pm Franklin Patterson
At the verge of 2001 and HAL's revenge, this course will address the ethos of the future. What happens to race, gender, class in artifical reality? How are bodies marked in science fiction, cyberculture, and digital virtual realities? Attention will be given to depictions of the future in cinema and literature, as well as contemporary trends within electronic music and the ever-growing world of DotCom. We will read work by William Gibson, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Pat Cadigan, Donna Haraway, Aldous Huxley, and watch films such as The Last Angel of History, Omega Man, Soylent Green, Rollerball. Along with regular readings and weekly film screenings, students will participate in a number of introductory production workshops in digital imaging. Students will be responsible for weekly response papers, in-class presentations, and several projects throughout the semester. Enrollment limit: 16.
HACU 110 Film/Video Workshop I
Meets: W 9-11:50, screening Tu 7-9pm PFB
This course teaches the basics of film production, including camera work, editing, sound recording, and preparation and completion of a finished work in film or video. Students will have weekly assignments, and will also produce a finished film for class. There will be weekly screenings of student work, screenings of films and videos representing a variety of aesthetic approaches to the moving image. The development of personal vision will be stressed. The bulk of the work in class will be in Super-8 format. 16mm film, Hi-8, and 3/4"video formats , plus our new image processing work station will also be introduced. A $50 lab fee provides access to equipment and editing facilities. Students are responsible for providing their own film, tape, processing, and supplies. The class meets once/week for 2hr, 50min. In addition, there are weekly evening screenings and video editing workshops. Enrollment limit: 16.
HACU 112 A Digital Process
Meets: Tu 12:30-3:20 B2 Library
This introductory course examines narrative structures through experiments in linear, non-linear, and time-based digital imaging projects. Emphasis will be placed upon content and ideas and developing these ideas using the tools of digital imaging software. Handouts, critiques, readings, and demonstrations will be balanced by in-class work sessions. Students will be introduced to several digital imaging programs which build upon each other (Adobe Photoshop, basic HTML, Dreamweaver, AfterEffects). Throughout the semester students will work with the same idea which will be realized in three different media. The first project is an artist's book assignment where emphasis will be placed upon developing a linear narrative. This project will then be developed and translated to a website. The third assignment will be to translate this narrative yet again to a short animation. The final project is to further develop one version of these three assignments and to collaboratively design a website interface for the work that is created in this class. Class will meet once/week for 2hr, 50min. Limit:15
HACU 118 Russia: Film and Literature of Revolution
Meets: TuTh 12:30-1:50 EDH4
A number of Russia's most prominent artists greeted the Revolution of 1917 as the dawn of unlimited freedom for experimentation. Art, they hoped, would play a central role in the transformation of society. We will explore the nature of the artist's engagement by looking at the literary works and films predicting, celebrating, and denouncing the revolutionary upheaval. Readings include: Chekov, "The Cherry Orchard;" Bielyi, St.Petersburg; Blok, "The Twelve;" Mayakovsky, "Lenin;" Zamiatin, We; Bulgakov, The Master and Marguerita; Trotsky's Literature and Revolution. Films: Pudovkin, Mother; Dovzhenko, Earth; Vestov, The Man With a Movie Camera; Eisenstein, The Battleship Potemkin. Class meets twice/week for 1hr. 20min. Enrollment limit: 25.
HACU 124 Modern Art and the Vision Machine
B. Brand and S. Levine
Meets: TuTh 2-3:30 TASH, Th PFB
This course forms an introduction to art history and art making in the modern period. The course is both an art studies and art production course and serves as a foundation for students who want to do further studies in film, video, photography, or the studio arts as well as for those who want to pursue art history or cultural studies. All students will be required to complete research, write extended papers, and make visual art projects using a variety of media. Diego Velasquez's painting "Las Meninas" (1656) enacts the dual roles of looking and image making. Similarly, Dziga Vertov's The Man With a Movie Camera (1929) provides a cinematic example of how the looking and making process becomes a metaphor for a new society. This course will examine the coincidental emergence of modern art at the turn of the century with the development of devices of popular entertainment that foreground vision and visuality. These include photography, stereoscopy, panoramas, phantasmagorias, dioramas, and cinema. By focusing on the history of art and popular technology, students will develop a language through which they can understand the basics of spectatorship in the modern period. The visual art projects assigned will relate to this process. This multi-disciplinary course will meet twice/week for 1hr20min. Enrollment is open, limit:40.
HACU 136f Hampshire Films: Community Engagement
Meets: F 9-11:50 PFB
The objective of this course is to introduce non-fiction film and video practice to a group of 15 incoming 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 a cinematic profile of a local, social service agency. In the process of research, development, and production, participants will interact with the community, its service providers, and residents of local homeless shelters, transition-to-work, teen, and early-intervention programs. This experience will provide students with a broader understanding of homelessness, community activism, and the complexity of documenting this interaction. Class meets once/week for 2hr50min. Enrollment limit: 15.
