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FILMSTUD 4: Introduction to Film Study

This course will introduce students to formal, historical, and cultural issues in the study of film. We will explore the technological and social history of cinema and engage with philosophical and theoretical questions pertaining to film as a medium and as a cultural product, even as we undertake the formal analysis of fiction, documentary, and experimental films.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Levi, P. (PI)

FILMSTUD 6: Introduction to Media (FILMSTUD 306)

What is a medium? This course starts from the assumption that the answer to this question is not as obvious as it might at first appear. Clearly, we know some media when we see them: radio, film, and television are in many ways paradigmatic media of the twentieth century. But what about the computational, networked media of the twenty-first century? Are these still media in the same sense, or has the nature of media changed with the emergence of digital technologies? And what, for that matter, about pre-technical media? Is painting a medium in the same sense that oil or acrylic are media, or in the sense that we speak of mixed media? Is language a medium? Are numbers? Is the body? As we shall see, the question of what a medium is raises a number of other questions of a theoretical or even philosophical nature. How is our experience of the world affected or shaped by media? Are knowledge and perception possible apart from media, or are they always mediated by the apparatuses, instruments, or assemblages of media? What is the relation between the forms and the contents of media, and how does this relation bear on questions of aesthetics, science, technology, or politics? The lecture-based course addresses these and other questions and seeks in this way to introduce a way of thinking about media that goes beyond taken-for-granted ideas and assumptions, and that has a potentially transformative effect on a wide range of theoretical and practical interests.nnFilm & Media Studies majors and minors must enroll for 5 units.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Denson, S. (PI)

FILMSTUD 50Q: The Video Essay: Writing with Video about Film and Media

In this course, we will explore what it means to write with video, and we will learn to make effective and engaging video essays about historical and contemporary audiovisual media. Specifically, we will examine formal, aesthetic, and rhetorical strategies for communicating in the medium of video, and we will conduct a series of hands-on exercises utilizing digital video editing software to construct arguments, analyses, and interpretations of film and other media (including television, video games, and online media). Compared with traditional, text-based engagements, the video essay offers a remarkably direct mode of communicating critical and analytical ideas. In this medium, authors no longer struggle to describe audiovisual contents in words that can never do justice to the rich array of details that are immediately apparent to spectators eyes and ears; instead, video essayists can simply show their viewers what they want them to see. This does not mean, however, that it is any easier to write effectively with video than it is to compose an essay with pen and paper. Similar types of expository and argumentative planning are involved in both forms, while the new technology introduces its own characteristic challenges and choices, including decisions about the spatial and temporal organization and transformation of audiovisual materials, the addition of onscreen text, voiceover commentary, and visual effects. By taking a hands-on approach, we will develop our skills with editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple's Final Cut Pro while also cultivating our awareness of the formal and narrative techniques employed in films and other moving-image media. Through weekly assignments and group critique sessions, we will learn to express ourselves more effectively and creatively in audiovisual media. As a culmination of our efforts, we will assemble a group exhibition of our best video essays for public display on campus.nnNo previous experience is required, but a willingness to learn new technologies (in particular, video editing software) is important.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-CE | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Denson, S. (PI)

FILMSTUD 100A: History of World Cinema I, 1895-1929 (FILMSTUD 300A)

This course begins at the end of the nineteenth century, when the purpose of cinema was questioned and debated, film grammar was just being invented, distribution and exhibition were haphazard, and writers internationally were registering surprise and wonder at the new medium. It ends with modernist masterpieces of the 1920s, subtle (and still relevant) critical debates about the aesthetics and politics of film, and the development of viable sound technologies. What could film have become and did not? How did storytelling come to dominate the development of the new medium? How and why did various national cinemas develop distinctive stylesâ¿¿classical Hollywood, French Impressionism, German Expressionism, Russian montageâ¿¿that shape screen arts to this day? How did influential critics understand cinema and the ways it could reflect and effect social change? To explore these questions you will work mainly with primary textsâ¿¿the films themselves, and criticism written contemporaneously with them. Lectures will help you place these filmic and critical texts within a larger narrative about the first thirty-five years of cinema.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Oeler, K. (PI)

FILMSTUD 115: Documentary Issues and Traditions (FILMSTUD 315)

