FILM 20A The Film Experience UC Santa Cruz Summer

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					[Please note that this is last summer’s syllabus. The course this year will be similar
though somewhat changed.]

                        FILM 20A: The Film Experience
                               UC Santa Cruz
                               Summer 2008

Instructor: Greg Youmans

Lectures: Mondays and Wednesdays: 5–7:30pm
Screening: Mondays: 7:30–9:45pm
Discussion Sections: Wednesdays: 3:15–4:45pm

Course Goals: This course is an introduction to the basic elements and rich diversity of
cinematic representation and expression. Students will develop a critical vocabulary and
methodology for analyzing moving-image representation. Focus is placed on the
grammar of film form: mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound.

• Sequence Analysis Paper (25%): Shot breakdown and analysis of a sequence selected
by the instructor. Three to four pages. Due in the fourth week of class in section.
• Film Analysis Paper (25%): Critical analysis of a single film. Five to six pages. Due in
the last week of class in section. Prompts for both papers will be handed out in lecture at
least one week prior to the due dates.
• Final Exam (25%): Multiple choice and essay questions. Will take place during the final
class meeting.
• Quizzes/Short Papers/Participation/Attendance (25%): This component of the final
grade includes participation and attendance (of sections, lectures, and screenings) as well
as a handful of small assignments and quizzes given over the course of the term.

Course Expectations:
Students are required to attend all lectures, sections, and screenings. More than two
absences is ground for failure of the course. Any unexcused absence will negatively

Film 20A Syllabus                                                  Youmans / Summer 2008

impact the student’s course grade. For an absence to be excused, the student must contact
the instructor or the TA in advance.
Tardiness is very disruptive. Please be on time. Two unexcused tardies will become the
equivalent of one unexcused absence.
Papers are due in hard copy at the date and time indicated. Extensions will only be
granted in exceptional circumstances. Students must complete all course work in a timely
manner in order to pass the course.

Required Texts:
• Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White, The Film Experience, Boston: Bedford/St.
Martins, 2004
• Course Reader (CR in the syllabus below)
Academic Misconduct Policy:
Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or
facilitating academic dishonesty. Acts of academic misconduct during the course,
including plagiarism, will result in failure of the course. Your case will be reported to the
College Provost as per the Academic Integrity guidelines found on the web at:

Week 1—Introduction and Mise-en-scène
Tuesday: Introduction to course
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 9, “Conventional Film History: Evolutions, Masterpieces, and
• The Searchers (Ford, 1956)

Thursday: Mise-en-scène
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 2: “Exploring a Material World: Mise-en-scène”

Week 2—Cinematography
Tuesday: Cinematography
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 3: “Seeing through the Image: Cinematography”
• In the Mood for Love (Wong, 2000)

Thursday: Cinematography (cont.)
• Chow, “Sentimental Returns: On the Uses of the Everyday in the Recent Films of
Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar-wai” (CR)

Film 20A Syllabus                                            Youmans / Summer 2008

Week 3—Editing
Tuesday: Classical/Continuity Editing
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 4: “Relating Images: Editing”
• Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929)

Thursday: Alternatives to Classical Hollywood Editing
• Vertov, “We: Variant of a Manifesto” (CR)
• Eisenstein, “The Dramaturgy of Film Form” (CR)

Week 4—Narrative and Genre
Tuesday: Narration and Narrative Structure
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 1, “Preparing Viewers and Views: Distribution, Promotion,
and Exhibition”
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 6, “Telling Stories about Time: Narrative Film”
• His Girl Friday (Hawks, 1940)

Thursday: Genre
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 8, “Rituals, Conventions, Archetypes, and Formulas: Movie
First Paper due in section.

Week 5—Sound/Documentary and Experimental Cinema
Tuesday: Sound
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 5, “Listening to the Cinema: Film Sound”
Elevator to the Gallows (Malle, 1958)

Thursday: Documentary and Experimental Film
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 7, “Other Cinematic Shapes: Documentary and Experimental

Week 6—Medium Specificity/Writing a Critical Essay on Cinema
Tuesday: Celluloid and Video
• Camper, “The Qualities of Eight” (CR)

Film 20A Syllabus                                            Youmans / Summer 2008

• Hilderbrand, “Grainy Days and Mondays: Superstar and Bootleg Aesthetics” (CR)
• Short works on Super 8 and 16mm celluloid
• Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Haynes, 1987) on analog video (VHS)

Thursday: Film Analysis
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 12, “Writing a Film Essay: Observations, Arguments,
Research, and Analysis”

Week 7—Other Cinemas; Course Wrap-up
Tuesday: Global Cinema
• The Apple (S. Makhmalbaf, 1997)
• Moore, “Women in a Widening Frame: (Cross-)Cultural Projection, Spectatorship, and
Iranian Cinema” (CR)
• Darznik, “Shining Rotten Apple: A Horrific Film that Must Be Seen” (CR)
• Corrigan and White, Ch. 10, “Global and Local: Inclusive Histories of the Movies”

Thursday: Final Exam
Final paper due in section.