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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CMS/ITS 243"
COURSE NAME: "Cinematic Rome"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Tijana Mamula
EMAIL: tmamula@johncabot.edu
HOURS: MTWTH 11:10-1:00 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: This course carries 3 semester hours of credit.
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
An analysis of the social, aesthetic, political, and rhetorical implications of cinematic representations of Rome, from silent films to the present. This course will evaluate and discuss ten primary films, along with excerpts from a number of others. We will consider five main topics: Images of Ancient Rome; Before and After World War II; "Americans" in Rome, and Rome in America; Fellini’s Rome; and Urban Angst, Roman Style. As the semester progresses, we will consider how Rome functions as a "character" in the movies, as well as how The Eternal City comprises the mise-en-scène. We will assess the artistic representations of Roman monuments and streetscapes on movie sets, as opposed to location shooting. Special attention will be given to memory construction, as well as the rhetoric of "places and spaces" (how the physical/symbolic setting influences us). In this course, students will visit cinematic landmarks in Rome and write about their experiences
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

This course will evaluate and discuss ten primary films, along with excerpts from a number of others. We will consider five main topics:  Images of Ancient Rome; Before and After World War II; “Americans” in Rome, and Rome in America; Fellini’s Rome; and Urban Angst, Roman Style.  As the semester progresses, we will consider how Rome functions as a character in the movies, as well as how the Eternal City comprises the mise-en-scène. We will assess the artistic representations of Roman monuments and streetscapes on both movie sets and location shoots. Special attention will be given to memory construction, as well as the rhetoric of “places and spaces” (how the physical/symbolic setting influences us). In this course, students will visit cinematic landmarks in Rome and present on their experiences. In the last week of the course, we will visit the legendary Cinecitta' studios in Rome.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

1.  Students will become familiar with critically acclaimed films that prominently feature Roman landmarks and streetscapes.

2.  Students will develop their film criticism skills, with special emphasis on analysis of the mise-en-scène (film setting), memory construction, and the rhetoric of "places and spaces" (how the physical/symbolic setting influences us).

3.  Students will consider cinema as an expression of national or international culture, aesthetics, values, and politics.

4.  Students will gain an appreciation for the Italian film industry, including the leading role of Cinecittà.

5.  Students will hone their descriptive, experiential, and analytical writing skills through assignments tailored to foster personal engagement with the Eternal City.

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
PresentationAn in-class presentation, consisting in an analysis of one of the films screened in class. Presentations will be assigned at the start of the course, and will be carried out on a weekly basis. Depending on enrolment, students will work either on their own or in pairs.33%
Final PaperThe final paper is not a research assignment but consists in writing a series of letters to some of the directors studied throughout the semester, reflecting on whether the scenes they shot on location in Rome could be repeated today.33%
Attendance and participationAttendance is a crucial component of this course. "Participation" entails demonstrating that you have read and reflected on the assigned reading, which is equally important to any full understanding of the subjects covered in this course. 33%

-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 cours
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:

Attendance is required. Students may miss up to 2 class periods without grade penalty. If unexcused, 4 or 5 absences will result in an F grade for attendance. 6 or more absences will result in an F grade for the course.

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 1a. Epic Rome

Screening: Spartacus (1960) dir. Stanley Kubrick

Clips from: Gladiator (2000) dir. Ridley Scott; Cabiria (1914) dir. Giovane Pastrone; Ben-Hur (1925) dir. Fred Niblo; Quo Vadis (1951) dir. Mervyn LeRoy [Anthony Mann]; Ben-Hur (1959) dir. William Wyler; Cleopatra (1963) dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz; The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) dir. Anthony Mann

Readings:

1) Mora, Carl J. “The Image of Ancient Rome in the Cinema”:  http://www.publicacions.ub.es/bibliotecadigital/cinema/filmhistoria/Art.Mora.pdf
2) Murphy, Geraldine. “Ugly Americans in Togas: Imperial Anxiety in the Cold War Hollywood Epic.” Journal of Film and Video 56 (2004): 3-19.
3) Urbainczyk, Theresa. “Spartacus: A Hero Turns 50.” Film International 8 (2010): 7-13.


Week 1b. Fascist Rome

Screening: Scipione l’africano (1937) dir. Carmine Gallone

Readings: 

1) Ricci, Steven. Cinema and Fascism: Italian Film and Society, 1922-1943 (University of California Press, 2008), pp. 95-104.
2) Reich, Jacqueline. "Mussolini at the Movies: Fascism, Film and Culture," in Re-Viewing Fascism: Italian Cinema, 1922-1943 (Indiana University Press, 2002), pp. 3-29.
 

