The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Academics

Course Catalogue

REGULARLY OFFERED CLASSES
Here you will find some examples of classes that we offer at UMass that fulfill the film studies certificate and film studies major through BDIC requirements. This is NOT the official class list for any one semester--just an example of the kinds of classes you can take under film studies! To see what classes are being offered currently or in the coming semesters, visit our current classes page.
 

MASTER LIST OF FILM COURSES

ART

 

ART 230 – Image Capturing
Susan Jahoda Cap: 12, 3 Credits

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. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E (limit: one 200 level course)

 

ART 231 – Photography II

3 Credits
Instructor: Susan Jahoda, Cap: 14

Open to Undergraduate Art, BFA-ART, BFA-ART ED, and Art History majors
In-depth exploration of techniques and materials including zone system, large format, and non-silver processes. Slide lectures, discussions, and readings. Prerequisite: ART 230 or consent of instructor.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E (limit: one 200 level course)

 

ART 274 - Animation Fundamentals

Instructor: TBA
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

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E (limit: one 200 level course)

 

ART 374 – Int. Computer Animation

Shane Mecklenburger Cap. 6, 3 Credits
Prerequisite: Art 104, 110, 120, or 131. Students may enroll without prerequisites with permission of the instructor.

First half of a two-semester sequence. With studio. Principles and applications of computer animation using Crater and Alias Maya software in film, video, music, and technology. Introduction to 2D and 3D animation programs. Skills acquired in preparation for production in second semester. Emphasis on professionalism and quality. Should be followed by 397, 3D Computer Animation.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

ART 375 – Moving Image

3 Credits
Instructor: Jenny Vogel, Cap: 12
Open to Undergraduates with majors in Art, BFA-Art, and BFA-Art Education only
Prerequisites: ART 104, 110, or 120
This course explores digital video and sound within the context of contemporary art practices. Students learn basic skills and concepts used in experimental digital video production through small-scale projects.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

ART 384 – Computer Animation II

3 Credits
Instructor: Shane Mecklenburger, Cap: 14
Open to Undergraduates with majors in Art, BFA-Art, and BFA-Art Education only
Prerequisites: ART 374 and ART 385

The second of a two semester sequence. Animation techniques using digital tools as applied to film, video, music and technology. Animation software (Maya) and professional compositing programs are used. Development and design of personal work is stressed. Emphasis is on creativity and professionalism. Studio course.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

CHINESE

 

CHINESE 136 - Introduction to Chinese Cinema

Instructor: Enhua Zhang
Cap: 40; 3 Credits

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY:  N/A (not at 200 level)

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

COMM 140 – Introduction to Film Studies
Marty Norden Cap. 125, 3 Credits
Open to Juniors, Sophomores & Freshmen Only 

This course offers an introduction to the study of film as a distinct medium. It introduces the ways in which film style, form, and genre contribute to the meaning and the experience of movies. Topics include film as industrial commodity, narrative and non-narrative form, aspects of style (e.g. composition, cinematography, editing, and sound), and the role of film as a cultural practice. Examples are drawn from new and classic films, from Hollywood and from around the world. This course is intended to serve as a basis for film studies courses you might take in the future. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: I

 

COMM 231 - Film & TV Production Concepts

Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Cap: 125; 3 Credits

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: I

 

COMM 291j – Villains in Film: Issues of Representation

3 Credits Briggs
Lecture 

This course will interrogate representations of villains in cinema. We will screen a wide variety of films, including Basic Instinct, Disney's Aladdin, and Jennifer's Body. We will use intersectional feminist theory, film theory, and queer theory to examine how race, gender, sexuality, and disability are used to construct images of danger, badness, and villainy. Course content will explore and critique harmful tropes of bisexuality as dangerous and trans identity depicted as inherently deceptive, as well as examining how villains were historically queer- coded in Hollywood film. We will view and analyze films that construct whiteness as goodness and use representations of people of color as a stand-in for villainous character traits. We will look at the stigmatizing of mental illness and representations of people who look "different" as ways that ableism emerges in cinematic representation. Films that resist stereotypes and tropes will be viewed to offer a counterpoint to theses representations and to explore ways in which film can be used to present and change narratives around representations. 

