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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "COM 210-1"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Cinema (This course carries 3 semester hours of credit.)"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Erika Tasini
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 6:00-8:00 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course is designed as an introduction to the art, history, and business of film. It presents an introduction to film aesthetics and the formal properties of film, locating specific styles and narrative forms within specific classical and alternative film movements. Film theories and critical strategies for the analysis of film will be investigated. The course will be divided into weekly screenings and lectures.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

The course is divided into weekly screenings and lectures and discussions.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Students will learn how to discuss the principal formal and technical properties of film. They will develop an ability to discuss and analyse film as an artistic, industrial, and socio-cultural phenomenon. They will gain an awareness of the different contexts surrounding film production and exhibition, and the relationship between popular, documentary, and avant-garde production. They will be able to trace a history of film narrative and participate in debates including the race, gender, and the ideology and ethics of cinema.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Film Studies: An Introduction Ed SikovColumbia UP 978-0231142939   
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
TBDTDBTBDTBD  

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Mid-term exam  20%
Final Exam  25%
NOTES 15%
TWO GROUP PRESENTATIONS  20%
Attendance, discussion, participation  20%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

 

 

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Week 1:


INTRO- What is Cinema? What are FILM STUDIES?

 
 

Week 2:

 

Tu: screening: SUNSET BOULEVARD  (Billy Wilder) –

Intro to Dramatic narrative – classical Hollywood cinema.

Th: Lecture/discussion on Classical narration in Hollywood cinema

 

Readings:

1) Sikov, Chapters 6 & 7, pp. 89-115.

2) David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, "Classical Narration: the Hollywood example”

 

 

Week 3:

 

Tu: The Image: Mise-en-Scene

Screening: IF….

 

Th: discussion MISE EN SCENE

 

Readings:

1) Sikov, Chapter 1, pp.5-23 & Chapter 9, pp.129-142.

+TBD 


 

Week 4:

 

The Image: Cinematography and Camera Movement

TH Screening:  BOOGIE NIGHTS.

 

Th: Lecture/Discussion on cinematography and camera movement

 

Readings:

1) Sikov, Chapter 2 & 3, pp.24-54.

 

 

Week 5:

 

TU Editing, Visible and Invisible

Screening:  THE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (GONDRY)

TH LECTURE/ Discussion on editing

 

Readings:

1) Sikov, Chapter 4, pp.55-73.

2) TBD on EIZEINSTEIN

 

Week 6:

Film Sound

Tu: Screening: THE CONVERSATION (Francis F. Coppola)

Th: Lecture/ Discussion on sound

 

Readings:

1) Sikov, Chapter 5, pp. 74-88.

3) Bordwell and Thompson, "Sound" in Film Art, pp 264-304 (on reserve)

 

WEEK 7

 


 

TU: screening 8 1/2

 

TH: presentations

1)      narrative structure

2)      directing/mise en scene

3)      cinematography

4)      sound

5)      editing

 

WEEK 8

 

TU: PRESENTATIONS AND REVIEW

TH: MIDTERM

 

WEEK 9:

Authorship - HITCHCOCK

 

TU: Screening: REAR WINDOW

TH: VERTIGO

 

 

Readings:

1) Sikov, Chapter 8, 116-128.

3) Steven Crofts, 'Authorship and Hollywood' in The Oxford Guide to Film Studies, pp 310-323 (on reserve)

 

 

Week 10:

CINEMA AND CULTURAL STUDIES
Screening: My Beautiful Laundrette

READING: TBD
 

 

Week 11:

Gender & Sexuality

Screening: The Kids are alright (L. Cholodenko) and ref. to Hitchcock

 
Reading:

    1) Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," in Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (OUP, 2004).  (on reserve)

 

Th: lecture/discussion

 

Week 12:

 

Documentary Film

 

Screening: THE THIN BLUE LINE (E. Morris)

GRIZZLY MAN Clips

THE CONTROL ROOM Clips

 

Reading:


1) Bill Nichols, "Why Are Ethical Issues Central to Documentary Filmmaking?" in Introduction to Documentary (Indiana UP, 2001), 1-19.

2) Izod and Kilborn, 'The Documentary' in The Oxford Guide to Film Studies

 

Week 13:

 

Avant-Garde Film and Video and EARLY CINEMA.

 

TU Screening:

Un Chien Andalou (Luis Bunuel/Salvador Dali, 1929)
Mothlight (Brakhage)

Meshes of the AFTERNOON (MAYA DEREN)





'Avant-Garde and Counter Cinema' in The Cinema Book pp 89-95 (on reserve)

 

Early Film Form: 1895-1925

 

Thursday: Screenings: Early cinema shorts

LUMIERE THE ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN

LUMIERE THE BABY’s LUNCH

LUMIERE THE SPRINKLER SPRINKLED

MELIES GOING TO BED WITH DIFFICULTIES

MELIES THE TRIP TO THE MOON

 

Readings:

'Early Cinema' in The Cinema Book, pp. 3-9 (on reserve)

 

 

Week 14:

TU: Screening and presentations for review

SCREENING FILM: THE DESCENT

Groups:

1)      Gender

2)      Auteur theory

Th. Presentations and review

 

WEEK 15

FINAL EXAM (DATE TO BE DETERMINED)