Monday and Wednesday, 9:35 am - 11:35 am
State Hall 326
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On Blackboard, log in to: "WINTER 2015 -- ENG COM 2450 2010 Sec 001 (COMBINED)
5057 Woodward, Room 9309
Office hours: Monday & Wednesday, 12:00 - 1:00 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 consider how film works as a whole, by looking at several examples (from the 1940s, the 1970s, and the 2000s) of the genre of detective films.
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 three Concept Guides, giving definitions of key terms in Mise-en-scene, Cinematography, and Editing. These Concept guides will be on Blackboard, together with weekly lecture slides.
Monday classes will usually be devoted to the screening of full-length feature films. Wednesday classes will usually consist of lecture and discussion. Each lecture will be accompanied by a slide presentation and some short film clips. 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.
For each of the units of film form that we discuss (mise en scene, cinematography, editing, and sound) we will see both an older film (pre-1960) and a more modern one (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: regular attendance, participation in discussions, and five short assigned papers (approximately 800 words each). Each assigned paper will count for 20% of your grade. Points may be deducted for non-attendance and for late papers. Points may be added for positive participation in class discussions.
General introduction to film
Buster Keaton, Sherlock Junior (1924)
January 14 & 21
The film experience
Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window (1954)
Josef von Sternberg, The Scarlet Empress (1934)
Kathryn Bigelow, Near Dark (1987)
Orson Welles, Touch of Evil (1958)
FIRST PAPER DUE (MISE-EN-SCENE)
Michael Mann, Collateral (2004)
February 23/25 Editing (1): Continuity Editing
John Ford, Stagecoach (1939)
SECOND PAPER DUE (CINEMATOGRAPHY)
Editing (2): Expressive Editing
John Woo, The Killer (1989)
Editing (3): Disjunctive Editing
Tony Scott, Domino (2005)
Film Sound screenings
Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Peter Strickland, Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
March 30/April 1
Lectures on film sound
THIRD PAPER DUE (EDITING)
Film Genres: The Detective Film (1)
Howard Hawks, The Big Sleep (1946)
Robert Aldrich, Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Film Genres: The Detective Film (2)
Lecture/discussion on classic detective films
Robert Altman, The Long Goodbye (1973)
Roman Polanski, Chinatown (1974) [watch on your own]
FOURTH PAPER DUE (FILM SOUND)
Film Genres; The Detective Film (3)
Rian Johnson, Brick (2005)
Lecture/discussion on 1970s detective films and on modern detective films
MONDAY, May 4
FIFTH PAPER DUE (FILM GENRES)
The WRT Zone (2nd floor, UGL) provides individual tutoring consultations, research assistance from librarians, and technology consultants, all free of charge for graduate and undergraduate students at WSU. The WRT Zone serves as a resource for writers, researchers, and students’ technology projects. Tutoring sessions focus on a range of activities in the writing process – considering the audience, analyzing the assignment or genre, brainstorming, researching, writing drafts, revising, editing, and preparing documentation. The WRT Zone is not an editing or proofreading service; rather, tutors work collaboratively with students to support them in developing relevant skills and knowledge, from developing an idea to editing for grammar and mechanics. Research and technology support is offered on a first-come-first served basis and covers research strategies, assessment of sources, general technology support, and help with Adobe Dreamweaver, Encore, Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, and more. To make a face-to-face or online appointment, consult the Writing Center website: http://www.clas.wayne.edu/writing/
For more information about the Writing Center, please contact the Director, Jule Wallis (phone: 313-577-2544; email: email@example.com).
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.