Course Notes: This class meets in person on Monday and convenes online on Wednesday. The online session doesn't have a meeting time; film viewing, and online activities should be done by Wed. at 11:59 p.m. EST. For further questions, contact instructor.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

 

COMM 331 Program Process in TV

David Maxcy

3 Credits

During the first six weeks basic concepts and techniques are introduced in lecture. Students then break up into lab groups where, under the supervision of their lab instructor, they produce a short program which puts the concept of the week to work. During the rest of 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.  COMM 331 is offered every fall and spring semester.
Journalism Majors and Film Certificate Students by permission of the instructor, 
djmaxcy@comm.umass.edu

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

COMM 340 - History of Film I

Instructor: Marty Norden
Cap: 50; 3 Credits
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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: H1

 

 

COMM 345- Contemporary World Cinema

3 credits Anne Ciecko

This course offers an overview of recent filmmaking from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere. While narrative fiction feature films are central, documentary, short-form work, and other digital/audiovisual media will also be included. Developing tools of film analysis and criticism, we will explore representational strategies and issues of context: current events, cultural, political, social, historical, and economic circumstances that impact the production, exhibition, marketing, distribution, and reception of films. The class meeting time includes lectures, discussions, class activities, and regular screenings of feature films and clips; at least one screening outside class may also be required. All undergraduates are welcome. No prior background in film studies is required, only an openness to diverse cultures and representations. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

COMM 397B – Intro Studio Directing

David Maxcy Cap. 10, 3 Credits
Integrative Learning Center TV Studio S312
Open to Senior, Junior and Sophomore Communication majors only. Journalism Majors and Film Certificate Students by permission of the instructor.

Students will learn basic concepts and techniques of studio television production, with a focus on directing live programs in a full-scale studio facility on the UMASS campus. The course includes lecture presentations, production exercises, script-writing projects, and studio production projects. Finally, each student will write, produce, and direct a live studio production.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

COMM 397TV – TV Studio Operations, Production Design & Production

David Maxcy Cap. 10, 3 Credits
Integrative Learning Center TV Studio S312
Open to Senior, Junior and Sophomore Communication majors only.

This course explores the links between technical operations, creative production design, and actual production in the live, multiple-camera HD studio environment. Though loaded with technology, the television studio is, from the first instance through the last, a creative environment with tools aimed at production of meaningful content. This course will explore and put to work the concepts and techniques fundamental to multiple-camera studio production in the HD studio environment. These include conceptualization, visualization, and writing for multiple-camera, wide-screen production; and production design, including staging, set design, photography, lighting, sound, and graphic design. Students will learn and practice skills including light placement and mixing, videography using the HD studio camera, sound pickup and mixing, and graphics. Students will realize all of this work in collaborative, final studio production projects.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

COMM 433 

David Maxcy

3 Credits

Intensive workshop course in advanced concepts and techniques of studio-based television production, with a focus on the direction of live programs.    Under the supervision of the instructor, students will produce individual projects in a variety of genres which will be aired on local cable television outlets. Prerequisite: COMM 331 or consent of the instructor.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

COMM 441 - Principles and Techniques of Film Style Production

Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Cap: 12; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 231 and 331
NOTE: Open to Senior and Junior COMM majors only.

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

COMM 444 - Film Styles and Genres

Instructor: Shawn Shimpach
Cap: 25, 3 Credits

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

 

COMM 445 – Screenwriting
Martin Norden Cap: 20, 3 Credits

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. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E 

 

COMM 446: Film Documentary

Instructor: Bruce Geisler

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

COMM 493L - S-Experimental Film & Video

Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Cap: 25; 3 Credits
Prerequisites: COMM 331, 441, OR 446
NOTE: Open to Seniors and Juniors only

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

COMM 493Z – S-Documentary Production Workshop

3 Credits
Instructor: Bruce Geisler, Cap: 12
Open to Senior and Junior Communication majors only
Requirements: One of the following: COMM 331, COMM 441, COMM446

A hands-on workshop in the production of documentary films. Students will learn about the art and craft of non-fiction filmmaking and create two to three short documentaries using high definition video and Adobe Premiere editing suites

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

COMM 494BI- Countercultural Films
Geisler

Seminar, Discussion. 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. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G 

 

COMM 593D- Advanced Screenwriting

Geisler

Building on the introductory course (COMM 445: Seminar-Screenwriting), 593d is an intensive workshop where students receive continuing, in-depth feedback on their work in progress, as they strive for professional competence in feature-length theatrical screenwriting or writing for episodic television. Included is an analysis of two professional screenplays and the films or shows produced from them, as students delve into the writer's art and craft. Students will complete either the first 60 pages of a feature film screenplay or a complete episode for a dramatic television show, or two episodes for a sitcom. 

