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FILMSTUD 117: MEDIA AND MESSAGE: THE EXPERIENCE OF INFORMATION

We live in an information age, and information comes to us through various media. But different media ¿embody¿ information differently, and are experienced differently. How do these differences impact the ways we come to understand the world and our place in it? One example: Photography, cinema, and console games all attempt to communicate the experience of war, but each does so in its own way -- a Robert Capa photograph of the moment when a soldier is shot is different from the sensory and narrative immersion of Saving Private Ryan, which is different from the interactive experience of Call of Duty. nnFollowing Marshall McLuhan¿s dictum that ¿the medium is the message,¿ this course will examine the ways that different media present, organize, and structure information as forms that are ¿read¿ or experienced. The course will consider such historical media as illuminated books, print, painting, and photography, and such recent forms as cinema, television, comics, presentation software, and interactive and computational media. Readings will be drawn from across disciplines, and will include McLuhan, Sontag, Merleau-Ponty, Goffman, Jenkins, Hayles, and others. Fiction, film screenings, and comics reading will also be part of the course.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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
Instructors: Bukatman, S. (PI)

FILMSTUD 125: Horror Film

From its beginnings, the cinema evinced an affinity with the phantom realm of specters, ghosts, and supernatural beings. Not only does horror have deep and diverse roots in the international history of film; it emerges as a trope of film itself, as a medium of shadows, dematerialized presence, life drained of substance. Overview of filmic imaginations of horror with a focus on the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Theories of horror, from the fantastic to the uncanny; unpacking these in light of key moments in the genre's development. The merits of vampires versus zombies. Ongoing debates through the lens of horror about cinematic representation, from Linda Williams' thesis of body genres to Jeffrey Sconce's notion of haunted media.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

FILMSTUD 132A: Indian Cinema (FILMSTUD 332A)

This course will provide an overview of cinema from India, the world's largest producer of films. We will trace the history of Indian cinema from the silent era, through the studio period, to state-funded art filmmaking to the contemporary production of Bollywood films as well as the more unconventional multiplex cinema. We will examine narrative conventions, stylistic techniques, and film production and consumption practices in popular Hindi language films from the Bombay film industry as well as commercial and art films in other languages. This outline of different cinematic modes will throw light on the social, political, and economic transformations in the nation-state over the last century.
Last offered: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

FILMSTUD 133: Contemporary Chinese Auteurs (FILMSTUD 333)

New film cultures and movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China in the 80s. Key directors including Jia Zhangke, Wu Wenguang, Tsai Ming-liang, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wong Kar-wai, Ann Hui. Topics include national cinema in the age of globalization, the evolving parameters of art cinema, and authorship.
Last offered: Spring 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

FILMSTUD 133B: Technology and American Visual Culture (AMSTUD 133)

An exploration of the dynamic relationship between technology and the ways we see and represent the world, with a focus on American visual culture from the 19th century through the present. We study the history of different tools from telescopes and microscopes to digital detectors that have changed and enhanced our visual capabilities; the way technological shifts, such as the introduction of electric lights or train travel, have shaped our visual imagination and aesthetic sensibilities; and how technology has inspired or responded to visual art. Special attention is paid to how different media, such as photography, cinema, and computer screens, translate the visual experience into a representation; the automation of vision; and the intersection of technology with notions of time and space.
Last offered: Winter 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

FILMSTUD 134: The Art Cinema of India (FILMSTUD 334)

India is the world's largest producer of films, and Bollywood is currently its most visible cinematic product on the festival circuit as well as university curricula. This course, probably the first of its kind in the American academic setting, will focus instead on the various art cinemas of India. From the well-known Satyajit Ray to his important contemporaries, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen, from the social realist New Wave cinemas of the 70s and 80s to contemporary indie films, we will engage with the history of the "parallel cinema" movement. Considering the relationship of Indian art cinema to Third Cinema and to European art cinema will bring attention to transnational networks and exhibition circuits. The course will engage with scholarship on art cinema more broadly to understand how films are categorized as such through narrative, form, audience, auteurism, funding, censorship, and relationship to the nation-state.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

FILMSTUD 135: Around the World in Ten Films (FILMSTUD 335, GLOBAL 135)

This is an introductory-level course about the cinema as a global language. We will undertake a comparative study of select historical and contemporary aspects of international cinema, and explore a range of themes pertaining to the social, cultural, and political diversity of the world. A cross-regional thematic emphasis and inter-textual methods of narrative and aesthetic analysis, will ground our discussion of films from Italy, Japan, United States, India, China, France, Brazil, Nigeria, Russia, Iran, Mexico, and a number of other countries. Particular emphasis will be placed on the multi-cultural character and the regional specificities of the cinema as a "universal language" and an inclusive "relational network."nnThere are no prerequisites for this class. It is open to all students; non-majors welcome.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Levi, P. (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
Instructors: Iyer, U. (PI)

FILMSTUD 145: Politics and Aesthetics in East European Cinema (FILMSTUD 345)

From 1945 to the mid-80s, emphasizing Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and Yugoslav contexts. The relationship between art and politics; postwar establishment of film industries; and emergence of national film movements such as the Polish school, Czech new wave, and new Yugoslav film. Thematic and aesthetic preoccupations of filmmakers such as Wajda, Jancso, Forman, and Kusturica.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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