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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "COM 210-2"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Cinema (This course carries 3 semester hours of credit.)"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Kwame Phillips
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 1:30-3:30 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.
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. By the end of this course, students will be better skilled in: 

·       Watching, describing and analyzing films.

·       Reading and critically assessing academic literature on films and cinema.

·       Researching, drafting, editing and writing an academic essay.


TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Film Art: An Introduction; 11th Edition US or International Edition**Bordwell & ThompsonMcGraw-HIll978-1259534959 **Please note that an International Edition of Film Art exists and if you buy from any of the Amazons outside of the US there is a good chance that is the version you will be getting. If you buy in the US, you'll be in between the phasing out of the 10th Edition (with the Inglorious Basterds cover image) and the rolling in of the 11th Edition (with the Moonrise Kingdom cover). If you are buying a new book, make sure you get the 11th Edition (updated and has better resale market value). Also, there are Kindle and other e-book editions with other sellers or possibly on Bordwell and Thompson’s personal blog which are equivalent. In non -US Amazon you can only buy the Kindle version. In Amazon US you can also rent at a much lower price.
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Mid-term Exam2000-2500 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. The inclusion of images are encouraged where appropriate. Students are required to select any film of their choosing (it doesn't have to be covered in the course) and examine the film using one or more of the theories or topics discussed in the course. You cannot use a film that is discussed in the textbook. 25
Final Research Paper3500-4500 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. The inclusion of images are encouraged where appropriate. Students are required to write a research paper that is appropriate to the course material. The topic is open, but may focus on a film, a number of related films, a director, a genre, a style of filmmaking, music, costuming, etc. You cannot use a film that is discussed in the textbook. 25
Short Paper #1: Scene Description750-1000 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. In this paper, describe a scene and discuss what it is doing based on theories and techniques learned in the course. The inclusion of images are encouraged where appropriate. 10
Short Paper #2: Theory750-1000 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. This paper is intended for discussion of a theory based in the course using a scene or scenes from a chosen film. The inclusion of images are encouraged where appropriate. 10
Attendance, Discussion and Screening NotesCritical analysis screening notes of the films must be handed in (PDF format) via email on Tuesday nights BEFORE the lecture session. Failure to do so will negatively impact your grade.15
Screening NotesCritical analysis screening notes of the films must be handed in (PDF format) via email on the night BEFORE the lecture session.10
Paper OutlinesOne page outlines for the midterm and final papers are required one week before those papers are due. 5

-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 co
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference 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:

Attendance and punctuality are absolutely crucial. Unexcused absences will result in an F (Fail) grade for Attendance & Participation. More than 5 unexcused absences will result in failing the course. If unexcused, a tardy of more than 10 minutes will be counted as an absence. Screenings are mandatory and cannot be guaranteed to be available outside of class.

-GRADING RUBRIC

Papers will be grading using the following criteria (and judged whether excellent, good, fair, needs work or insufficient):

1. Formatting (page numbers, bibliography, quotes, citations)
2. Sources (diverse, academic)
3. Organization (good transitions, definitions, structured argument)
4. Adherence to assignment guidelines (follows instructions, answers questions, covers topic)
5. Clarity (thesis stated and supported with examples, evidence, background, context)
6. Understanding terms and grasp of concepts
7. Originality
8. Style (readable, lucid, flow, makes sense, creative, academic, command of English)
9. Grammar, spelling, typos, sentence structure
10. Effort, passion, interest




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: Introduction to Cinema: History, Art and Moving Pictures
Screenings: Hotel Chevalier (Anderson, USA/France, 2013) / A Trip to the Moon (Méliès, France, 1902) / Early Cinema Shorts (Lumiere, Porter, Griffith)
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapters 1 and 12

Week 2: Dramatic Narrative: Classical Hollywood Cinema
Screening: The Big Sleep (Hawks, USA, 1946)
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 3
 
Week 3: Editing: Continuity and Discontinuity
Screening: Audition (Miike, Japan, 1999)
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 6
 
Week 4: The Image: Mise-en-Scene, Space, Composition, Light, Color
Screening: Marie Antoinette (Coppola, USA, 2006)
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapters 4 and 8

**FIRST SHORT PAPER DUE**

Week 5: Cinematography and Camera Movement
Screening: Gojira (Honda, Japan, 1954)
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 5; David Bordwell, "Writing A Critical Analysis of Film"

Week 6: The Take and Montage
Screening: Cidade de Deus (Meirelles & Lund, Brazil, 2002) 
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 12; Andre Bazin, "The Ontology of the Photographic Image" (1960); Sergei Eisenstein, "A Dialectic Approach to Film Form" (1928); Vsevolod Pudovkin, "On Editing" 
 
Week 7: Technological Innovation: Sound, Color and Widescreen
Screening: The Conversation (Coppola, USA, 1974)
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapters 7 and 9

**ONE PAGE OUTLINE DUE IN FIRST CLASS**
 
Week 8: Modernist Narrative/Narrative Space: Auteur Theory and Ideology
Screening: The Long Goodbye (Altman, USA, 1973) 
Reading: Francois Truffaut, "A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema
 
**MID-TERM PAPER DUE**
 
Week 9: Feminist Film
Screening: Eve’s Bayou (Lemmons, USA, 1997)
Reading: Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema"
 
Week 10: Political Film
Screening: Pariah (Rees, USA, 2011) 
Reading: Fernando Solanas & Octavio Getino, "Towards a Third Cinema"; Med Hondo, "What is Cinema for Us?"
                       
Week 11: Non-Narrative Cinema: Documentary
Screening: Grey Gardens (Hovde & Maysles, USA, 1975) 
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 10         
   
Week 12: Post-Classical and the Independent
Screening: Get Out (Peele, USA, 2017) 
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 12

**SECOND SHORT PAPER DUE**    

Week 13: 
Art Cinema and Avant-Garde Film
Screening: La Jetée (Marker, France 1962); Meshes of the Afternoon (Deren, USA, 1943); Window Water Baby Moving (Brakhage, USA, 1959)
Reading: David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 10; David Bordwell, "The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice"

**ONE PAGE OUTLINE DUE IN FIRST CLASS**

Week 14: The End and The Future
Screening: Ex Machina (Garland, UK, 2014) 
Reading: Frederic Jameson, "Postmodernism and Consumer Society"
 
**FINAL PAPER DUE**