Issues include objectivity/subjectivity, ethics, censorship, representation, reflexivity, responsibility to the audience, and authorial voice. Parallel focus on form and content.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Krawitz, J. (PI)

FILMSTUD 120: Superhero Theory (AMSTUD 120B, ARTHIST 120, ARTHIST 320, FILMSTUD 320)

With their fantastic powers, mutable bodies, multiple identities, complicated histories, and visual dynamism, the American superhero has been a rich vehicle for fantasies (and anxieties) for 80+ years across multiple media, including comics, film, animation, TV, games, toys, and apparel. This course will center upon the body of the superhero, as it incarnates allegories of race, queerness, hybridity, sexuality, gendered stereotypes/fluidity, politics, vigilantism, masculinity, and monstrosity. They also embody a technological history that encompasses industrial, atomic, electronic, bio-genetic, and the digital.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Bukatman, S. (PI)

FILMSTUD 137: Love in the Time of Cinema (FILMSTUD 337, GLOBAL 110, GLOBAL 211)

Romantic coupling is at the heart of mainstream film narratives around the world. Through a range of film cultures, we will examine cinematic intimacies and our own mediated understandings of love and conjugality formed in dialog with film and other media. We will consider genres, infrastructures, social activities (for example, the drive-in theater, the movie date, the Bollywood wedding musical, 90s queer cinema), and examine film romance in relation to queerness, migration, old age, disability, and body politics more broadly.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Iyer, U. (PI)

FILMSTUD 264B: Starstuff: Space and the American Imagination (AMSTUD 143X, ARTHIST 264B)

Course on the history of twentieth and twenty-first century American images of space and how they shape conceptions of the universe. Covers representations made by scientists and artists, as well as scientific fiction films, TV, and other forms of popular visual culture. Topics will include the importance of aesthetics to understandings of the cosmos; the influence of media and technology on representations; the social, political, and historical context of the images; and the ways representations of space influence notions of American national identity and of cosmic citizenship.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Kessler, E. (PI)

FILMSTUD 280: Curricular Practical Training

CPT course required for international students completing degree.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-3 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Iyer, U. (PI)

FILMSTUD 281: Contemporary Asian Filmmakers (FILMSTUD 481)

Films and moving image works by contemporary filmmakers from Asia, including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Topics include explorations of national and local histories, aesthetics of slowness and duration, and crossings between the movie theater and the gallery.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Ma, J. (PI)

FILMSTUD 297: Honors Thesis Writing

May be repeated for credit.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 2-5 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

FILMSTUD 299: Independent Study: Film and Media Studies

Prerequisite: student must have taken a course with the instructor and/or completed relevant introductory course(s). Instructor consent and completion of the Independent Study Form are required prior to enrollment. All necessary forms and payment are required by the end of Week 2 of each quarter. Please contact the Undergraduate Coordinator in McMurtry 108 for more information. May be repeated for credit.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-5 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

FILMSTUD 300A: History of World Cinema I, 1895-1929 (FILMSTUD 100A)

This course begins at the end of the nineteenth century, when the purpose of cinema was questioned and debated, film grammar was just being invented, distribution and exhibition were haphazard, and writers internationally were registering surprise and wonder at the new medium. It ends with modernist masterpieces of the 1920s, subtle (and still relevant) critical debates about the aesthetics and politics of film, and the development of viable sound technologies. What could film have become and did not? How did storytelling come to dominate the development of the new medium? How and why did various national cinemas develop distinctive stylesâ¿¿classical Hollywood, French Impressionism, German Expressionism, Russian montageâ¿¿that shape screen arts to this day? How did influential critics understand cinema and the ways it could reflect and effect social change? To explore these questions you will work mainly with primary textsâ¿¿the films themselves, and criticism written contemporaneously with them. Lectures will help you place these filmic and critical texts within a larger narrative about the first thirty-five years of cinema.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Oeler, K. (PI)

FILMSTUD 306: Introduction to Media (FILMSTUD 6)

