Spring 2019 Undergraduate Courses
|Intro to Screen Arts
|Michael G Applin
|Intro to Screen Arts
|James V. Catano
|Zombie Films& TV
|Adv. Film Directing
|Ancient Maya in the Media
|Middle Eastern Cinema
This course is intended to help students develop an appreciation for the variety of forms of audio and media in the Screen Arts by understanding the processes by which those forms are created, how they differ and how each accomplishes its own goals. Additionally, this course encourages students to think about the role of film, television and radio in society.
In this introductory course, students will study various film movements from around the world learn basic terminology of film analysis, discuss the social, political, cultural and historical influences of films, and practice writing skills through film analysis and interpretation. Students will also learn about various aspects of pre-production, production, and post-production and will gain experience in different crew positions by producing two short films.
Noir is often conflated/confused with gangster and hard-boiled detective films. But film noir is really as much a production-based visual style as plot and character storylines. This course will focus on film noir’s early 1940’s visual style (Double Indemnity,Night and the City) as well as its 60s/70s reappearance and reworking in French New Wave films (Breathless, Shoot the Piano Player) and other plays with the genre (Touch of Evil, Dark City). Course work will consist of 3-4 short video pieces as well as writing about the genre. No previous film experience is required.
Students interested in motion picture camera technique will learn principles, procedures and equipment that go into shooting digital media. Emphasis will be on how to control and manipulate lighting, framing, movement, and image qualities to shape mood, convey emotion, tell story, and create a coherent look. Classes will offer relevant cinema history but will concentrate on a largely nuts-and-bolts approach to narrative, commercial, and documentary by learning, practicing, and refining their skills through formal instruction and considerable hands-on practice.
SCRN 3011explores editing theory and history as well offer students a chance to learn practical skills on the Adobe Premiere editing platform. The course functions as an in-depth study of the history, concepts, and skills involved in film and video editing techniques. Additionally, students will receive formal instruction and practice in non-linear editing software as a means to gain a better understanding of concepts such as montage, continuity, and narrative.
This Italian and Screen Arts course is designed to introduce students to Italian culture through film. The course will trace the history of Italian cinema from Neo-Realism beginning in WWII to the 1990s and briefly beyond. It also will expose the students to some of the cultural and cinematic exchange between Italian and American cinemas. Through readings in Italian cinema and culture and viewings in primarily Italian films students will learn to see film not only as the expression of national culture but in a global aesthetic context as well.
This course offers an introduction to the Classical Master Directors of Japanese cinema. Kurosawa (dir. Seven Samurai), Ozu (dir. Tokyo Story), and Mizoguchi (dir. Ugetsu). An analysis and appreciation of the major works of these very different directors will be explored o gain insight into the era in which they were made. For this term, we will focus on the 1920s through the 1970s. Through secondary readings, lectures, and discussions students will critically examine how Japanese cinema as an institution both responds to and intervenes in the social, cultural, and political history of Japan.
From its origins in postcolonial India, Bollywood has travelled across the oceans and reached the farthest corners of the globe. Today, widespread intermixing of cultural attributes intrinsic to Bollywood are commonly found throughout American society – including Bollywood dance and music, yoga, etc. Yet despite its prevalence in western pop culture, discussion of this cultural globalization in an international academic context is rare and hence needed. Topics covered include Bollywood in America, cross-cultural influences and trends in Bollywood cinema, and the role of song and dance numbers in the genre.
“Zombie” brings to mind images of the reanimated dead feasting on the living. This trope from Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) draws upon an evolving concept from horror comics, Matheson’s novel I Am Legend (1954), and the film based on it: The Last Man on Earth (1964). But the zombie figure originates in 19th century Haitian folklore as the victim of black magic, someone controlled by a sorcerer reanimating the dead or putting the living into a death-like trance—both of which reflected Haitian fears of re-enslavement. Today, the figure of the zombie still reflects cultural fears, echoing anxieties about myriad social concerns.
Agnés Varda’s filmmaking career spans six decades, from her innovations as the “mother” of the French New Wave in films like Cleo from 5 to 7, through her experimental blending of fiction and documentary amid youth culture in 60-70s California, her award-winning fiction films and essay films like Vagabond (1984) and The Gleaners and I (2000), and her collaborative road movie with the artist JR, Faces Places (2017). In this course we will screen and study this versatile and inventive filmmaker to derive filmmaking methods, modes, and forms to use in our own short video projects.
Students with some background in practical filmmaking will learn in depth the practices that go into film directing by making a single, ambitious short film over the course of the semester. Students will be shepherded by the instructor through the production of a film project of their own choosing--narrative, documentary, animated short, web series pilot, etc.--creating a complete or near-complete film suitable for submission to competitive film festivals. Projects may be either solo ventures or made with fellow members of the class (or outside students as long as the creator retains primary creative control). Instructor lectures, workshop sessions, one-on-one consultations, and student presentations will be employed.
In this course, students will watch documentary-style movies about the ancient Maya, discuss how knowledge is conveyed through the movie style, film techniques, music, etc. Student will participate in panel discussions and short movie reviews. They will also study a special edition of Ancient Maya Jeopardy. This course does not require a prerequisite or prior knowledge of the ancient Maya.
Introduction to contemporary Middle East cinema from the 1950s to the present in countries including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. We will examine technological, aesthetic, cultural and political developments which influenced Middle East cinema, its cinematic techniques and major genres, its distinctive national cinemas and the composition of its film audiences. Students will gain not only an expanded knowledge of a broad range of films from the Middle East but also an increased understanding of films’ aesthetic approaches to issues such as mobility, displaced identities, gender, masculinity and violence. Readings: Essays on the assigned films as well as theoretical essays discussing key theoretical concepts in film studies.