Prerequisites: COMM 445 or another college-level screenwriting course
Course Eligibility*: Open to Senior and Junior Communication majors only.
Course Notes: COMM 445 or another college-level screenwriting course. Open to senior & junior Communication majors. Other majors and graduate students may request permission of the instructor 
geisler@comm.umass.edu

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

COMM 797T – Analyzing Media Textuality

Professor Shawn Shimpach
Department of Communication

The premise of this course is that textual analysis benefits from an understanding of textuality. Close analysis of texts is a foundational method within many disciplinary approaches and an especially central approach to both film and media studies, producing exemplary case studies as well as the basis for more expansive inquiries. This course will offer an exploration of the intellectual foundations of textual studies and a careful consideration of theories of textuality. It will seek to revisit and reconsider the media text amid twenty-first century practices of seriality and transmedia franchise building, global interconnectivity, digital production and distribution, and intersubjective consumption, in which the boundaries of textuality are forever changing and porous. It will consider the text as discourse, the text as social practice, the text as data, the text as cognition, and the text as site of evolving technogenesis. Participants in the course will develop skills in the analysis and interpretation of media texts through approaches to form, structure, narrative, and genre; the ability to identify and understand medium specificity; experience with both "close reading" and "distant reading" practices; and a recognition of and familiarity with the critical frameworks from which these are all explicitly or implicitly drawn.

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: T

 

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

 

 

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

Instructor: Barry Spence
NOTE: This is a combined course, and can be enrolled under either COMP-LIT 170 or FILM-ST 197FA.

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)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: I

 

COMP-LIT 236 - Digital Cultures

4 Credits

An introduction to digital culture, including study of actual works of art in their new digital forms and the implications of "hypertext" for creative writing, theory, and criticism. Potential for academic research on the Internet, the World Wide Web, and electronic libraries. (Gen.Ed. I)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E (limit one 200 level course)

 

COMP-LIT 337 - International History of Animation

Instructor: Christopher Couch
Cap: 35; 4 Credits

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.

 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: H2

 

COMP-LIT 350: INTERNATIONAL FILM:

Barry Spence

GenEd: AT Cap: 75 4 credits

This general education course will screen films from across the globe studying examples of a range of lesser-known subgenres of the Horror film, such as Giallo (Italian genre mixing slasher horror with detective mysteries), Fantastique (French genre mixing gothic horror with fantasy erotica), and Jiangshi (Hong Kong genre mixing slasher horror with Kung Fu). And we will consider in equal measure the so-called dystopian film. We will look at the interrelationship connecting these two modes, which can be seen at work in films like Battle Royale. This course will include a primary focus on gender issues, will examine the representation of women, and will screen (transgressive) examples of these modes by women filmmakers. The intention of this course is to expose students to a cultural diversity of these vital contemporary film genres beyond the conventional Hollywood fare. Weekly film screenings and discussion. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G 

 

COMPLIT 381- Self- Reflective Avant- Garde Film

4 credits

Don Levine

Explores modern origin of film experimentation in avant-garde modes such as Expressionism, Surrealism and Contemporary results of this heritage. Trying to determine if film is the most resolutely modern of them media, we’ll look at cinema as the result of two obsessive concerns 1.) The poetic, dreamlike and fantastic 2.) The factual, realistic and socially critical or anarchistic. Thus, we’ll attempt to discover how modern culture deals with avant-garde imperatives to always “make it new.” Films and filmmakers such as Breathless (Godard), My Own Private Idaho (Van Sant), The American Soldier (Fassbinder), others. UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: H2 

 

COMP-LIT 383 - Narrative Avant-Garde Film

Instructor: Don Levine
Cap: 20; 4 Credits

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)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: H2

 

 

COMPLIT 391SF- International Sci-Fi Cinema

Christopher NC Couch

This course provides an introduction to science fiction cinema from the end of the nineteenth century to today. Beginning with the experiments of the Melies Brothers and the importance of German Expressionist films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the course considers technological prognostication from Destination Moon to 2001: A Space Odyssey, adventure and science fiction in films like Forbidden Planet and Star Wars, and the dystopian imagination from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to District 9. The course will also highlight the roles of women writers and directors from Thea von Harbou to Kathryn Bigelow, and technological cinematic advances from matte painting and process shots to CGI. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G 

 

COMP-LIT 391W - Dream, History, & Identity in Polish Film
Cap: 15; 3 Credits
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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

FILM STUDIES

 

FILM-ST 170 - Introduction to Film Analysis: Cinematic Time Travel

Instructor: Barry Spence
NOTE: This is a combined course, and can be enrolled under either COMP-LIT 170 or Film-ST 197FA.

