DOCUMENTARY FILM SURVEY FILM 3140/6140--FALL 2010 Class Meets: Fine Arts Auditorium Monday Evenings 6-10pm COURSE DISCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES: This course is a history/survey of the documentary film. In general, the course will chronologically present documentaries (shorts & features) that have been outstanding in the history of film. John Grierson, who coined the term ―Documentary,‖ defined it as ―the creative treatment of actuality.‖ Throughout the semester, the course will attempt to define what the ―documentary‖ film is—particularly in the areas of ―truth and reality.‖ The course will also include technological developments in this area of filmmaking. Students will be expected to view the films and take part in the discussions afterward. There will be one objective quiz at the end of the semester that will center on certain ideas, terms, and identification with the films we have seen in class. Students will also write 2 short papers during the course of the semester. These written assignments will not be research-oriented papers, but will use a critical approach to paper writing on a chosen film. The objective of the course is for students to get a focused, historical survey of the documentary film and learn a strategy to view, interpret, express ideas, and understanding about the fascinating documentary films seen in class. ABOUT THE PROGRAM FILMS: The films that will be shown in class represent some of the most important documentary films of the 20th century. Their value is based on various factors: subject content, social/political relevance, artistic style, structure, and historical impact, to name a few. While many of these films will be presented in same format in which they were produced—16mm film, others will be shown in DVD or VHS format when necessary. THE PROGRAM: AUG. 23 INTRODUCTION TO THE DOCUMENTARY FILM (Chapter 1) 1895 BIOGRAPHY OF A MOTION PICTURE CAMERA 20 min. 1895 BIRTH OF THE NEWSREEL 20 min. 1989 ROGER & ME 91 min. Michael Moore AUG. 30 AMERICAN & RUSSIAN SOCIAL STATEMENTS (Chapter 2P33-71) 1921 NANOOK OF THE NORTH 79 min. Robert Flaherty 1929 MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA 68 min. Deziga Vertov SEPT. 6 LABOR DAY NO CLASS SEPT. 13 SPANISH & BRITISH SOCIAL STATEMENTS (Chapter 2 & 3, p71-100) 1932 LAND WITHOUT BREAD 27 min. Luis Bunuel (surrealism) 1934 GRANTON TRAWLER 11 min. John Grierson, Edgar Anstay 1934 INDUSTRIAL BRITAIN 22 min. Robert Flaherty & John Grierson 1936 NIGHT MAIL 23 min. Basil Wright (early sync-sound combined with poetics) SEPT. 20 GERMAN PROPAGANDA (Chapter 3, p100-111) 1935 TRIUMPH OF THE WILL 120 min. Leni Riefenstal 1938 OLYMPIA (excerpts) Leni Riefenstal 1993 THE WONDERFUL-HORRIBLE LIFE OF LENI RIEFENSTALE (excerpts) 180m. Ray Muller Sept. 27 POLITICS & POETICS (Chapter 3, p100-139) 1932 RAIN 12 min. Joris Ivens 1936 THE PLOW THAT BROKE THE PLAINS 21 min. Pare Lorentz 1937 THE RIVER 30 min. Pare Lorentz 1939 THE CITY 34 min. Williard Van Dyke OCT. 4 WORLD WAR II PROPAGANDA (Chapter 3, p139-164) 1944 THE NAZIS STRIKE (excerpts) Frank Capra 1945 BATTLE OF SAN PIETRO 41 min. John Huston 1945 LET THERE BE LIGHT 59 min. John Huston Oct. 11 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS! OCT. 18 CANADIAN FILM BOARD, DISNEY TRUE LIFE, BRITISH FREE CINEMA 1953 THE LIVING DESERT 69 min. James Algar (Walt Disney) (Ch.4 p 210) 1954 CORRAL 8 min. Colin Low (National Film Board of Canada) Ch.5) 1954 THURSDAY'S CHILDREN 20 min. Lindsay Anderson (Ch.5, p231) 1957 CITY OF GOLD 30 min. Colin Low, Wolf Koenig, Tom Daly (Ch.4,200-1) 5-7 PAGE PAPER ON ANY OF THE ABOVE FILMS DUE Oct. 27TH IN CLASS OCT. 25 ETHNOGRAPHIC, EXPLOITATION, & AWARD WINNING SHORTS 1949 BLOOD OF THE BEASTS 15 min. Georges Franju (surrealism) (Ch. 4, p233) 1955 NIGHT AND FOG 31 min. Alain Resnais (history & memory) (Ch.4, p180-82) 1959 GLASS 8 min. Bert Haanstra (compare & contrast) (Ch. 4 191-194) 1963 MONDO CANE 107 min. Gualtiero Jacopetti (excerpts) Ch. 5 253) 1963 DEAD BIRDS 83 min. Robert Gardner (ethnographic) (Ch. 4 210-212) NOV. 1 CINEMA VERITE & DIRECT CINEMA (Chapter 5, p.231-262) 1960 PRIMARY (excerpts) Robert Drew Associates(Leacock, Pennebaker, & Maysles) 1960 CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER 90 min. Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin NOV. 8 CINEMA VERITE & DIRECT CINEMA (Chapter 5, p.231-262) 1969 SALESMAN 85 min. Maysles Bros. (excerpts) 1969 TESTIMONY 16 min. Brian Patrick 1970 GIMME SHELTER 90 min. Albert & David Maysles, C. Zwerin NOV. 15 CINEMA VERITE & DIRECT CINEMA (Chapter 5, p.231-262) 1967 DON’T LOOK BACK 90 min. Don Pennebaker 1967 TITICUT FOLLIES (excerpts) 80 min. Frederick Wiseman NOV. 22 FILM TRUTH 1973 NO LIES 11.5 min. Mitch Block 1988 THE THIN BLUE LINE 120 min. Errol Morris NOV. 29 H ISTORICAL RE-ACTMENT & COMPILATION 1991 THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD 26 min. Charles Guggenheim1987 DEAR AMERICA 87 min. Bill Couturie DEC. 7 BIOGRAPHICAL PORTRAIT & FINAL QUIZ REVIEW 1994 CRUMB 119 min. Terry Zwigoff (X RATED–NO CHILDREN, PLEASE) DEC. 13 FINAL QUIZ Same time and location—takes about an hour Film recognition plus objective multiple choice/true & false 5-7 PAGE PAPER ON ANY OF THE ABOVE FILMS DUE AT FINALS CLASS OR BY DEC. 17 FILM STUDIES OFFICE AAC 257b About the written papers: 1. The purpose of the papers is to give you experience writing about films using a critical approach. The paper should contain a personal analysis of one of the films you saw in class. Obviously, this means evaluation through personal opinion; however, make sure these judgments are supported with concrete examples. Remember, this is not a research paper. 2. Basic Structure: A. Title your paper. Have you ever seen a film or book without a title? B. Begin the paper with a clear premise, idea, or theme. What is the paper about? C. Develop the idea throughout the body of the paper, providing examples to your statements. D. At the end, don't just stop writing, try to resolve your ideas--come to a conclusion. It should match the main idea you had in the beginning. E. Write on each film. Your writing on each film should look like this: 1. Short introduction/premise to film 2. Short synopsis of plot (what happens) 3. Aspects of the film: a. Structure–(the film’s overall form) b. Cinematography (how the camera style contributes) c. Editing (how the editing style contributes) d. Music (how the music contributes) e. Sound (narration/effects) f. Anything else that strikes your interest 4. Short conclusion/summary about theme (what the film is about) 3. Writing tips: A. Avoid writing in the first person on a critical paper. B. Watch for Grammatical errors, misspelled words, and awkward sentences. C. Structure your ideas before you begin to write. Know where your thoughts are going. D. Use examples to help back up your ideas and statements. Don't pull thoughts out of thin air without backing them up. E. Don't fill the paper with a description of the film as in a simple film review. I've seen the film! F. Don't have strong ideas that are only thinly developed or backed up. G. Avoid asking questions as a writing style--especially if you cannot answer them. H. Your ideas may extend to other areas such as philosophy or psychology, but only in context of the film. I. Don't write with the assumption that you know the filmmakers original intent. You could only guess, at best. J. Avoid arguing from the point of changing the work (i.e. better photography, better acting, better editing) to match your own personal prejudices. Discuss the ONLY the film which you saw on the screen. K. In the end, you must write about the film that you saw in class. L. What ever your idea is concerning the film, make sure you communicate and demonstrate it by the end of the paper. Don't write so generally that it isn't clear you understand the film. M. Remember, Critical analysis is not to be confused with negative criticism. READING: DOCUMENTARY:A HISTORY OF THE NON-FICTION FILM ERIC BARNOUW Please purchase this book and read the chapters that correspond to the class screenings. GRADING: 1st Paper 30% 2nd Final paper 30% Final Quiz 30% Attendance & participation 10% 100% About grading: The papers are read and evaluated on content, structure, grammar, length, critical analysis, and development of ideas. If you have problem with writing your papers and receive a less than anticipated grade, it is advised to discuss the matter with the instructor who can usually help you in improving the grade. Class Time: 6-10pm Monday nights. Please be on time! Be advised that we will take a 10 min. break around the 2 hour point in the class which is a good time to use the bathroom, grab a snack, or make calls. Please turn your cell phones off while in class. Instructor: Brian Patrick, Professor Tel. 581-6900 Office E-mail—email@example.com Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 12-2pm or by appointment Room: Art 272 Contact for appointment: Class, e-mail, or phone Additional note: “The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.” Due to the unusual and provocative content of the films and materials presented in the class, no other accommodations are given. Final note: “All students are expected to maintain professional behavior in the classroom setting, according to the Student Code, spelled out in the Student Handbook. Students have specific rights in the classroom as detailed in Article III of the Code. The Code also specifies proscribed conduct (Article XI) that involves cheating on tests, plagiarism, and/or collusion, as well as fraud, theft, etc. Students should read the Code carefully and know they are responsible for the content. Also: please do not have a notebook computer open unless you are using it for pure note taking. If you do use a laptop for note taking, please do not keep your laptop open during the screenings.
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