HACU 140 Video I
Meets: W 6:30-9:30pm Library B5
This intensive course will introduce students to basic video production techniques for both location and studio work. Over the course of the semester, students will gain experience in pre-production, production, and post-production techniques as well as learn to think and look critically about the making of the moving image. Projects are designed to develop basic technical proficiency in the video medium as well as the necessary working skills and mental discipline so important to a successful working process. No one form or style will be stressed, though much in-field work will be assigned. Students will be introduced to both digital editing with Adobe Premiere and analog editing using 3/4" decks and an Editmaster system. There will be weekly screenings of films and video tapes which represent a variety of stylistic approaches. Students will work on projects and exercises in rotation crews throughout the term. Final production projects will experiment with established media genres. In-class critiques and discussion will focus on media analysis and image/sound relationships. Lab fee $50. Class meets once/week for 2hr 50min. Limit: 15.
HACU 144 Introduction to Media Criticism
Meets: TuTh10:30-11:50 FPH 103 or 104
This course will introduce students to critical skills which will enable them to describe, interpret, and evaluate teh ways in which television and film represent the world around us. Approaches drawn from history, semiotics, genre studies, feminist criticism, and cultural studies will be used to analyze how the media create and perpetuate ideological frameworks that influence our perceptions of ourselves, our personal relationships, and our larger society. Students will write and revise numerous critiques using the different methodologies, and there will be extensive class discussion and reading assignments. Class meets twice/week for 1hr 20min. Enrollment limit: 25.
HACU 203 Asian Cinemas
Meets: MW10:30-11:50, screening Tu 6:30-8:30pm
Asia produces more films annually than any other area of the world. This course offers a historical overview of filmmaking throughout Asia, with an emphasis on diverse contemporary productions. Topics to be considered will include the emergence of popular film genres and film stars, the relationship between film and other forms of mass entertainment, the status of art film, technology issues, linguistic negotiations, the relationship between the state and corporate interests, assertions of national identity, international co-productions, the impact of Hollywood, modes and policies of exhibition and distribution of films, and national and international audience reception of Asian films. Class will meet twice/week for 1hr 20min. Screenings once/week for 2hrs. Enrollment:40 students (20 Hampshire, 5 5College,15 UMass)
HACU 210 Film/Video Workshop II
Meets: Th 9-11:50 FPB
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 post-production finishing. 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 one analytical essay. 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. The class meets once/week for 2hr 50 min. Required screenings and workshops often occur in the evening. Enrollment is limited to 15 by permission of the instructor. In general, Film/Video Workshop I will be considered a prerequisite.
HACU 212 Video II: Art and Politics
Meets: W 6:30-9:30 B5 or Studio
This course is as an intermediate undergraduate studio level course where we will make videos and read, watch, learn about and discuss works which address art and politics. This course will include hands-on experience in pre-production and post-production, as well as screening of art works which take on political issues. A significant amount of class time will be spent in critique sessions of works-in-progress and in discussing the works which are screened in class. Emphasis will be placed upon learning more about the working process of being an artist and learning to write about one's own work. Class will meet once/week for 3hrs. Enrollment limit: 15. Prerequisites: Video I or equivalent.
MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE
Note: Some courses require prerequisites and/or have limited enrollment. Please contact the Film Studies Program at Mount Holyoke for more info by calling (413)538-2200 or see the website www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/film
ART 350 Hollywood Film
Meets: TuTh 1-3:50pm
This is a seminar on 12 visually aggressive, feature-length American films from the silent era to the present. Classes will consist of conversations on ways of interpreting each film. Weekly readings, one or two class presentations, and a term project are required. Among the possible films to be screened are: Sunrise, The Grapes of Wrath, Sunset Boulevard, Touch of Evil, Blade Runner, Blue Velvet. Pre-req: Jr, Sr, 8 credits in art history or film studies or permission of instructor; 4 credits; enrollment limit 16.
ECON 100(02) Economics in Popular Film
Meets: MW 1-2:15, Mon 7-10pm screening
An introduction to economic theories and economic analysis using a wide range of popular films as the object of analysis. For example, students will view Amistad and discuss the economics of slavery. Other examples of topics and objects of analysis include Grapes of Wrath(Great Depression, internal migration), It's A Wonderful Life (the Great Depression, savings & loan industry), On the Waterfront (monopsony, rent seeking behavior and corruption), The Milagro Beanfield War (self-employed farmers, water & land rights, economics of minorities), Wild River (eminent domain, public finance and infrastructure spending), Hoodlum (prohibition, gambling, gangs, the underground economy), Norma Rae(women's rights in the workplace, role of unions), Glengarry Glen Ross(commission sales, the real estate market), War of the Roses(marriage and divorce), Wall Street(insider trading, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring), Barbarians at the Gates (mergers & acquisitions, agency costs), A Civil Action(environmental economics).