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)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: I

 

FILM-ST  297SF Special Topics- Possible Futures: Science Fiction in Global Cinemas

Kevin Anderson

There are multiple growing concerns regarding issues of climate, class, race, gender identity, and the nature of democracy in our contemporary world.  Science fiction has proven to be a thought-provoking genre to help raise awareness to many of these social and environmental issues.  This course takes a global perspective on such pressing issues by examining science fiction films from around the world. As such, the course uses science fiction films as primary texts, accompanied by weekly readings.  Students will engage in a critical analysis of the assigned films and readings in order to better appreciate what we can begin to anticipate regarding our future.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G (limit one 200 level course)

 

FILM-ST 330: Film Auteurs: Akira Kurosawa

Credits 4
Instructor: Barry Spence

This class will focus on one, or more, specific filmmaker and will aim to highlight their cinematic models, distinctive style and recurrent themes, within the theoretical framework of the "auteur theory", thus offering students an introductory and comprehensive view of perhaps the most central concept in film studies. In the first place, this class will address the historical evolution of the debate around "auteur theory," from the "politique des auteurs" to the "death of the author", while providing author criticism and analysis in practice. It will tackle questions such as: Why do certain filmmakers qualify as auteurs? What is the difference between commercial cinema and auteur cinema? Due to the collaborative nature of filmmaking, can we talk about the author of a film? What is the intersection between gender and authorship? What does it mean to be a woman author? Secondly, it will concentrate on one specific filmmaker: students will read pertinent bibliography (e.g. biography, film reviews, etc.) on their films, watch and study their most significant film production, and contextualize it historically, geographically and culturally.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

FILM-ST 383 - Narrative Avant-Garde Film

Instructor: Don Levine

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)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: H2

 

FILM-ST 391SF- International Sci-Fi Cinema 

Christopher NC Couch
This course provides an introduction to science fiction cinema from the end of the nineteenth century to today. Beginning with the experiments of the Melies Brothers and the importance of German Expressionist films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the course considers technological prognostication from Destination Moon to 2001: A Space Odyssey, adventure and science fiction in films like Forbidden Planet and Star Wars, and the dystopian imagination from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to District 9. The course will also highlight the roles of women writers and directors from Thea von Harbou to Kathryn Bigelow, and technological cinematic advances from matte painting and process shots to CGI. 
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G 

 

FILM-ST 397A- ST Alien Encounters

3 credits Daniel Pope
Could extraterrestrial life exist in the cosmos? Scientists say yes, possibly on billions of planets in our galaxy alone. In this class, we will examine the international cinema of alien encounters and explore how these films envision the alien other. How do these films both reflect and shape our own experience of "the alien" or the unknown "other"? Since the beginning of cinema, the figure of the alien has visited the big screen with its promise of otherworldly wonders and its threat of unthinkable perils. This course will explore how alien encounters reflect the haunting of historical realities (such as European voyages of discovery, conquest, and colonization) as well as contemporary issues, such as international conflict (war or global migration), questions of identity (race, gender, sexuality), and the power and perils of emerging technologies (nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, space travel). Imagining encounters with intelligent beings beyond our own cultural and ideological sphere provides powerful new perspectives on what we think we know about the world, about ourselves, and about others.