What is a medium? This course starts from the assumption that the answer to this question is not as obvious as it might at first appear. Clearly, we know some media when we see them: radio, film, and television are in many ways paradigmatic media of the twentieth century. But what about the computational, networked media of the twenty-first century? Are these still media in the same sense, or has the nature of media changed with the emergence of digital technologies? And what, for that matter, about pre-technical media? Is painting a medium in the same sense that oil or acrylic are media, or in the sense that we speak of mixed media? Is language a medium? Are numbers? Is the body? As we shall see, the question of what a medium is raises a number of other questions of a theoretical or even philosophical nature. How is our experience of the world affected or shaped by media? Are knowledge and perception possible apart from media, or are they always mediated by the apparatuses, instruments, or assemblages of media? What is the relation between the forms and the contents of media, and how does this relation bear on questions of aesthetics, science, technology, or politics? The lecture-based course addresses these and other questions and seeks in this way to introduce a way of thinking about media that goes beyond taken-for-granted ideas and assumptions, and that has a potentially transformative effect on a wide range of theoretical and practical interests.nnFilm & Media Studies majors and minors must enroll for 5 units.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Denson, S. (PI)

FILMSTUD 315: Documentary Issues and Traditions (FILMSTUD 115)

Issues include objectivity/subjectivity, ethics, censorship, representation, reflexivity, responsibility to the audience, and authorial voice. Parallel focus on form and content.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Krawitz, J. (PI)

FILMSTUD 320: Superhero Theory (AMSTUD 120B, ARTHIST 120, ARTHIST 320, FILMSTUD 120)

With their fantastic powers, mutable bodies, multiple identities, complicated histories, and visual dynamism, the American superhero has been a rich vehicle for fantasies (and anxieties) for 80+ years across multiple media, including comics, film, animation, TV, games, toys, and apparel. This course will center upon the body of the superhero, as it incarnates allegories of race, queerness, hybridity, sexuality, gendered stereotypes/fluidity, politics, vigilantism, masculinity, and monstrosity. They also embody a technological history that encompasses industrial, atomic, electronic, bio-genetic, and the digital.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Bukatman, S. (PI)

FILMSTUD 337: Love in the Time of Cinema (FILMSTUD 137, GLOBAL 110, GLOBAL 211)

Romantic coupling is at the heart of mainstream film narratives around the world. Through a range of film cultures, we will examine cinematic intimacies and our own mediated understandings of love and conjugality formed in dialog with film and other media. We will consider genres, infrastructures, social activities (for example, the drive-in theater, the movie date, the Bollywood wedding musical, 90s queer cinema), and examine film romance in relation to queerness, migration, old age, disability, and body politics more broadly.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Iyer, U. (PI)

FILMSTUD 408: Attention

Throughout the twentieth century, cinema has been theorized as a machine that molds the senses and produces new forms of attention. This course delves into debates about the impact of audio-visual media on a history of attention, from the rise of reproductive technologies (bringing concerns about the replacement of contemplation by distraction) to the contemporary landscape (where reactions to a perceived crisis of attention are front and center). Readings will draw from not just film studies, but also art history, music, and literature. Assignments will emphasize presentations that expand the range of case studies and exercise in reflecting on the conditions of the attention we pay as scholars and critics. Permission of instructor required.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

FILMSTUD 430: Cinema and Ideology (ARTHIST 430)

The relationship between cinema and ideology from theoretical and historical perspectives, emphasizing Marxist and psychoanalytic approaches. The practice of political filmmaking, and the cinema as an audiovisual apparatus and socio-cultural institution. Topics include: dialectics; revolutionary aesthetics; language and power; commodity fetishism; and nationalism. Filmmakers include Dziga Vertov, Jean-Luc Godard, Bruce Conner, and Marco Ferreri. Theoretical writers include Karl Marx, Sergei Eisenstein, and Slavoj Zizek. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: ; Levi, P. (PI)

FILMSTUD 481: Contemporary Asian Filmmakers (FILMSTUD 281)

Films and moving image works by contemporary filmmakers from Asia, including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Topics include explorations of national and local histories, aesthetics of slowness and duration, and crossings between the movie theater and the gallery.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: ; Ma, J. (PI)

FILMSTUD 620: Area Core Examination Preparation

For Art History Ph.D. candidates. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 5 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit

FILMSTUD 660: Independent Study

For graduate students only. Approved independent research projects with individual faculty members.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

FILMSTUD 660E: Extended Seminar

May be repeated for credit. (Staff)
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 4 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

FILMSTUD 680: Curricular Practical Training

CPT course required for international students completing degree.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-3 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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