Week 2a. Fascism Revisited

Screening: Il conformista (The Conformist, Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970).

Clips from C’eravamo tanto amati (We All Loved Each Other So Much, Ettore Scola, 1974)

1) Mellen, Joan. “Fascism in the Contemporary Film.” Film Quarterly 24 (1971): 2-19.
2) Marcus, Millicent. "Bertolucci's The Conformist: A Morals Charge," in Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton University Press, 1986), pp. 285-312.


Week 2b. Neorealist Rome 

Screening: Umberto D. (1952) dir. Vittorio De Sica

Clips from and recommended full viewing: Rome Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945); Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1946).

Readings:

1) Lawton, Ben. “Italian Neorealism: A Mirror Construction of Reality.” Film Criticism 3 (1978): 8-23.
2) Shiel, Mark. “Imagined and  Built Spaces in the Rome of Neorealism.” In Cinematic Rome, edited by Richard Wrigley, 27-42. Leicester, UK: Troubador Publishing, Ltd., 2008.  


Week 3a. America in Rome

Screening: Roman Holiday (1953) dir. William Wyler

Clips from: Un Americano a Roma (Steno, 1954); Three Coins in the Fountain (Jean Negulesco, 1955); When in Rome (Mark Steven Johnson, 2010); To Rome With Love (Woody Allen, 2012)

Readings: 

1) Shandley, Robert.  “How Rome Saved Hollywood.” In Cinematic Rome, edited by Richard Wrigley, 53-62. Leicester, UK: Troubador Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
2) TBD


Week 3b. Fellini's Rome 1

Screening: Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik, 1952)

Clips from and recommended full viewing: Le notti di Cabiria (1957); La dolce vita (1960)

Readings: 

1) Gundle, Stephen. “La Dolce Vita.” History Today 50 (2000): 29-35.
2) Gordon, Mary. “Rome: The Visible City.” Salmagundi 124 (1999): 79-94.
3) Harcourt, Peter. “The Secret Life of Federico Fellini.” Film Quarterly 19 (1966): 4-19.


Week 4a. Fellini's Rome 2 

Screening: Roma (1972)

Clips from: Fellini Satyricon (1969)           

Readings:

1) Paul, Joanna. “Rome Ruined and Fragmented: The Cinematic City in Fellini-Satyricon and Roma.” In Cinematic Rome, edited by Richard Wrigley, 109-121. Leicester, UK:  Troubador Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
2) Bondanella, Peter. The Cinema of Federico Fellini (Princeton University Press, 1992), extracts.

                   
Week 4b. The Roman Borgata   

Screening: Accattone (1961) dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Readings:

1) Orr, Christopher. “Pasolini’s ‘Accattone,’ or Naturalism and Its Discontents.” Film Criticism 19 (1995): 54-66.
2) Rhodes, John David. Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini's Rome (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), extracts.


Week 5a. Modernist Rome


Screening: L’Eclisse (1962) dir. Michelangelo Antonioni

Readings: 

1) Benci, Jacopo. “Michelangelo’s Rome: Towards an Iconology of L’Eclisse.” In Cinematic Rome, edited by Richard Wrigley, 63-85. Leicester, UK: Troubador Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
2) Esposito, Joan. “Antonioni and Benjamin: Dialectical Imagery in ‘Eclipse’.” Film Criticism 9 (1984): 25-38.


Week 5b. Contemporary Rome 1

Screening: The Belly of an Architect (Peter Greenaway, 1987)

Readings:

1) Baumgarter, Michael. “’A Walk through R’: Peter Greenaway’s Mapping of Rome in The Belly of an Architect.” In Cinematic Rome, edited by Richard Wrigley, 143-172. Leicester, UK: Troubador Publishing, Ltd., 2008. 
2) Keesey, Douglas. "Death by Design in The Belly of an Architect," in The Films of Peter Greenaway: Sex, Death and Provocation (McFarland, 2006), pp. 42-61.
3) "Belly of An Architect: Peter Greenaway Interviewed," in Peter Greenaway: Interviews, ed. Vernon Gras and Marguerite Gras (University Press of Mississippi, 2000), pp. 42-49.


Week 5c. Contemporary Rome 2

Screening: La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)

Clips from L'ora di religione (Marco Bellocchio, 2003)