If you have trouble enrolling please contact the professor at daniel@umass.edu
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

 

FILM-ST 397E: Film at the End of the World

Credits: 3
Instructor: Daniel Pope

Climate disaster, world war, aliens, cosmic collisions, dystopias, zombies, the rise of the machines, catastrophic pandemics, mass extinction, prophesied apocalypse. What do films about the end of the world tell us about contemporary realities? What insights do they offer into the cultural moment that produces them and the prevailing attitudes and realities of gender, race, class, sexuality, and gender identity? How do they speak to our anxieties and fears about the future as well as our hopes and aspirations? How does the genre of end-of-the-world films intersect with other genres—thriller, action film, neo-noir, comedy, art-house, romance, drama, experimental, historical? In this course we will study the cinema of eschatology, of ultimate endings, and analyze a range of filmic approaches to the philosophical, psychological, social, and aesthetic questions posed in end-of-the-world films.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

FILM-ST 397F- Portuguese Speaking World in Film

Patricia Ferreira
This course is designed as an introduction to Brazilian, Portuguese and Lusophone African cinema and cultures. The selected cinematographic works will afford students an opportunity to engage with film theory and criticism, and to examine a variety of topics such as the formation of national identity, gender and family dynamics, social inequalities, rural vs. urban societies, migration, civic agency, race relations, and major political and historical events that have impacted the contemporary societies of the Portuguese-speaking world (mainly Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé e Príncipe). Our goal is to evaluate how film can contest hegemonic accounts and to investigate how artistic productions play a role in interpreting one's society and forming one's identity. Class will be conducted in English. The films will be shown in the original language with subtitles. UNDERGRADUATE UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N 

 

FILM-ST 397G: Contemporary Hispanic Cinema

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Credits: 3
Cap 15 (of 25, Cap of 10 be listed as SPANISH 397B)

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, with an emphasis on questions of gender, class, race, and sexual and gender identity. 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 397B, Pre-requisites: none.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

 

FILM-ST 397V- Latin American Cinema

3 credits Barbara Zecchi
The course is designed to introduce students to the cinematic work of some of the most important Latin American directors. The course will center on a variety of topics that are vital to the understanding of the most significant political, historical, social and cultural events that have shaped Latin America. 

Cross-listed with Spanish

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N 

 

FILM-ST 397Z: Classical Hollywood Cinema

Instructor: Barry Spence

Cap: 25

This is a history of film course focusing on what is sometimes referred to as the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. An examination of classical Hollywood cinema, this course will concentrate on the period from the 1920s to the 1960s. We will look at the production and distribution practices of the Hollywood studio system, and pay special attention to the way this preeminent form of cinema established many of the norms of the immersive film experience. Among other subjects, we will consider the construction of classical continuity by studying the narrative structures and devices, stylistic techniques, and approaches to editing of a wide range of exemplary films. Weekly in-class screenings, with separate discussion.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: H1 

 

FILM-ST 470- FILM THEORY

Barry Spence 4 credits
This course provides an in-depth overview of key theoretical approaches to the study of cinema by examining historically significant ways of analyzing film form and its social and cultural functions and effects. The course seeks to equip students with a command of the diverse history of theoretical frameworks for understanding the medium and experience of cinema, from early concerns over films relation to other arts to the way the movie as a cultural form has been reconceptualized within the contemporary explosion of new media. The pressing relevance of film theory becomes clear once we stop to consider taking just one small example the many implications of a society-wide movement away from the collective experience of movies in a public theater to private viewing with earbuds on the tiny screen of a cell phone or tablet. We will explore a wide range of questions (concerning the nature of the cinematic medium and its apparatus, aspects of the spectator’s experience of film, and the aesthetic and ideological dimensions of film genre, to name just a few) as a way of putting ourselves in dialogue with various film theoreticians. And we will ground our examination by looking at cinematic practice in relation to theory. This will be done through regular film screenings throughout the semester. UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: T 

 

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

Instructor: Barry Spence
Cap: 20; 3 Credits

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: H2

 

FILM-ST 497B - Contemporary Hispanic Cinema

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Cap: 15; 3 Credits

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

 

FILM-ST 497N – New York on Film

3 Credits
Instructor: Barry Spence, Cap: 15
Three MANDATORY field trips to New York City (see below)
ILC S404
Prerequisite: This course is designed for Film Certificate students or for those with previous experience studying film. Please 
contact the professor, if you have any questions.

"New York on Film" is a course offered under the auspices of the New York Professional Outreach Program (NYPOP), College of Humanities & Fine Arts. New York City's celluloid skylines have long been a crucible for the seventh art. On the one hand, this course examines the role of NYC in a wide range of films; on the other hand, it considers NYC as a cultural center for the production of cinema. We will explore multiple representations of the city's dramatic streetscapes and hidden histories, international and multiethnic spaces, architecture and landscapes, with a focus on shifting portrayals of the city from the silent era to the present in diverse genres and temporalities. How do filmmakers of different classes, races, and genders represent social and cultural spaces? What is the role of the city in the creative, programming, exhibition, and distribution process? What interactions take place between film artists and the city's infrastructure? The course will include weekly screenings of narrative fiction, documentary, and experimental genres inspired by, set in, and designed with New York in mind. Required readings will complement these screenings.

