UMASS Summer 2009

Film & Video Courses

(updated 3/24/09)


<<  For registration information, please visit  >>

Enrollment begins March 9!



Session I - 6/1-7/9, TuWTh 1-3:30 p.m.        Cost: 3 credits, $290.00/credit

20550, sec 1

Instructor: Anne Ciecko         Email:

The nature and several functions of film, including narrative and non-narrative approaches to film communication. Topics include: the components of film expression (composition, movement, editing, sound, setting, and acting); designs in screen narrative; film’s relationship to other arts and media; and its role as an instrument of social reflection and change.



Session I - 6/1-7/9, TuWTh 4-6:30 p.m.        Cost: 3 credits, $290.00/credit

20571, sec 1

Instructor: Valerie Gramling               Email:

Film-works as extensions, continuations, syntheses and reconstitution's of cultural and artistic traditions. The historical, formal and aesthetic relationships between literature and the cinema. Emphasis on problems raised in literary aesthetics as a result of film.

Course Description for Summer 2009:

            “He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector.  A dark knight.” – Lt. Gordon, The Dark Knight (2008) 

            The medieval world continues to inspire modern writers and filmmakers with its stories and images of knights and ladies, dragons and quests, kings and castles.  In this course, we will consider how the idea of the medieval is constructed in modern literature and film, and explore what that idea means, both historically and culturally.  We will consider both the authenticity of modern presentations of medieval life as well as why the medieval world still fascinates modern audiences.

            The readings and films for this course will be structured around major topics and stories.  Possible stories are: the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, the adventures of Robin Hood, and the epic of Beowulf; topics may include medieval drama, fairy tales, and codes of chivalry. 

            Readings will include both medieval (Beowulf, Marie de France’s Lais, excerpts from Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, Everyman) and modern works (John Gardner’s Grendel, Barry Unsworth’s Morality Play, T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, Donald Barthelme’s The King).  Films may include: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Excalibur (1981), King Arthur (2004), The Fisher King (1991), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Beowulf (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), The Reckoning (2003), Time Bandits (1981), The Princess Bride (1987).  


GERMAN 297C  BUILDING THE WALL: Expressions of Identity in East & West             German Film, 1961-1989

Session II - 7/13-8/19, TuWTh 10am-12:30 p.m.      Cost: 3 credits, $290.00/credit

20758, sec 1

Instructor: Delene White                    Email:

An overview of films from both East and West Germany since the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Topics of the course include, but are not limited to postwar reactions and memories expressed in film, New German Cinema, Authors' cinema, the Oberhausen Manifesto and Young German Cinema, the 11th Plenary of the Social Unity Party in 1965 and controversial or banned films.



Session II - 7/13-8/19, Online                         Cost: 3 credits, $320/credit

20631, sec 1

Instructor: Carl Vigeland                     Email:

Focuses on two arts, music and movies, both of which offer students opportunities for practice in reviewing and feature-writing as well as a chance to explore a rich body of books and articles. Four papers: a general one about arts criticism, a review of a film, an arts commentary, and a feature about a musician; extensive essay and book readings will be supplemented by periodic newspaper and magazine selections, and our online discussion will be augmented by film and audio clips. Part of the Certificate of Online Journalism but open to all.