The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Academics

Courses by Requirement

Undergraduate Certificate Categories

Full requirements for completing the Undergraduate Film Studies Certificate. Here is a list of the core courses that a student must take to obtain the certificate:

Please remember that in order to complete the certificate, you must finish SIX courses and a minimimum of EIGHTEEN credits.

Courses by Category Requirements - FALL 2019

I: Introductory Course

ONE introductory course must be taken before any other film courses.

COMM 140 - Introduction to Film Studies

Instructor: Shawn Shimpach
Lecture: TuTh 2:30PM-3:45PM; Screening: Tu 4:00PM-6:00PM
Classroom: ILC S240
Cap: 125; 3 Credits
NOTE: Open to Sophomores & Freshmen only
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, V

This course is designed to provide introduction to the nature and functions of film in its narrative, documentary, and experimental forms. We will look at the various components of film expression (composition, movement, editing, sound, production design, acting), developments in screen narrative, film's relationship to other arts and media, and its role as an instrument of social expression.

COMM 231 - Film & TV Production Concepts

Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Lecture: TuTh 11:30AM-12:45PM
Classroom: ILC S240
Cap: 125; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, V

This class provides an overview of film and television production principles and processes from script to screen and also prepares students for later hands-on production courses. We will explore both the art and craft of film and digital motion picture production, including the roles and functions of the major creative and technical personnel in the scripting, pre-production, production, and post-production phases. Technical aspects such as digital vs. analog media, lighting and color, cinematography, production design, editing concepts, sound recording, and storytelling and script-writing will be covered. In addition, students are given three options for producing a creative project for the course.

COMP-LIT 170 - Introduction to Film Analysis: Cinematic Time Travel

Instructor: Barry Spence
Lecture/Screening: Th 4:00PM-6:45PM; Discussion - Fri 2:30PM-3:45PM OR Fri 2:30PM-3:45PM OR Mo 2:30PM-3:45PM
Classroom: Screening - ILC S240; Discussion - N155/ILC N211/Bartlett Rm 131
NOTE: This is a combined course, and can be enrolled under either COMP-LIT 170 or FILM-ST 197FA.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, V

This is an introduction to film studies and to the analysis of film. The course explores the complex nature and cultural function of cinema by focusing on time travel as both a central theme of a wide range of films and as a way of understanding how cinema works as a time-based medium. By studying films from various points in the global history of cinema - including films from nine countries and five continents - this course performs a transcultural introduction to the formal and stylistic aspects of cinematic storytelling. (Gen. Ed. AT)

II: Film Theory/History of Film

AT LEAST ONE Film Theory/History of Film course is required.

COMM 340 - History of Film I

Instructor: Marty Norden
Lecture: MoWe 11:15AM-12:05PM; Screening: 12:20PM-2:15PM
Classroom: ILC S350
Cap: 50; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

Lecture, lab (screening), discussion. A survey of key events and representative films that mark the history of motion pictures in the United States 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, and political) that have shaped the evolution of the medium to the advent of television.

COMP-LIT 337 - International History of Animation

Instructor: Christopher Couch
Lecture: Tu 4:00PM-7:00PM
Classroom: Herter Rm 113
Cap: 35; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

This course traces the history of animation from the late 19th century to today, including short and feature-length films from the United States, Europe and Japan. Topics will include the Fleischer, Disney and UPA studios, directors from Emil Cole to Hayao Miyazaki, and experimental animators including Oskar Fischinger and John Canemaker. Animation for television, including Jay Ward's Rocky and Bullwinkle and Matt Groening's The Simpsons will also be considered.

