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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 2018
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Kwame Phillips
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 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.

**It is highly recommended that you make use of the Communications Library Study Guide that is found at this link: https://johncabot.libguides.com/communications. It is an introductory guide for communication and media studies, journalism and cinema, and is extraordinarily valuable as a resource.

**Course homepage: http://moodle.johncabot.edu/. Enrollment key: COM210Fall18


TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Film Art: An Introduction; 11th Edition US or International Edition** Bordwell & Thompson McGraw-HIll 978-1259534959 **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:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Other assigned readings--  All required readings will be posted on Moodle. Since Moodle is not integrated with the school database, and with the class roster, you will have to create your own account, if you do not have one already. Once you have an account, you will have to enroll in this course by using the enrollment key.

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Mid-term Paper2000-2500 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. APA formatting for in-text citations and bibliography. The inclusion of images is 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. Please note, failure to hand in the midterm paper will result in failing the course. 20
Short Paper #1: Scene Description750-1000 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. APA formatting for in-text citations and bibliography. In this paper, simply describe a scene and discuss what it is doing based on theories and techniques learned in the course. The inclusion of images is encouraged where appropriate. 5
Short Paper #2: 1 on 5750-1000 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. APA formatting for in-text citations and bibliography. In this paper, students will examine a single theme or aspect of a film and find 5 examples of it to discuss. For instance, a particular color might be thematically important in a chosen film; the paper will discuss five occurrences of that color. The inclusion of images is encouraged where appropriate. 8
Attendance and DiscussionAttendance and discussion in the class are absolutely vital. Students are expected to be engaged and participating fully. 20
Screening NotesCritical analysis screening notes of the films must be handed in (PDF format) via email on the night BEFORE the lecture session.5
OutlinesOne page outlines for the midterm and final papers/projects are required at least one week before those papers are due. 5
Final Research Paper (Option 1)3000-3500 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. APA formatting for in-text citations and bibliography. The inclusion of images is 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. Please note, failure to hand in the final paper will result in failing the course. 25
Analytical Video Essay (Option 2)Submission of an analytical video essay, 5-6 mins long. 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. Please note, failure to hand in the video essay will result in failing the course.25
Self-gradingStudents are required to fill out a self-grading rubric and turn it in with their midterm and final assignment. 4
Short Paper #3: 3 on 1750-1000 words. 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. APA formatting for in-text citations and bibliography. In this paper, students will examine a single scene or focus of a film and find 3 distinct but interrelated things about it to discuss. For instance, a particular scene in a chosen film might use camera movement, costume and sound to drive the narrative; the paper will discuss these three aspects. The inclusion of images is encouraged where appropriate. 8

-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

*FILMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE*
*ALL READINGS AND LECTURE SLIDES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON MYJCU/MOODLE*


**Week 1: Introduction and Early Cinema**


Screenings:

  • Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa?/Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? (Selma Vilhunen, Finland, 2012) //
  • La Fée aux Choux/The Cabbage Fairy (Alice Guy, 1896)
  • Course à la saucisse/The Race for the Sausage (Alice Guy, France, 1907)
  • Suspense (Lois Weber, USA, 1913)


Excerpts:

  • The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lotte Reiniger, Germany, 1926)
  • The Smiling Madame Beudet (Germaine Dulac, France, 1922)
  • Women of Ryazan (Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov, USSR, 1927)


Readings:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapters 1 and 12


**Week 2: Dramatic Narrative: Classical Hollywood Cinema **

Screening:

  • The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino, USA, 1953) OR Dance, Girl, Dance (Dorothy Arzner, USA, 1940)

Reading:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 3

Viewing:

  • Classical Hollywood Style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftjMvYfg16k

**Week 3: Editing: Continuity and Discontinuity**

Screening:

  • Big (Penny Marshall, USA, 1988) OR Orlando (Sally Porter, UK, 1992)

Reading:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 6

Viewing:

  • Cuts & Transitions 101: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAH0MoAv2CI

**FIRST SHORT PAPER DUE IN WEEK 3**

 

**Week 4: The Image: Mise-en-Scene, Space, Composition, Light, Color**

Screening:

  • Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair, India, 1988) OR Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, India, 2001)

Readings:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapters 4 and 8

Viewing:

  • Mise-en-scène - Composing the frame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyJFeY0GBQw


**Week 5: Cinematography and Camera Movement**

Screening:

  • The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer, USA, 2016) OR A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, Iran, 2014)

Readings:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 5
  • David Rosenwasser & Jill Stephen. Writing Analytically (excerpt)

