Tuesday and Thursday, 9:35 - 11:35 am or 12:50 - 2:50 pm
State Hall 326
Web address for this page:
On Blackboard, log in to: COM.ENG_2010.2450_1609_002.005.003_COMB
5057 Woodward, Room 9309
Office hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:40 am - 12:40 pm, and by appointment
This class offers an introduction to the study of film. First, we will look at the film experience as a whole. Then, we will take a detailed look at the major formal elements of film (mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, and sound). Finally, we will look at at examples of different film genres and forms, and study the influence of new digital technologies on film.
By the end of the course, successful students should be able to:
1. Use a basic vocabulary of film analysis when discussing film texts, as well as other media.
2. Analyze the basic formal elements of cinema (narrative, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, etc.) to identify how they work separately and how they work together as a meaningful whole.
CLASS GENERAL INFORMATION
I have not ordered a textbook for this class, because all the available textbooks are excessively expensive. Instead, the lectures will be supplemented by Concept Guides, giving definitions of key terms. These will be handed out in class, and also available on Blackboard.
Tuesday classes will be devoted to the screening of full-length feature films. Thursday classes will consist of lecture and discussion. (The only exception is the first day of class, when we will both watch and discuss a short film) Attendance, both at the screenings and at the lecture/discussion classes, is mandatory, and will be taken at the start of every class.
The aim of each lecture/discussion will be twofold: to analyze the films that we have seen, and to discuss more general concepts important for the critical understanding of film. In the course of the semester, we will watch both a number of older films (pre-1960), and a number of more modern films (dating from the 1980s to the present). Though the class does not survey the history of film in any detail, one of its aims is to is to make you more aware of the variety of film art over the past century, by introducing you to older films that you may not have seen before, including silent films, black-and-white films, and films in foreign languages (shown with English subtitles).
CLASS REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:
Grading will be according to a point system. The maximum is 40 points, which translates to a grade of A (4.0).
37 points = A-
33 points = B+
30 points = B
27 points = B-
23 points = C+
20 points = C.
Buster Keaton, Sherlock Junior (1924)
The film experience
Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window (1954)
Josef von Sternberg, The Scarlet Empress (1934)
September 13: first analytic exercise (the film experience) due
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity (2013)
Orson Welles, Touch of Evil (1958)
September 27: second analytic exercise (mise en scene) due
Michael Mann, Collateral (2004)
Editing (1): Continuity Editing
John Ford, Stagecoach (1939)
October 11: third analytic exercise (cinematography) due
Editing (2): Expressive Editing
John Woo, The Killer (1989)
Editing (3): Disjunctive Editing
Tony Scott, Domino (2005)
Film Sound (1)
Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, Singin' in the Rain (1952)
November 1: fourth analytic exercise (editing) due
Film Sound (2)
Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Genres and Forms (1): Film Noir
Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity (1944)
November 15: fifth analytic exercise (sound) due
November 22 NO CLASS (Thanksgiving week)
November 29-December 1
Genres and Forms (2): New Media
Leo Gabriadze, Unfriended (2014)
November 29: fifth analytic exercise (sound) due
Genres and Forms (3) New Media, continued
Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, Nerve (2016)
Joseph Kahn, Detention (2011)
No class, but sixth analytical exercise (genres and forms) due
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences stipulates that course grade appeals must be initiated within 30 days from the time the grade is posted. The English Grade Appeal Form can be obtained at the English Main Office on the 9th Floor of 5057 Woodward or by emailing Royanne Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on this process, including the limited grounds for appeal, can be found at http://clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/Multimedia/CLAS/files/Students/Grade_Appeal_process.pdf.
Plagiarism is a very serious matter and should be recognized as such. The University has a very strict policy on plagiarism. Always refer to your sources when quoting, paraphrasing, or using the ideas ofother writers. When paraphrasing, place in quotes any phrase of four words or more that comes directly from the source being used.