COMP-LIT 383 - Narrative Avant-Garde Film

Instructor: Don Levine
Lecture/Screening: Mo 4:00PM-7:30PM; Discussion: Tu 2:30PM-3:45PM OR 4:00PM-5:15PM
Classroom: Lecture - Herter Hall Rm 227; Discussion - Herter Hall Rm 112
Cap: 20; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

Focus on narrative problems of love, desire, sexual identity, daily life, and death. These films' investigations of how we might gain distance on our life fictions by questioning and undermining viewer identification with narrative. (Gen.Ed. AT)

FILM-ST 383 - Narrative Avant-Garde Film

Instructor: Don Levine
Lecture/Screening: Mo 4:00PM-7:30PM; Discussion: Tu 2:30PM-3:45PM OR 4:00PM-5:15PM
Classroom: Lecture - Herter Hall Rm 227; Discussion - Herter Hall Rm 112
Cap: 20; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

Focus on narrative problems of love, desire, sexual identity, daily life, and death. These films' investigations of how we might gain distance on our life fictions by questioning and undermining viewer identification with narrative. (Gen.Ed. AT)

FILM-ST - 497AC/697AC: Arthouse Cinema 1950-1980

Instructor: Barry Spence
Lecture: Wednesday 4:00PM-7:00PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 20; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V

This course will examine the cultural phenomenon of the “art film” during the first three decades of the postwar period (1950s, 60s, 70s). The nature and characteristics of, as well as the relationships connecting and distinguishing, modernist cinema, art cinema, and avant-garde film during this vital period in film history will be the course’s primary concern. We will examine the notion of the auteur and consider its usefulness for thinking about this multiform, innovative cinema. What is the relationship between cinematic modernism and the core principles and representational strategies of modern art? Does modern cinema, as Gilles Deleuze suggests, function as a mental substitute for the lost connection between the individual and the world? Can it restore our belief in the world? The course will pay particular attention to distinctive stylistic attributes, but will also look at dominant thematic concerns. There will be weekly in-class screenings as well as regular streaming of films outside of class. The filmmakers we will consider include, but are not limited to: Chantal Ackerman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Theo Angelopoulos, Ingmar Bergman, Stan Brakhage, Robert Bresson, Luis Buñuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, Werner Herzog, Miklós Janscó, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Sergei Paradzhanov, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alain Resnais, Jean-Marie Straub, Andrei Tarkovsky, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Wim Wenders.

FILM-ST 497P - Film Podcasting

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Lecture: 4:00PM-7:30PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 16; 3 Credits
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

This is, above all, a course in film criticism. For as long as there has been cinema there has also been film criticism, from print and broadcast media to web sites and social media in recent decades. The swiftly growing field of audio podcasting offers a versatile new digital medium for film criticism, drawing on many of the strengths of traditional media and bringing its own unique qualities of engagement. In this course, we will study varieties of film writing and explore the craft of creating compelling and illuminating film criticism and the key techniques for producing rich, engaging podcast content. We will work with films across a variety of genres and time periods and do hands-on work in all aspects of producing a film criticism podcast - research, analysis, writing, planning, conducting interviews, moderating, recording, editing, and posting your finished podcasts.

JOURNAL 333 - Intro to Visual Storytelling

Instructor: Brian McDermott
Lecture: MoWeFri 11:15AM-12:05PM
Classroom: ILC N101
Cap: 60; 4 Credits
NOTE: Open to Senior, Junior, and Sophomore Journalism majors only.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

In introduction to Visual Storytelling, students will become better producers and consumers of visual media. Students will develop a deeper visual literacy by studying topics like visual ethics, aesthetics, agency, and the currents of the modern visual journalism ecosystem. By reporting their own video, photography and data visualization projects, students will learn how to control exposure with a DSLR camera, how to capture quality video and how to use different editing and production software. (Gen. Ed. AT)

III: Genre/Director/National Cinema

AT LEAST ONE Genre/Director/National Cinema course is required.

CHINESE 136 - Introduction to Chinese Cinema

Instructor: Enhua Zhang
Lecture: TuTh 11:30AM-12:45PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 209
Cap: 40; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

This class presents an introduction to Chinese cinema from its birth in 1905 up to the present. It focuses on the close-reading and appreciation of representative Chinese films. Arranged chronologically and thematically, this course examines interaction of film texts with social contexts. In-depth analyses of films from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan leads students to consider theoretical questions such as film aesthetics, production, distribution, and reception. Topics include relationships of cinema and mass culture, history, ideology, colonialism, and globalization. No background required, although some knowledge of modern Chinese history is helpful. Conducted in English.