The central field component of this course will involve three trips to New York City: a daytrip on Feb 8 (Friday), and two overnight trips March 1-2 and April 12-13 (both on Friday-Saturday). On these trips we will: attend film screenings at iconic and culturally significant cinemas; visit museums such as the American Museum of the Moving Image and the Museum of Modern Art; tour an independent film production company; connect with film professionals; experience the architecture, food, and vibrant street life of one of the most cinematic cultural capitals of the world.

PLEASE NOTE: Attendance on all three trips is mandatory. For each trip there will be a bus chartered by the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. The cost to students for each (roundtrip) bus trip is $25.
In addition, students must find their own accommodations during the two overnight trips.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

FILM-ST 497V – Video Essay in Film Criticism

Daniel Pope Cap. 14, 3 Credits

This is a course in planning, scripting, and editing video essays in film criticism, working with films from around the world and across film history. The field of film criticism is taking new forms in recent years, with social media, podcasts, websites and blogs dedicated to analyzing and discussing movies. Out of this trend, the video essay emerges as an exceptionally attractive and powerful medium for the film critic. In this class, we examine a wide array of video essays and explore the unique analytical and expressive opportunities the medium offers. A primary emphasis in the course is the study and practice of film criticism as an intellectual and creative endeavor with its own particular objectives, challenges, and expressive powers. With this foundation, we develop the critical, creative, and technical skills necessary for making effective video essays addressing films, directors, genres, national cinemas, and cultural and social issues. Making a video essay is in many ways like making a movie. As such we are engaged not only in film analysis and film writing but also in video editing, image composition, sound design, and other aspects of moving image media.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

 

FILM-ST 497W: Film Writing and Criticism in the Age of New Media

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Credits: 3

This is both a writing class for movie-lovers and a film class for writers interested in new media. With cinema touching nearly every corner of popular and intellectual culture, new varieties of film writing have flourished along with it. From thinking about what cinema is (and what it can be) to personal explorations of cinema, we will dive into the exciting new opportunities for film criticism, from the force of the critical essay and the art of the film review to the rapidly evolving landscape of new media—video essays, podcasts, websites, social media, blogs, and other engagements with film. The core work of this class focuses on discovering our own compelling insights into films and film art from around the world and from different eras of cinema and then expressing those discoveries effectively in moving images, written words, and audio experiences for diverse audiences.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: junior year writing

 

 

FILM-ST 597E – Strange Engagements-Figural Realism in Film and Literature

Instructor: Daniel Pope
Course Description TBA

 

FILM-ST 597V- ST-Videographic Essay

3 credits Daniel Pope
What is possible when the mode of film scholarship departs from the printed word and inhabits the form of the media it examines? As the media environment evolves, engagements with film are branching out, with promising adaptation to niches in the digital landscape - social media, podcasting, websites and blogs, etc.- and out of this field, the videographic essay emerges as a powerful medium for the film scholar. This is a course in planning, scripting, and editing videographic essays in film scholarship. Making a videographic essay is much like making a film, often with similarities to documentary and the essay film. As such, we will engage not only film analysis and film scholarship but also video editing, visual composition, sound design, and other aspects of moving image media. In this class, we examine a wide array of videographic essays and explore the unique analytical and expressive opportunities the medium offers. With this foundation, we develop the critical, creative, and technical skills necessary for making effective video essays addressing films and film theory, directors, genres, national cinemas, and cultural and sociological issues.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

 