EUROPEAN STUDIES 316f The European City in Film:
Romance & Renewal
Meets: M 7-9pm
A series of eight film presentations and seminars each led by a different faculty member who will focus on a specific European city. Issues to be discussed could include the opposition of rural and urban culture, social change and alienation, expressionism and new objectivity, the search for identity of self and nation, as well as the relationship of film and reality. This course will be managed from the web where students will be expected to post their papers. Seminar coordinator: Ms. Vaget. Prereq. at least one course at the 200 or 300 level relevant to European Studies or permission of the coordinator. 2 credits. Note: an additional credit independent work option may be used to compose a longer, more in-depth study.
FILM STUDIES 201 Introduction to Film
E. Young and P. Staiti
Meets: MW 1-2:15, screening M 2:15-4:50
This course analyzes aspects of film form, narrative, genre, and history, and explores major interpretive approaches to the medium. Focusing on feature-length film from the silent era to the present, students screen works from a variety of countries and cinematic traditions. Special attention will be given to understanding film in cultural contexts and to the aesthetics of film. This course satisfies the distribution requirement in the humanities -- arts, language, and literature in Philosophy, but not English.
FRENCH 321f French Film: The First 100 Years 1895-1995
Meets: Tu 1-3:50pm
France has the oldest and one of the richest film cultures in the world. The course will examine aesthetic and technical aspects of 15 films as well as the social and historical contexts in which they were made. Another 40 films will be on reserve for reference and individual projects. We will consider the entire sweep of these traditions but will pay particular attention to the following stages and schools: invention, the silent film and early radical investigation of the Lumiere brothers, Louis Feuillade, and Abel Gance's Napoleon; the surrealist experiments of Bunuel, Dali, and Germaine Dulac; Jean Vigo's social defiance; Jean Renoir (was he the greatest director ever?); Jean Cocteau and the struggle against cinema de papa; Robert Bresson and the workings of inner life; Godard and the New Wave of the '50s and '60s; looking back at Indochina and Algeria in the '70s -- Pierre Schoendoerffer; the '80s cinema du look -- Diva by Beineix; ethnic identity and change -- Mehdi Charef and Claire Dennis. Prereq: French 215 and one of 219, 225, 230. 4 credits.
HISTORY 399f Senior Colloquium: Clio by the Book
and at the Movies: Representing the Past in Written and Filmed Histories
Meets W 1-3:50pm, screening M 7-9:30
A colloquium in which senior history majors/minors and Department faculty will explore the various approaches to studying the past that Clio, the muse of History, continues to inspire. We shall explore the differences and similarities between the representations of the past in written accounts and in film. Case studies will include paired readings and films on such topics as the French Revolution, the World Wars, American popular culture, civil rights, and the women's movement. Enrollment limited to senior History majors/minors. 4 credits.
ITALIAN 215f Cinema and Literature: An Intertextual
Approach to Italian Culture and Society
Meets: MW 2:30-3:45, screenings TBA, 4 credits
This course looks at the participation of Italian writers and filmmakers in the public discussion of such controversial themes in modern Italian culture and society as diversity, sexual discrimination, the failure of Italian unification and the condition of the South, conformity and resistance to Fascism, the making of the modern hero/heroine, and the crisis of identity. In the process, we will study differences and analogies between literary and cinematic forms of narrative, aiming at a definition of cinematic adaptation as a genre. We will study 6 examples of transposition from fiction to film. Authors will include C.Levi, Sciascia, Pirandello, Moravia, and Tarchetti, the directors Rosi, Amelio, Bellocchio, Bertolucci, and Scola. Secondary readings on cultural studies, film theory, narratology, and scriptwriting.
PHILOSOPHY 275f Philosophy and Film: Theory/Interpretation/Criticism
Meets: MW 11-12:15, screenign Tu 7-9pm
Is King Kong a racist film? Is film motion real or illusory? What makes a film interpretation philosophic? These are examples of the topics to be discussed in this course as we investigate the nature of film and its relation to philosophy. Readings will be drawn from a variety of sources: philosophy, film and cultural theory, film criticism. Weekly film screenings.
Courses with some Film Component (do not count towards UMASS film certificate:
THEATER 350f Seminar: 20th Century Fashion
Meets: M 1-3:50pm
This class explores the changing visual look of the last century through the work of the great couturiers and designers. We will study their visions and how they influenced and were influenced by the art, films, and social fabric of their lifetimes. Students will research and present papers illustrated with slides, videos, and other visual materials. 4 credits.