COMM 444 - Film Styles and Genres

Instructor: Shawn Shimpach
Lecture: Mo 1:25PM-2:15PM; Screening: Mo 2:30PM-5:15PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 25, 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

Why do we put certain films into categories? What constitutes a film genre, how do we recognize it, and what do we do with it? This course examines these questions and more by considering a specific genre over the course of the semester. We will learn to think of genre as a way of comparing and contrasting different films. Genre will also be thought of as a way of creating expectations and measuring experience and meaning. The power of film genre is that it allows us to understand film as a text and film as a social practice at the very same time.

COMM 446 - Film Documentary

Instructor: Bruce Geisler
Lecture: Tu 2:30PM-4:30PM; Discussion: 4:45PM-5:35PM
Classroom: ILC S350
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 140, 231, 340, 342, OR 445
NOTE: Open to Seniors & Juniors only, or by permission of instructor (geisler@comm.umass.edu)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

We will view, analyze, and discuss films by modern documentary masters such as Michael Moore ("Sicko"), Chris Paine, ("Revenge of the Electric Car"), Seth Gordon ("The King of Kong - A fistful of Quarters"), Pamela Yates ("Granito") and many others to further the understanding of the documentary craft and art from a filmmaker's perspective. Students will also do preproduction (research and treatment) for their own short documentary, along with shorter hands-on exercises in writing narration, interview techniques, etc.

COMM 493L - S-Experimental Film & Video

Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Lecture: Th 2:30PM-5:30PM
Classroom: ILC S350
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 331, 441, OR 446
NOTE: Open to Seniors and Juniors only
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

This course explores the genre of Experimental Film and Video with a critical eye toward the history and current articulations of this form of production in both feature film and short form movies and videos. The course begins with an introduction to the genre, then explores Experimental Film; video according to three different categories: Experimentation with Narrative, Experimentation with Structure/Form, and Experimentation with the line between Fact and Fiction. Students will emerge from this course with a solid foundation in the history and theory of experimental film/video as evidenced by writing projects, research papers, and student-produced experimental media projects.

COMM 494BI - Countercultural Films

Instructor: Bruce Geisler
Lecture: We 2:30PM-4:30PM; Discussion: We 4:45PM-5:45
Classroom: Lecture - ILC S350; Discussion - ILC N345
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
NOTE: Open to Seniors & Juniors only, or by permission of instructor.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

An exploration of the counter-cultural movements of the 1960s and 70s and later, hosted by someone who was there and lived to tell the tale. Through the medium of documentary and fiction films, we will delve into the musical, sexual, artistic, political and spiritual upheavals that rocked America and Europe back then and that continue to reverberate today. This course satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Comm majors.

COMP-LIT 100 - International Horror

Instructor: Shastri Akella
Lecture: TuTh 2:30PM-3:45PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 107
Cap: 24; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

For this course, fiction, film, poetry, music and video games will be our primary texts. The course will reflect on three areas of inquiry with regards to the horror genre: (i) psychological ramifications: what evokes fear and why; how a particular kind of demon or monster evokes a particular kind of fear and how, in doing so, the demonic or monstrous reveals the human condition; (ii) cultural specificities: how place (where the text is set/produced) reshapes the specific depictions and meanings of fear; how these disparate fear-representations find a universal echo because of the effects of fear and (iii) particular social representations of minorities: what are the time- and place-bound implications of such representations.