FILM-ST 797C: Catalan Cinema - a stateless national film production

Instructor: Barbara Zecchi
Cap: 6 students for Film-ST from a cap of 12

The goal of this class is to give visibility to a film production that is generally assimilated by,and shoehorned into, Spanish film production. If there is a commonsense understanding of what a national cinema is, what about a stateless national cinema? Catalan cinema is often relegated to a footnote or a compulsory chapter in books on Spanish cinema, even though Spanish cinema would be inconceivable without Catalan film production. Just as early feminist theory called for a “countercinema,” early radical Latin American theory for an “imperfect cinema,” and Hamid Naficy for an “accented cinema,” so Catalan cinema cries out for a reevaluation of cinematic models and protocols. Is Catalan cinema an imperfect, minoritarian, colonized, accented countercinema? Does it have its own idiosyncrasies? This class aims at answering these and other questions by offering an overview of the history of Catalan cinema from the pioneering days to the present. Particular emphasis will be given to "auteurs" such as Joaquín Jordà, Ventura Pons, Bigas Luna, Pere Portabella, and Isabel Coixet; the avant-gardist Escola de Barcelona, that provoked belligerent rejections like no other film movement; the clandestine production during the Franco dictatorship (Helena Lumbreras and her Class Cinema Collective, or Pere Portabella's early works); the creative documentary of the Pompeu Fabra; and the new generation of women filmmakers (Neus Ballús, Carla Simón, Elena Martí, among others).

 

FRENCH

 

FRENCH 350 - French Film

Instructor: Emmanuel Buzay
Cap: 100; 4 Credits

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

FRENCH 353- African Film

4 credits (GenEd: At, DG) Patrick Mensah

Histories and development of African Francophone and Caribbean film, from its inception to the present day. The sociocultural, economic, and political forces and imperatives defining its forms and directions. Questions this work raises in film aesthetics and theory as a whole. Screenings and analysis of films by Sembene, Achkar, Kabore, Mweze, Cisse, Drabo, Bekolo, Teno, Peck, Palcy, Lara, Haas, and others. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

GERMAN

 

GERMAN 270 - From the Grimms to Disney

Instructor: Sara Jackson
Cap: 30; 4 Credits

This course focuses on selected fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm (Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Iron Hans) and Hans Christian Andersen (Little Sea Maid, The Red Shoes), locating them in the 19th-century German or Danish culture of their origins and then examining how they became transformed into perennial favorites of U.S. popular culture through their adaptations by Disney (feature animation films), Broadway (musicals), or bestselling self-help books (Iron John, Women Who Run With the Wolves). As a point of comparison, this course will also introduce popular fairy-tale films of the former East Germany (GDR) from the UMass DEFA archives & library, which present the same stories as popular fare in a Cold War communists’ cultural context. Conducted in English. (Gen. Ed. AL)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

ITALIAN

 

ITAL 350- Italian Film

3 credits

This course is a historical overview of how the most modern form of visual and narrative art responded to Italian culture, i.e. one of the richest traditions in painting, mosaic, and theater. From silent movies to current productions, the history of Italian film parallels and documents also the history of a modern nation, from pre-industrial to post-industrial economy. The course is conducted in English. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V 

 FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

ITAL 497DF ST- The Divas: Feminine Icons in Italian Cinema

3 credits

The course explores the social role and meaning of some of the most important actresses of post- WWII Italian cinema (Anna Magnani, Sofia Loren, and Monica Vitti, among others) as both metamorphic representatives and problematic probes of a rapidly modernizing society, and proposes a model of the female figure as "the active face of the crisis" (Giorgio 

Tinazzi). Conducted in English.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

JAPANESE

 

JAPANESE 197L – Manga & Anime, 3 credits Bruce Baird

Japan has become a phenomenally successful exporter of pop culture. This course will give students tools to understand Manga and Anime; it will investigate the role Manga and Anime play in Japan; and, it will examine ways that Manga and Anime flow from one place to another. The course is conducted entirely in English. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY:  N/A (not 200 level) 

 

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

Instructor: Amanda Seaman
Cap: 25; 3 Credits

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.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

JUDAIC

 

JUDAIC 319 - Representing the Holocaust

Instructor: Jonathan Skolnik
Cap: 21; 4 Credits
NOTE: This class is cross-listed as Comp-Lit 319 and English 319

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).

