HISTORY & CRITICISM
Aesthetics of Film
A one-semester survey course comprising weekly screenings and lectures designed for first-year students, especially those who are considering film as a focus of their undergraduate studies. Central cinematic issues are addressed both in terms of the films viewed and the assigned theoretical readings: narrative design, montage, realism, film and dreams, collage, abstraction, and so forth. Films by Chaplin, Keaton, Renoir, Rossellini, Hitchcock, Deren, Brakhage, Bresson, Godard and others are studied. Readings of theoretical works by authors including Vertov, Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Munsterberg, Bazin, Brakhage, Deren and Arnheim. Midterm and final exam; term paper.
History of Cinema: Silent Era
A lecture survey course that traces the medium of film as an art form from its origins to the end of the silent era. An emphasis will be placed on particularly prominent “schools” of filmmaking: The American Silent Comedy, German Expressionism, The Soviet and European Avant-gardes. The long list of film artists to be screened and studied include: the Lumiere Brothers, George Melies, D.W. Griffith, Lois Weber, Germaine Dulac, Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Yasujiro Ozu, Carl Dreyer, Fernand Leger, Luis Bunuel, Man Ray, Erich von Stroheim, F. W. Murnau, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Readings will consist mostly of classic aesthetic studies from the era itself, those by Eisenstein,Vertov, Munsterberg, Arnheim, et al. Course is limited to First-Year students only and is highly recommended for (but not restricted to) those students who are contemplating film as a major course of study. Two essay exams and a term paper.
History of Cinema Since 1945
Designed for first year students, this course (the second part of a two-part survey) will address the history of cinema since the end of the Second World War, In addition to offering an interdisciplinary look at the development and significance of the cinema during this period, we will consider the nature and function of film form through lectures, discussions, the reading of key texts, and close study of works by exemplary directors such as Rossellini, Hitchcock, Brakhage, Bresson, Tati, Resnais, Godard, Bergman, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Fassbinder and Jia. Special focus will be paid to film’s relationship to related arts and to the larger history of culture. Attendance and participation is assumed and there will be a midterm exam, two short papers, and a final examination.
Introduction to Documentary
An introductory historical survey of the documentary, from the silent era to the digital age. Topics addressed will include the origins of the concept of the documentary, direct cinema and cinema verite, propaganda, ethnographic media, the essay film, experimental documentary forms, media activism, fiction and documentary, and the role of changing technologies. Filmmakers studied will include Flaherty, Vertov, Riefenstahl, Rouch, Pennebaker, Maysles, Wiseman, Marker, Farocki, Spheeris, Hara, Riggs,Honigman, Morris, and Moore. Grades will be based on exams, essays and other research and writing projects. Open to all students, registration priority for First-Year students and film majors.
Survey of Electronic Art
Cross-listed: Science, Technology & Society; Open to First-year students only. An introductory lecture course on the history of moving-image art made with electronic media, from the earliest computer-generated films, through television, the portable video camera, the internet, and gaming. Topics include analog versus digital, guerrilla television, expanded cinema, feminist media, video and performance, internet art, video installation, and the question of videogames as art. Requirements include two short essays and a final in-class exam or final research paper.