COMP-LIT 391W - Dream, History, & Identity in Polish Film

Instructor: TBA
Lecture: We 4:00PM-7:00PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 114
Cap: 15; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

What happens when a nation "dreams" itself, when it projects an image of its identity and uses it to negotiate its socio-historic predicament? Perhaps modern Polish cinema, which rose from the ashes of the Holocaust and World War II and in a new communist age, offers as good a case study as any of this important question. In the course of this class, we will look at Polish history as mediated through the lens of film, in works by Wanda Jakubowska, Andrzej Wajda, Wojciech Jerzy Has, Andrzej Munk, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland, and more recent filmmakers such as Malgorzata Szumowska, Wladyslaw Pasikowski, Wojciech Smarzowski, and Pawel Pawlikowski, who have also more readily addressed social and psychosexual norms, applying a queering lens to traditional motifs, including family, the church, death and sexuality. Accompanying these works is the notion that the very act of recreating history necessarily transforms it into something else. In these diverse "dreams of Poland" and of Polish identity - some more serene, some more hallucinatory - we will also get a better sense of what Deleuze meant when he warned of getting lost in someone else's dream.

FILM-ST 497B - Contemporary Hispanic Cinema

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Lecture: TuTh 1:00PM-2:15PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 15; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

This course gathers together an array of recent Latin American, Spanish, Caribbean, and Latinx films with an emphasis on addressing the experiences of marginalized people. We will explore the historical and cultural contexts in which these films are made and seen, in many cases reaching vast audiences across the world, and we will push at the boundaries of the category “Hispanic” in cinema. Analysis and discussions will also draw on insights from film theory, such as approaches to world cinema, “Third Cinema,” national and transnational cinemas, and Hamid Naficy’s concept of “accented cinema.” Taught in English with films subtitled in English. Spanish majors encouraged to submit written work in Spanish. Cross-listed with SPANISH 497B, Pre-requisites: none.

FRENCH 350 - French Film

Instructor: Emmanuel Buzay
Lecture: MoWe 2:30PM-3:45PM
Classroom: ILC S240
Cap: 100; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

This French film survey course in English will introduce a variety of French films (with English subtitles) of different genres dating from the 1930s to the present, which we will interpret on their own terms, in relation to other films, and with respect to their specific historical contexts of time and place. At the end of this course, you will be able analyze films and their different genres as cultural products, identify the values transmitted within these works of art, critically discuss films with the technical vocabulary of film analysis, and interpret films as complex creative works within their specific settings of time and place in French history. To this end, we will focus on food and meals and how this theme reflects economic realities, national obsessions, behavioral conventions, and societal transformations.

FRENCH 350 - French Film

Instructor: Emmanuel Buzay
Lecture: MoWe 2:30PM-3:45PM
Classroom: ILC S240
Cap: 100; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

This French film survey course in English will introduce a variety of French films (with English subtitles) of different genres dating from the 1930s to the present, which we will interpret on their own terms, in relation to other films, and with respect to their specific historical contexts of time and place. At the end of this course, you will be able analyze films and their different genres as cultural products, identify the values transmitted within these works of art, critically discuss films with the technical vocabulary of film analysis, and interpret films as complex creative works within their specific settings of time and place in French history. To this end, we will focus on food and meals and how this theme reflects economic realities, national obsessions, behavioral conventions, and societal transformations.

JAPANESE 391T/591T - Tokyo Through Literature and Film

Instructor: Amanda Seaman
Lecture: TuTh 1:00PM- 2:15PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 212
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

In this course we will explore the transformation of Tokyo from Edo into one of the most vibrant, cosmopolitan cities of the world. Taking the themes of maps, disaster, and rebirth, and the role of space in identity formation, we will look at how the city has been transformed and reborn. Our materials will include film, photos, literature, and history in order to delve into the nooks and crannies of the city and the city spaces.

JOURNAL 390S - Short-Form Documentary

Instructor TBA
Lecture: MoWe 12:20PM-3:20PM
Classroom: ILC S308
Prerequisite: JOURNAL 300
Cap: TBA; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

This class is where documentary filmmaking and traditional journalism meet. People often look at news for the headlines and see little bits of the news?here we give them more depth, alternate perspectives, ask deeper questions and look to the future with long form storytelling. David Wilson, a co-founder of the True/False Film Festival calls this a ?new era of journalism? and says, "We are getting away from the 'voice of God' narration. Primary sources still rule, but viewers also want stories to help triangulate a topic." The challenge of modern day videos is to tell enrapturing stories in a short period of time. Today, the most successful online videos are no more than 5 minutes. This course will teach you how to produce short, sharp, strong micro-documentaries.