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

JUDAIC 320: Jewish Humor

Instructor: Olga Gershenson
Cap:15 students for Film-ST from a cap of 30
Meeting days and times-W, 4-6:45

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

JUDAIC 344 - Film and society in Israel

Instructor: Olga Gershenson
Cap:15 students for Film-ST from a cap of 30

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)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

JUDAIC  354 Adaptation: the Jewish Experience from Text to Film

Olga Gershenson 

4 Credits

This course approaches adaptation in two different senses: media to media and culture to culture. In both cases, we will ask questions about the nature of transformation. What is gained and what is lost in the transition?  As a case study, we will focus on cinematic adaptations of Jewish literature and the ways these films reflect and shape modern Jewish experience, including issues of identity, gender, religion, persecution, immigration, and culture. The texts and films are in original English or translated from Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and other languages. Gen Eds AT and DG.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

JUDAIC 377 - Pop Culture/Israel & Palestine

Instructor: Olga Gershenson
Cap: 30; 4 Credits

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)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

JOURNALISM

 

JOURNAL 333- Introduction to Visual Storytelling

4 credits Instructor TBA

This course introduces students to the concepts and practices of visual storytelling, including visual ethics, aesthetics, representation and the currents of the modern visual journalism ecosystem. This is a hands-on class, in which students will learn the basics of visual storytelling by using a DSLR camera and capturing and editing video. 

This course meets the general education AT requirement and meets the multimedia/visual requirement in the journalism major
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V 

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: E

 

 

JOURNAL 339- Video Content Creation

4 credits Instructor TBA
Meeting: TBA 

This course offers an introduction to visual storytelling, writing for video, videography and editing. Students will create videos that will help build their portfolio for whatever their journalistic goals might be. Students will learn to shoot professional quality video, how to write for the ear, and how to edit with professional software. Students will also produce multimedia stories to expand on their video pieces. 

Prerequisite: JOURNAL 300. This course meets the multimedia/visual requirement for the journalism major for Fall 2018 UMass entrants and later; this class also meets the advanced writing and reporting requirements for those who entered prior to Fall 2018

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N 

 

JOURNAL 390S- Short Form Documentary

4 credits Instructor TBA 

This course is where documentary filmmaking and traditional journalism meets. Students will learn how to shoot, write and edit video, while providing viewers with more depth, deeper questions and alternative perspectives. By the end of the course, students will produce a short, sharp, strong micro-documentary. 

This course meets the multimedia/visual requirement for entrants to UMass after Fall 2018, and fulfills the advanced writing and reporting requirement of the journalism major for entrants prior to Fall 2018. This course may also be used to satisfy a Sports Journalism Concentration requirement. 

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: D&G

 

 

PORTUGESE

 

PORTUG 408 – Brazil in Film & Fiction

Luiz Amaral Cap. 25, 4 Credits

The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to Brazilian culture through film and selected readings, by focusing on how filmmakers, writers, and artists represent key aspects of Brazilian society past and present: the colonization process; culture contact between Europeans and native Brazilians; slavery and race relations; economic development; immigration and internal migration; life in the backlands; urban problems; the dictatorship and its aftermath; contemporary Brazil. A second aim of the course is to study the development of Brazilian cinema through the past few generations, especially the important movement known as cinema novo. A third aim is to develop analytical skills and writing abilities. Course and readings in English; films have subtitles. (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N

 

SPANISH

 

SPAN 397W – Special Topics: Latin American Cinema

3 Credits
Instructor: Barbara Zecchi, Cap: 25
Prerequisite: Spanish 240 or 246

The course is designed to introduce students to the cinematic work of some of the most important Latin American directors from the seventies to the present. The course will center on a variety of topics that are vital to the understanding of the most significant political, historical, social and cultural events that have shaped Latin America. Some of the topics to be examined in the class are: racial, gender, sexual and identity issues; nation formation; revolution; immigration; repression; utopia; resistance; violence; freedom and slavery. Students will be expected to develop interpretative filmic skills through an exploration of the connections between the technical composition of the films and the social, political, and cultural context to which each film refers. Films for the course will be chosen from the following list: Camila, The Official Story, The Other Conquest, El hijo de la novia, Bye Bye Brazil, Central Station, Quilombo, City of God, Obstinate Memory, Azucar Amarga, Guantanamera, Memories of Underdevelopment, Strawberry and Chocolate, Nueba Yol, The Time of the Butterflies, El Norte, Amores Perros, Y tu mama tambien, Cabeza de Vaca, Like Water for Chocolate, Herod's Law, El callejon de los milagros, Danzon, The Oxcart, Ratas, ratones, rateros, The City of the Dogs, Our Lady of the Assassins, Machuca, and The Lion's Den. Requirements: two short analytical papers, mid-term exam and final paper.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V

FILM STUDIES MAJOR THROUGH BDIC CATEGORY: N