Viewing:

  • Cinematography 101: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXAr2yiYCV4

**Week 6: The Take and Montage**

Screening:

  • Pascualino Settebellezze/Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, Italy, 1975) OR Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay, USA, 2012) OR Raw (Julia Ducournau, France, 2016)

Readings:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 12
  • Vsevolod Pudovkin, "On Editing"

Viewing:

  • The Soviet Theory of Montage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYedfenQ_Mw
  • Eisenstein’s Method of Montage Explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnTs90knro

**SECOND SHORT PAPER DUE IN WEEK 6**

**Week 7: Technological Innovation: Sound, Color and Widescreen**

Screening:

  • The Matrix (The Wachowskis, USA, 1999) OR The Piano (Jane Campion, New Zealand/Australia, 1993)

Readings:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapters 7 and 9

Viewing:

  • Film Sound Techniques and Theory: https://youtu.be/nkt-vRpF7sE?t=6


**Week 8: Modernist Narrative/Narrative Space: Auteur Theory and Ideology**

Screening:

  • Cléo de 5 à 7/Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnes Varda, France, 1962) OR Sedmikrásky/Daisies (Věra Chytilová, Czechoslovakia, 1966)

Reading:

  • Francois Truffaut, "A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema

Viewing:

  • The Origins of Auteur Theory: https://youtu.be/nfHnuZqtV68
  • Modernism in film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEsMS8-CRbQ
  • How Italian Neorealism Brought the Grit of the Streets to the Big Screen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_uLv6Wt2io

**ONE PAGE OUTLINE DUE IN FIRST CLASS OF WEEK 8**


**Week 9: Art Cinema and Avant-Garde Film // Video Essay Tutorial**

Screening:

  • Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, USA, 1943)
  • Tarantella (Mary Ellen Bute, USA, 1940)
  • Semiotics of the Kitchen (Martha Rosler, USA, 1975)
  • Nice Colored Girls (Tracey Moffat, Australia, 1987)

Readings:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 10
  • David Bordwell, "The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice"
  • Guide to Video Essays: https://digitalmedialab.johncabot.edu/video-essays/

Viewing:

  • Free Radicals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrsGVmuo6R0
  • A Brief History of Experimental Film: https://vimeo.com/76272882
  • Elements of the Essay Film: https://vimeo.com/90150897
  • La Pintura Como Inspiración I and II: https://vimeo.com/192256154 and https://vimeo.com/192336171
  • Shaping Up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6keeF1bX6o

**MID-TERM PAPER DUE IN WEEK 9**

 

**Week 10: Genre**

Screening:

  • Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron, USA, 1993) OR Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow, USA, 1991)

Reading:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 9

Viewing:

  • That Was Badass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lj2LmJowwQ

**Week 11: Post-Classical and the Independent**

Screening:

  • Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, USA, 2003) OR Eve’s Bayou (Kasi Lemmons, USA, 1997)

Reading:

  • David Bordwell, et al. Film Art: An Introduction, Chapter 12

Viewing:

  • How New Hollywood Created the American Indie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qvubc_khZs

**THIRD SHORT PAPER DUE IN WEEK 11**    

 

**Week 12: Feminist Film**

Screening:

  • La Mujer Sin Cabeza/The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, 2008) or Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, USA, 1983)

Readings:

  • Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema"
  • Paula Marantz Cohen, "What Have Clothes Got to Do with It?: Romantic Comedy and the Female Gaze"

Viewing:

  • Male Love Through Female Eyes: https://vimeo.com/160059496
  • Are women still objectified?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl2Eh8swrEs


**Week 13: Political Film**


Screening:

  • سیب/The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1998) OR Dead Pigs (Cathy Yan, China, 2018) OR Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, Iran, 2007)

Reading:

  • Fernando Solanas & Octavio Getino, "Towards a Third Cinema"
  • Med Hondo, "What is Cinema for Us?"

Viewing:

  • Roots of Third Cinema: https://vimeo.com/12888864
  • Illusions (Julie Dash, USA, 1982): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd6pcOHd0J0 (Excerpt: LA Rebellion)

**ONE PAGE OUTLINE DUE IN FIRST CLASS OF WEEK 13**

**Week 14: Postmodernist Film**


Screening:

  • American Psycho (Mary Harron, USA, 2000) OR The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, Australia, 2014) OR You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, UK, 2017)

Reading:

  • Frederic Jameson, "Postmodernism and Consumer Society"

Viewing:

  • Postmodernism in Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qebm_7gGSKw

**FINAL PAPER DUE DURING EXAM WEEK**