JUDAIC 319 - Representing the Holocaust

Instructor: Jonathan Skolnik
Lecture: Tu 2:30PM-3:45PM; Discussion: See Spire for Discussion sections
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 227; See Spire for Discussion classrooms
Cap: 21; 4 Credits
NOTE: This class is cross-listed as Comp-Lit 319 and English 319
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

Major writers, works, themes, and critical issues comprising the literature of the Holocaust. Exploration of the narrative responses to the destruction of European Jewry and other peoples during World War II (including diaries, memoirs, fiction, poetry, drama, video testimonies, and memorials).

JUDAIC 344 - Film and Society in Israel

Instructor: Olga Gershenson
Lecture: Tu 4:00PM-6:45PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 102
Cap: 20; 4 Credits
NOTE: Open to Seniors, Juniors, & Sophomores only. This is a combined course with MIDEAST 344. The total combined capacity is 35.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

This course uses film to discuss Israeli society. Topics include: foundation of Israel, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Holocaust survivors, religion, gender, and interethnic relations. All film showings are with English subtitles. (Gen. Ed. AT, DG)

JUDAIC 377 - Pop Culture/Israel & Palestine

Instructor: Olga Gershenson
Lecture: We 4:00PM-6:45PM
Classroom TBA
Cap: 30; 4 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

This course examines Israeli-Palestinian relations through a lens of popular culture in order to give students an understanding of the region beyond news headlines. The topics include cinema, TV, music, sports, food, literature, tourism, and printed and electronic media in Israel and Palestine. The students will learn about major personalities and celebrities in both cultures, as well as about most popular movies, papers, songs, and other cultural products. All readings are in English. (Gen. Ed. AT)

IV: Upper Level Seminar

AT LEAST ONE Upper Level Seminar (400 Level and higher) is required.

COMM 441 - Principles and Techniques of Film Style Production

Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Lecture: Tu 2:30PM-6:30PM
Classroom: ILC N317
Cap: 12; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 231 and 331
NOTE: Open to Senior and Junior COMM majors only.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V

A hands-on introduction to single-camera filmmaking using digital video camcorders and non-linear editing. Production assignments will foster student skills in the art of visual
storytelling: from pre-production, shot composition and lighting to continuity editing and post production audio.

COMM 444 - Film Styles and Genres

Instructor: Shawn Shimpach
Lecture: Mo 1:25PM-2:15PM; Screening: Mo 2:30PM-5:15PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 25, 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

Why do we put certain films into categories? What constitutes a film genre, how do we recognize it, and what do we do with it? This course examines these questions and more by considering a specific genre over the course of the semester. We will learn to think of genre as a way of comparing and contrasting different films. Genre will also be thought of as a way of creating expectations and measuring experience and meaning. The power of film genre is that it allows us to understand film as a text and film as a social practice at the very same time.

COMM 445 - Screenwriting

Instructor: Bruce Geisler OR Marty Norden
Lecture: TuTh 11:30AM-12:45PM OR MoWe 2:30PM-3:45PM
Classroom: ILC N345
Cap: 20; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 140, COMM 240, OR COMM 340
NOTE: Open to Senior and Junior COMM majors only
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V

An examination of the art, craft, and business of screenwriting from theoretical and practical perspectives. Topics include screenplay format and structure, story, plot and character development, dialog and scene description, visual storytelling, pace and rhythm, analysis of professional and student scripts and films.