GERMAN 241f Blacks in German Culture
Meets: MW 8:35-9:50 in German, Tu 1-3:50 in translation
This survey will treat the black presence in German literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present. The topics include literature, popular children's books, film, music, art, and advertising. The course will trace the evolution of the perception of blacks by Germans and examine the Afro-German perception of self within German society. Topics include: German involvement in the slave trade, colonization of Africa, and the role of blacks in Nazi propoganda films. May be taken for 300-level credit with extra work.
FLS 200 Introduction to Film Studies
An overview of cinema's historical development as an artistic and social force. Students will become familiar with the aesthetic elements of cinema (visual style, sound, narration, and formal structure), the terminology of film production, and film theories relating to formalism, ideology, psychoanalysis, and feminism. Films (both classic and contemporary) wil be discussed from aesthetic, historical, and social perspectives, enabling students to approach films as informed and critical viewers. Enrollment limit: 40.
FLS 281 Video Production Workshop
Meets MW 7:30-9:30
This course provides students with basic production skills (camera, lighting, sound, story structure, editing) with an emphasis on narrative. Course work includes both group and individual production projects in the context of a close study of narrative film technique. Each student will produce a short individual work. Prereq: FLS 200. Enrollment limit: 16.
FLS 282 Advanced Video Production
Meets: W 7:30-9:30
Topic: (Re)Presentation and Activism. An advanced video production course focusing on issues of representation and activism. Students will work on individual and collaborative projects in order to (re)present, engage and inspire through the creation of video art. Particular attention will be paid to the works of video/filmmakers engaged in the struggle to creat liberational, alternative images of people and communities 'othered' by the lens of dominant cinema. Prereq: FLS 280 or 281. Enrollment limit: 13.
FLS 350 Questions of Cinema
Topic: Modernism and Postmodernism in film. Investigates the stylistic and thematic characteristics of modernist and postmodernist cinema, particularly with respect to varieties of aesthetic "reflexivity' an 'intertextuality'. The course also examines theoretical debates and cinematic representations concentrating on the nature of social modernity and postmodernity. Emphasis on American and European avant-garde films, along with more mainstream work.
ITL 342 Italian Cinema
Meets: M 7-9
A study of Italian film from Neorealism to the present. Directors include: Visconti, De Sica, Rossellini, Antonioni, Fellini, Bertolucci, and Moretti. Conducted in English.
AAS 350 Race and Representation
Meets: T 3-4:50, M 7:30-9:30
This course will examine the representation of African Americans in U.S. cinema from two perspectives. The first views the images of African Americans in Hollywood film and the social historical context in which these representations were produced. The continuity of images as well as their transformation will be a central theme of investigation. The second perspective explores the development of a Black film aesthetic through the works of directors Oscar Micheaux, Julie Dash, Spike Lee, Matty Rich, and Isaac Julien. We will attend to their representations of blackness and the broader social and political community in which they are located. Prereq: AAS 111, 113, 117 or equivalent
GER 288 German Cinema: Narratives of the Nation
Meets: TuTh 10:30-11:50
Students will investigate a variety of texts in which nationhood is the subject or the impetus and consider how writers, philosophers, composers, and filmmakers have helped to shape and challenge the idea of a German nation during the last 200 years. Texts by Kleist, Fichte, Heine, Wagner, Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, Riefenstahl, Harlan, Boll, Christa Wolf, Grass, Martin Walser. Prereq: 226 or permission of the instructor.
Related Courses w/ film component (do not count towards UMASS film certificate)
ANT 130 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Meets: MW 9-10:20
The exploration of similarities and differences in the cultural patterning of human experience. The comparative analysis of economic, political, religious, and family structures, with examples from Africa, the Americas, India, and Oceania. The impact of the modern world on traditional societies. Several ethnographic films are viewed in coordination with descriptive case studies. Total enrollment of each section limited to 25.
CLT 251 Portraits of the Artist
Meets: MW 1:10-2:30
Representations of the artist and of the creative process from Romanticism to the the present in a variety of genres: novella, drama, opera, film. Texts by Freud, Nietzsche, Kohut, Goethe, Morike, Wagner, Ibsen, Thomas Mann, Kafka, Shaffer, Osborne, and others. Prereq: one literature course at the 200 level or permission of the instructor.
SPN 241 Culturas de Espana
Meets: MW 2:40-4pm
A study of contemporary Spain through a detailed look at its past in history, art, film, and popular culture. The course focuses on Spain's complex multiculturalism, from the past relations among Muslims, Jews, and Christians to its present ethnic and linguistic diversity. Some topics to be studied are: immigration; Basque, Catalan, and Galician nationalisms; the cultural politics of the new Guggenheim museum in Bilbao; Spain at the centennial of the loss of its empire. Highly recommended for those considering JYA. Also for those students looking for a transitional course between language and literature, and looking forward to an environment in which oral and written communication are privileged. A satisfactory command of Spanish is required (above SPN 220 or 222) or permission of instructor.