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FILMSTUD 4: Introduction to Film Study: French Cinema in Focus

This course provides an introduction to film through the lens of French national cinema. We study the historical formation of the moving image in France (and beyond); from its humble beginnings as a novel attraction, to its rise as a major medium in its own right, appreciated for both its commercial and artistic appeal. We examine the work of a number of influential auteurs and key periods in the development of French national cinema: including the work of early masters Jean Vigo and Jean Renoir, members of the French New Wave Jean-Luc Godard and Agnès Varda, as well as contemporary filmmakers Mathieu Kassovitz and Olivier Assayas. In addition to undertaking a historical overview of French cinema, this course familiarizes students with a variety of approaches to the analysis of film style and form: mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, performance, etc. While no prior knowledge of French cinema or film analysis is required, a willingness to engage deeply and critically with film is fundamental.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Cohen, D. (PI)

FILMSTUD 4S: Language of Film

This course familiarizes students with various elements of film language (cinematography, editing, sound, etc.) and introduces them to a range of approaches to cinematic analysis (authorship, genre, close formal reading, socio-historical considerations). Different types of films (narrative, documentary, and experimental) will be surveyed. Classical narrative cinema will be compared with alternative modes of story-telling.
Last offered: Summer 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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, instrument more »
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.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

FILMSTUD 100B: History of World Cinema II: Currents in Francophone Film, 1970-present

This course surveys developments in global French-language cinema since 1970, a period marked by a radical reconsideration of national identity, social and sexual politics, and collective memory. Special attention is given to an international roster of francophone films and filmmakers outside of France, from Quebec to Martinique, Belgium to Senegal. Directors like Mati Diop, Euzha Palcy, Chantal Akerman, Abderrahmane Sissako, and Xavier Dolan offer new and shifting currents with which to rethink a decolonized national cinema, sociopolitical turmoil, and the role of the contemporary film viewer.
Terms: Aut, Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

FILMSTUD 100C: History of World Cinema III, 1960-Present (FILMSTUD 300C)

This course will provide an overview of cinema from around the world since 1960, highlighting the cultural, political, and economic forces that have shaped various film movements over the last six decades. We will study some key film movements and national cinemas towards developing a historical appreciation of a variety of commercial and art film traditions. Through an exploration of films from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we shall examine the industrial histories of non-Hollywood film production and exhibition practices that produce the particular cinematic cultures of each region.
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

FILMSTUD 101: Close Cinematic Analysis (FILMSTUD 301)

The close analysis of film, with an emphasis on sound, music, and audio-visuality. Films from various historical periods, national cinemas, directors, and genres. Prerequisite: FILMSTUD 4 or equivalent. Recommended: ARTHIST 1 or FILMSTUD 102. Course can be repeated twice for a max of 8 units. This course fulfills the WIM requirement for Film and Media Studies majors.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Repeatable 3 times (up to 12 units total)
Instructors: Ma, J. (PI)

FILMSTUD 102: Theories of the Moving Image (FILMSTUD 302)

What makes the moving image unique in its capacity for telling stories, influencing thoughts, and stirring emotions? What are the potentials and risks of cinema's affective power? This course looks at concepts developed by filmmakers, film critics, and philosophers to explain affinities between mind and moving image, to envision cinema¿s promise, and to identify its limitations. We will read a range of authors, some classic, some contemporary, including André Bazin, Laura Mulvey, and D. A. Miller. Films will include classics such as Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust (1991) and recent releases such as Hirokazu Koreeda's Shoplifters (2018). Students will learn to speak and write confidently about influential theories and methods in the field of film and media studies. They will learn to formulate research questions that are in dialogue with vital concepts. Through close analysis, they will assess how theories of film and media speak, or fail to speak, to their own experience. And ideally, students will venture to engage in theoretical speculation of their own.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Oeler, K. (PI)

FILMSTUD 107N: Documentary Film: Telling it Like it Is?

Documentary films have become a "lingua franca," thanks to ubiquitous streaming services and our devotion to screen time. Offering compelling stories, intriguing "characters," and a lingering resonance, they often function as a Rorschach test that elicits divergent responses. This course decodes the narrative technique, point of view, authorship, and aesthetic approach of nonfiction films that explore scintillating and provocative subject matter. The student develops "visual literacy" skills as we interrogate the inferred relationship between documentary, objectivity, and "truth." In this seminar-style class, we peel back the veneer of the films we watch, examining both form and content.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Krawitz, J. (PI)

FILMSTUD 110: Science Fiction Cinema (FILMSTUD 310)

Science fiction film's sense of wonder depends upon the development and revelation of new ways of seeing. The American science fiction film emphasizes the fundamental activity of human perception, its relation to bodily experience and the exploration of other worlds, new cities, and other modes of being, in such new technological spaces as the cyberspaces of the information age. It is perhaps the Hollywood genre most directly concerned with the essence of cinema itself.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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