COMM 446 - Film Documentary

Instructor: Bruce Geisler
Lecture: Tu 2:30PM-4:30PM; Discussion: 4:45PM-5:35PM
Classroom: ILC S350
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 140, 231, 340, 342, OR 445
NOTE: Open to Seniors & Juniors only, or by permission of instructor (geisler@comm.umass.edu)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

We will view, analyze, and discuss films by modern documentary masters such as Michael Moore ("Sicko"), Chris Paine, ("Revenge of the Electric Car"), Seth Gordon ("The King of Kong - A fistful of Quarters"), Pamela Yates ("Granito") and many others to further the understanding of the documentary craft and art from a filmmaker's perspective. Students will also do preproduction (research and treatment) for their own short documentary, along with shorter hands-on exercises in writing narration, interview techniques, etc.

COMM 493L - S-Experimental Film & Video

Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Lecture: Th 2:30PM-5:30PM
Classroom: ILC S350
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 331, 441, OR 446
NOTE: Open to Seniors and Juniors only
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

This course explores the genre of Experimental Film and Video with a critical eye toward the history and current articulations of this form of production in both feature film and short form movies and videos. The course begins with an introduction to the genre, then explores Experimental Film; video according to three different categories: Experimentation with Narrative, Experimentation with Structure/Form, and Experimentation with the line between Fact and Fiction. Students will emerge from this course with a solid foundation in the history and theory of experimental film/video as evidenced by writing projects, research papers, and student-produced experimental media projects.

COMM 494BI - Countercultural Films

Instructor: Bruce Geisler
Lecture: We 2:30PM-4:30PM; Discussion: We 4:45PM-5:45
Classroom: Lecture - ILC S350; Discussion - ILC N345
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
NOTE: Open to Seniors & Juniors only, or by permission of instructor.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

An exploration of the counter-cultural movements of the 1960s and 70s and later, hosted by someone who was there and lived to tell the tale. Through the medium of documentary and fiction films, we will delve into the musical, sexual, artistic, political and spiritual upheavals that rocked America and Europe back then and that continue to reverberate today. This course satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Comm majors.

FILM-ST - 497AC/697AC: Arthouse Cinema 1950-1980

Instructor: Barry Spence
Lecture: Wednesday 4:00PM-7:00PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 20; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V

This course will examine the cultural phenomenon of the “art film” during the first three decades of the postwar period (1950s, 60s, 70s). The nature and characteristics of, as well as the relationships connecting and distinguishing, modernist cinema, art cinema, and avant-garde film during this vital period in film history will be the course’s primary concern. We will examine the notion of the auteur and consider its usefulness for thinking about this multiform, innovative cinema. What is the relationship between cinematic modernism and the core principles and representational strategies of modern art? Does modern cinema, as Gilles Deleuze suggests, function as a mental substitute for the lost connection between the individual and the world? Can it restore our belief in the world? The course will pay particular attention to distinctive stylistic attributes, but will also look at dominant thematic concerns. There will be weekly in-class screenings as well as regular streaming of films outside of class. The filmmakers we will consider include, but are not limited to: Chantal Ackerman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Theo Angelopoulos, Ingmar Bergman, Stan Brakhage, Robert Bresson, Luis Buñuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, Werner Herzog, Miklós Janscó, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Sergei Paradzhanov, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alain Resnais, Jean-Marie Straub, Andrei Tarkovsky, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Wim Wenders.

FILM-ST 497B - Contemporary Hispanic Cinema

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Lecture: TuTh 1:00PM-2:15PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 15; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

This course gathers together an array of recent Latin American, Spanish, Caribbean, and Latinx films with an emphasis on addressing the experiences of marginalized people. We will explore the historical and cultural contexts in which these films are made and seen, in many cases reaching vast audiences across the world, and we will push at the boundaries of the category “Hispanic” in cinema. Analysis and discussions will also draw on insights from film theory, such as approaches to world cinema, “Third Cinema,” national and transnational cinemas, and Hamid Naficy’s concept of “accented cinema.” Taught in English with films subtitled in English. Spanish majors encouraged to submit written work in Spanish. Cross-listed with SPANISH 497B, Pre-requisites: none.

FILM-ST 497MM - 16mm Filmmaking and Technology

Instructor: David Bendiksen
Lecture: Mo 2:30PM-6:30PM
Classroom TBA
Cap: 15; 3 Credits
NOTE: Students should expect to pay a lab fee of $100. Open to Undergraduate and Graduate students by application. Contact Professor David Bendiksen (dbendiks@complit.umass.edu) to enroll.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V

This course is an introductory workshop in 16mm single-camera filmmaking, linear editing, and film projection intended for students interested in pursuing further creative production and coursework in film, especially toward completion of the Certificate in Film Studies. Creative work is complemented by a rigorous selection of readings and screenings. Exploration of technological possibilities to broaden student creativity will be emphasized, and the development of personal vision and style will be stressed.

FILM-ST 497P - Film Podcasting

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Lecture: 4:00PM-7:30PM
Classroom: ILC S404
Cap: 16; 3 Credits
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

This is, above all, a course in film criticism. For as long as there has been cinema there has also been film criticism, from print and broadcast media to web sites and social media in recent decades. The swiftly growing field of audio podcasting offers a versatile new digital medium for film criticism, drawing on many of the strengths of traditional media and bringing its own unique qualities of engagement. In this course, we will study varieties of film writing and explore the craft of creating compelling and illuminating film criticism and the key techniques for producing rich, engaging podcast content. We will work with films across a variety of genres and time periods and do hands-on work in all aspects of producing a film criticism podcast - research, analysis, writing, planning, conducting interviews, moderating, recording, editing, and posting your finished podcasts.

V: Elective OR Film/Video Production

TWO Category V courses are required. All undergraduate courses qualify as a Category V. ONE of these two courses must be from Category II or III. A production course is strongly encouraged but not required.

Below is a list of the courses that are ONLY Category V.

ART 230 - Image Capturing

Instructor: Susan Jahoda OR Jenny Vogel
Lecture: MoWe 1:25PM-4:10PM OR TuTh 1:00PM-3:45PM
Classroom: Studio Arts Building Rm 16
Cap: 14; 3 Credits
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

Introduction to photographic tools and methods. The balance between self-inquiry and the importance of process and materials as vehicles of meaning. Theory explored through class critiques and slide presentations. Photography examined and discussed both from a personal point of view and in its wider cultural context.

ART 274 - Animation Fundamentals

Instructor: TBA
Lecture: TuTh 1:00PM-3:45PM
Classroom: Fine Arts Center Rm 447
Cap: 12; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: ART 104, 110, 120, OR 131
NOTE: Open to BA-ART, BFA-ART, and BDIC students only. This is a combined course with ART 574
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

Introduction to traditional animation techniques as used in fine art animation and experimental film/video. Basics of locomotion, timing, lighting, camera moves, exposure, sound design and audio an visual editing. Studio course.

COMM 331 - Program Process in TV

Instructor: David Maxcy
Lecture: We 10:10AM-11:00AM; Lab: Mo 1:25PM-4:25PM OR We 1:25PM-4:25PM OR Fr 9:05AM-12:05PM
Classroom: Lecture - ILC N155; Lab - ILC N317
Cap: 36; 3 Credits
NOTE: Open to Senior, Junior, and Sophmore COMM majors only. Journalism Majors and Film Certificate Students by permission of instructor (djmaxcy@comm.umass.edu)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

This course introduces concepts and techniques of television production through weekly lectures and lab meetings. During the course students work on two major projects: first, a short, narrative piece shot in single-camera, post-production style, and, second, a multiple camera piece shot live in the studio.

JOURNAL 339 - Video Content Creation

Instructor: Greeley Kyle
Lecture: TuTh 10:00AM-12:00PM
Classroom: ILC S308
Cap: 16; 4 Credits
Prerequisite: JOURNAL 300
NOTE: Open to Journalism majors only.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

This class is an introduction to radio & television news writing, videography, editing and visual storytelling. Students will learn the basics of radio reporting, videography and broadcast journalism. They will produce a variety of radio and television reports to expand their understanding of the various formats, styles and types of reports used in the media. Students will also work on news judgment, sourcing stories, interviewing subjects and writing and editing their stories for radio, television and the web.